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Page last updated at 07:47 GMT, Wednesday, 2 July 2008 08:47 UK

Call to protect Kashmir activist

Kashmiri human rights activist Parvez Imroz (Photo: Nissar Ahmad)
Mr Imroz has been probing unmarked graves in Kashmir (Photos: Nissar Ahmad)

Human rights groups have appealed to the government of Indian-administered Kashmir to protect the award-winning human rights activist Parvez Imroz.

Mr Imroz was attacked by armed men at his home in the state capital, Srinagar, on Monday night.

He has blamed the attack on Indian security forces as the attackers came dressed in soldiers' uniform.

The security forces have denied the charge. A senior paramilitary officer said "such allegations are baseless".

A well-known lawyer, Mr Imroz has been recently investigating nearly 1,000 unmarked graves discovered in border areas of the Kashmir valley.

Condemned

"The Kashmir government should investigate whether the attack on Mr Imroz was related to his work," US-based Human Rights Watch said in a release.

"All members of the security forces found responsible, no matter how far up the chain of command, should be prosecuted," the statement added.

Srinagar-based rights group International People's Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice has also condemned the attack.

A Kashmiri man points out the unmarked graves in Kichihama village in Kashmir <i>(Photo: Nissar Ahmad)</i>
Nearly 1,000 unmarked graves have been discovered

"This attack is an escalation in the form of state-led intimidation, harassment, and assault," tribunal member Khurram Parvez said in a statement.

Mr Parvez Imroz, co-convener of the People's Tribunal, is also the co-founder of the Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS) and the Association for Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP).

He is a distinguished human rights lawyer and recipient of the Ludovic-Trarieux International Human Rights Prize of 2006.

The APDP recently discovered scores of unmarked graves in Kashmir.

The groups claims that these are the graves of the disappeared persons who were killed allegedly by security forces in "fake encounters".

Amnesty International and other human rights organisations have urged the Indian government to launch urgent and impartial investigations into the unmarked graves.

The Indian army says the reported discovery of the unmarked graves is an attempt to malign the military.


SEE ALSO
Protest over graves in Kashmir
11 Apr 08 |  South Asia
The plight of Kashmir's 'half-widows'
04 Dec 07 |  South Asia
Amnesty urges Kashmir grave probe
07 Apr 08 |  South Asia
Kashmir police refuse body demand
01 Apr 08 |  South Asia
Kashmir to probe illegal killings
03 Apr 07 |  South Asia
Kashmir crowd seizes second body
02 Feb 07 |  South Asia


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