(WASHINGTON, D.C., 8/6/19) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today urged all Americans who support human rights and democracy to demand that the U.S. Department of State put pressure on the Indian government to lift the siege on millions of people in the Kashmir valley.
On Monday, the Indian government illegally revoked Article 370 of the constitution, taking away the protected status of the Indian-controlled state of Jammu and Kashmir. The legal maneuvering that led to the revocation of Article 370 has been widely panned by legal experts as unconstitutional and a complaint has already been filed in the Indian Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of the revocation.
For more than 70 years, this protected status granted autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir in all matters except defense, foreign affairs, and finance and communication. The accession of the Princely state of Jammu and Kashmir to India in 1947 was conditioned on a protected status for Jammu and Kashmir. United Nations Security Council Resolution 47, passed in 1948, allowed the people of Jammu and Kashmir a plebiscite to determine their future.
SEE: India Revokes Kashmir’s Special Status, Raising Fears of Unrest
“On August 2nd, tourists and pilgrims were ordered to evacuate Kashmir and schools were shuttered. On August 4th, internet access was cut off, telephone and cellphone services suspended, prominent democratically elected leaders placed under house arrest, and an indefinite curfew imposed on the Kashmir valley. On August 5th, Kashmir’s autonomy was destroyed, and by now more than 35,000 additional troops have been deployed,” said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad. “There is a humanitarian crisis brewing in the Kashmir valley. The State Department should urge the Indian government to immediately reinstate the protected status, lift the siege, and enter into peaceful negotiations to determine the future of the Indian-controlled state of Jammu and Kashmir.”
Earlier today, Awad spoke at a protest outside the Indian Embassy in Washington, D.C. and condemned recent actions taken by the Indian government.
SEE: CAIR National Executive Director Speaking at Protest on Kashmir Crisis
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
La misiÃ³n de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensiÃ³n del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.
CONTACT: CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw, 202-742-6448, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Coordinator Ayan Ajeen, email@example.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, firstname.lastname@example.org