Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Kashmir: NIA arrests human rights activist Khurram Parvez in terror funding case

Parvez, 44, is the program coordinator of the Jammu-Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS), a prominent local rights advocacy group that has frequently published reports on human rights abuses in Kashmir. Parvez is also the chairman of the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD).

The National Investigation Agency on Wednesday arrested Kashmiri human rights activist Khurram Parvez in a terror funding case, PTI reported.

Earlier this week, NIA made the first arrest in the case; Kashmiri journalist Irfan Mehraj, a close associate of Parvez, according to investigators. Both Mehraj and Parvez are associated with the Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society.

The investigating agency alleged that JKCCS was funding terror activities in the valley and serving secessionist agenda.

Parvez had already been in prison since November 2021 on allegations that he collected information about security forces, procured secret official documents and shared them with his handlers in the militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba.

A Delhi court on Wednesday remanded Parvez and Mehraj to the National Investigation Agency’s custody for ten days.

Mehraj is the founding editor of Wande Magazine and now works as a senior editor at TwoCircles.net. Aakar Patel, the chair of the board at Amnesty International India, denounced the arrest calling it a gross injustice.

“Human rights defenders such as Irfan Mehraj should be encouraged and protected, not persecuted. He must be immediately released. The repression must stop. Criminalization of legitimate human rights work is extremely alarming and the authorities must put an end to this immediately,” Patel said.

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