Police in Indian-administered Kashmir have arrested a prominent human rights activist, a day after he was barred from travelling to Switzerland to participate in a session of the UN Human Rights Council.
Khurram Parvez, the chairman of Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances, was arrested at his home in Srinagar, the capital of Jammu and Kashmir state, late on Thursday, police said.
On Wednesday, immigration officials at New Delhi’s international airport barred Parvez from boarding a plane to Geneva even though he had a valid visa and letter of invitation from the UN body.
Authorities “told [Pervez] that due to orders from the Intelligence Bureau, he cannot travel to Geneva”, Parvez Imroz, the president of the Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society, said in a statement.
On 64th day of civil uprising, India succeeded in killing 2 more Kashmiris but has failed to kill the demand for FREEDOM.
— Khurram Parvez (@KhurramParvez) September 10, 2016
“It appears that Khurram Parvez is not being allowed to travel because he has been highlighting violations of human rights.”
Parvez’s arrest comes as the divided Himalayan region is in the midst of some of most widespread anti-India protests in recent years.
Thousands of people have been protesting against Indian rule in Kashmir almost daily since the killing of a young separatist commander in a gun battle with Indian soldiers on July 8.
Since then, at least 82 people have been killed and more than 11,000 wounded, including more than 100 blinded by pellet injuries.
Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since the two gained independence from British rule in 1947. Both claim the territory in full.
Several separatist groups have for decades fought Indian soldiers – currently numbering around 500,000 deployed in the territory – demanding independence for the region or its merger with Pakistan.
Tens of thousands of people, mostly civilians, have died in the fighting.