United States House of Representatives or United State Senate
Dear Representative/Senator/ Member of Parliament ______________:
As a constituent, a concerned citizen, and member of the Kashmiri American (or Australian/ British/ Canadian etc) community, I am attaching a copy of an extremely disturbing report regarding past and present use of torture by the Indian Army in Indian Administered Kashmir. The comprehensive report prepared by a prominent civil society group (JKCCS) and released on Monday shows how India has been using torture as a “matter of policy” and “instrument of control” in Kashmir, where rebels have been fighting against Indian rule since 1989.
Torture is the most under-reported human rights violation perpetrated by the Indian state in the disputed region, but due to legal, political and moral impunity extended to the armed forces, not a single prosecution has taken place in any case of human rights violations. The new report includes 432 case studies involving torture and maps trends and patterns, targets, perpetrators, locations and other details. The cases include 293 civilians and 119 militants, among others, and 27 were minors when they were tortured. The report says 40 people among those later died due to various injuries inflicted due to torture. It also criticizes Indian troops for firing shotgun pellets against protesters, and blinding and maiming hundreds of people, including children.
The report recommends an investigation be led by the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. It also urges India to ratify the U.N. Convention against torture and also allow global rights groups “unhindered access” to Kashmir. Last year, the U.N. in its first report on Kashmir called for an independent international investigation into reports of rights violations like rape, torture and extrajudicial killings in the region.
Much global attention and condemnation of torture followed exposés of torture practiced in Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib prisons and other places, but the use of torture remains hidden in Kashmir, where tens of thousands of civilians have been subjected to it. Despite the UN and relevant committees dealing with human rights finally taking note of the issue, they cannot or will not take more effective action without pressure from member states. I therefore ask you to take note of the most recent findings and kindly take a stand at the earliest.
Thank you for your attention to this pressing matter.