International human rights watchdog, United Nations has said that it hopes that human rights officials negotiations with India for access to the disputed state, which is currently under lockdown, “can move forward”, UN Associate Spokesperson Eri Kaneko said.
“We are aware that our human rights colleagues are in touch at various levels with the Indian government,” Kaneko said while briefing reporters at the UN headquarters. “So, we would hope that these contacts would continue for, to allow for access.
The spokesperson’s remarks came after being asked whether efforts were underway to pressure India to agree to the request made by UN Human Rights High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet to allow a “humanitarian team” to visit the valley. “We hope that, in light of the current situation, these negotiations can move forward to allow for access,” Kaneko added.
Earlier UN human rights experts called on the Government of India to end the crackdown on freedom of expression, access to information and peaceful protests imposed in Indian occupied Kashmir this month. The experts expressed concern that the measures, imposed after the Indian Parliament revoked the Constitutionally-mandated status of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, would exacerbate tensions in the region.
Reports have described a near total communications blackout in Jammu and Kashmir since the evening of 4 August, with internet access, mobile phone networks, and cable and Kashmiri television channels cut off.
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