This emergency motion of solidarity with the Kashmiri people was passed at Leeds UCU’s General Meeting today. We are urging members who are able to attend the vigil for Kashmir in Bradford on Sunday 27 October, to go along to Centenary Square (Bradford). It runs 4-6.30pm. More details on [this Facebook page] (no account needed to view).
Leeds UCU condemns the recent decisions taken by the Indian government to revoke article 370 and 35A from the Indian constitution, meaning the special status previously granted to the state of Jammu and Kashmir was removed, with resultant significant loss of autonomy.
Leeds UCU notes:
- The Kashmiri people’s right to self-determination, granted by the Charter of the United Nations
- Multiple human rights violations were documented in the UN Human Rights Office report published in June 2018, which called for an international enquiry
- The recent deployment of 180,000 paramilitary troops to supplement the 700, 000 which were already present in the region makes Kashmir one of the world’s most intensely militarised areas
- Militarisation directly impacts upon human rights in the region, limiting freedom of association and movement, communication and expression
- Serious concerns about the increased risk of violence against women in militarised areas
- Curfew periods in Kashmir prevent many children from accessing education, and are reported to have prevented some pregnant women from accessing proper medical care
- Detention of children in police stations without their parent/carers or legal support
- Suppression of journalism, media, and communications which renders Kashmiri people unable to communicate with the outside world or to contact loved ones
- The unfolding crisis threatens to further damage relations between India and Pakistan
Leeds UCU resolves to lobby local MPs and representatives of the UK and EU governments to:
- Recognise the ongoing humanitarian crisis and rights abuses in Kashmir
- Support the Kashmiri people’s right to decide their future via the referendum they have sought for over 70 years
- Support the Kashmiri people and the states of India and Pakistan to work together in diplomatic dialogue for lasting peace where the human rights of all are respected and upheld
- Press for the freedom of speech, communication, and education to be restored in Kashmir: all communications blackout and curfews must be lifted.
- Act to compel British companies to cease trading in arms and arms components that could be used against the civilian population under occupation in Kashmir
- Insist that humanitarian aid organizations and international observers must seek to and be allowed to enter the region
Leeds UCU further resolves to support and publicise events connected to the international day of resistance, including the vigil for Kashmir in Bradford on Sunday 27 October, 4-6.30pm in Centenary Square.