PRESS RELEASE: SWI-Unit calls for arrest of Indian government officials for war crimes in Kashmir

SWI-Editorial

19 Jan 2022

LONDON, 19th January: A legal appeal for the arrest of two Indian government officials under the Universal Jurisdiction principle has been made to London’s Metropolitan Police, following the release of a report which accuses the individuals of war crimes against Kashmiri Muslims.



LONDON, 19th January: A legal appeal for the arrest of two Indian government officials under the Universal Jurisdiction principle has been made to London’s Metropolitan Police, following the release of a report which accuses the individuals of war crimes against Kashmiri Muslims.

Chief of the Army Staff General Manoj Mukund Naravane, and Minister of Home Affairs Amit Anil Chandra Shah, could be liable for arrest by the Metropolitan Police’s War Crimes Unit after a ground-breaking 41-page report1 by the Stoke White Investigations Unit2 on alleged war crimes in Jammu and Kashmir.

Based on 2000 testimonies taken over the past year, the report presents new evidence of how Indian security forces, headed by Naravane and Shah, have been responsible for the torture, kidnapping and extrajudicial killing of activists, journalists, and other innocent civilians, particularly targeting Muslims in the region.

Stoke White filed evidence to the Met with particular focus on the detention-without charge for 18 years of Zia Mustapha. Mustapha was arrested at the age of 15, and after 18 years detention without any credible charges, killed in an extrajudicial killing.


Evidence was also submitted that focuses on the torture of human rights campaigner Muhammad Ahsan Untoo. The report indicates that the violations in question increased under the Global War on Terror (GWOT) and the Covid-19 pandemic.

The report also presents detailed evidence to attest that Israeli security personnel have been present during, and themselves been responsible for, interrogations whose methods fall under the legal definition of torture. This is the subject of ongoing investigation by the SWI unit.

Khalil Dewan, author of the report and head of the SWI unit, said:

“This report is dedicated to the families who have lost loved ones without a trace, and who experience daily threats when trying to attain justice. Although Indian authorities have on occasion offered compensation, this has only arrived as a bid to silence families – the time has now come for victims to seek justice through other avenues, via a firmer application of international law.
“The systematic nature of war crimes conducted by Indian authorities against Kashmiri Muslims has been documented, but this report brings forward new evidence of complicity between Delhi and Tel Aviv within a broader context of security policies and rhetoric invoked by the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT). This complicity has not been exposed in such detail before, and our data is growing.”

Hakan Camuz, director of Stoke White, said:

“The fact that Kashmiri Muslims have only international law to turn to after decades of seeking justice in their own country and only being subjected to further violence for doing so, means Stoke White must begin the process of justice on their behalf, in a country that we understand respects the rule of law.”
“The application to the UK Met Police’s war crimes unit is a launchpad to investigate prime minister Narendra Modi’s government ministers for war crimes. It should also be seen as the start of a broader legal action on the enabling environment created by the GWOT internationally, which has seen minors incarcerated and journalists and lawyers silenced under the blanket of ‘countering terrorism’, with no legal challenge.”
“We hope this is the start of genuine justice for survivors of war crimes, and a firming up of the international legal landscape so that perpetrators are apprehended according to their crimes, no matter who they may be. The world can no longer be bystanders, to India’s crimes and impunity”.

ENDS