While some limited movement is allowed, the communications blockade remains in effect. The consequences of shutting down phone and internet services are now manifest as a massive health crisis. Patient mortality is increasing rapidly in hospitals. In one case, a miscarriage occurred because a senior gynecologist could not be summoned in time to the ward via emergency telephone.
A Kashmiri doctor who spoke to BBC Hindi about how the internet shutdown prevents cancer and dialysis treatment, especially for lower-income patients, since all medical records are online, was arrested and dragged away by Indian troops while on camera.
Indian hospital authorities are refusing to issue death certificates in order to minimize the casualty count.
These actions of the Indian government constitute genocide and crimes against humanity as defined by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. While India is not a signatory to the ICC, these legal standards have become part of customary international law and are applicable to all states. These crimes must be accounted for before an international criminal tribunal on Kashmir.
In Kashmiri neighborhoods, people observe a shutdown as a form of civil disobedience. During the day soldiers go from door to door with leaflets explaining the benefits of the annexation. They return after midnight to arrest young children, in the 8-11 age group. Journalists are also being arrested and disappeared.
The numbers of those killed and injured during protests is rising. There have been over 500 protests. Curfew relaxations are arbitrary and can be suspended any time, leaving people trapped away from home. There are reports of children being picked up when they go outside during curfew relaxation.
Indian media and real estate companies continue to celebrate the annexation and give advice on how to buy land in Kashmir. This is in direct contravention of international law which recognizes Kashmir as a disputed territory and bars India from making any unilateral change in the legal, constitutional, and political status and rights of residents of the disputed territory.
August 28, 2019
The Wall Street Journal (280819): India’s Kashmir Clampdown Turns Hospitals Into ‘Graveyards’
TRT World (280819): 500 incidents of protests, hundreds injured in Kashmir lockdown: Sources
August 27, 2019
“Ghosts of Kashmir: Indian authorities refusing to issue death certificates for civilians killed in clashes, say families” The Independent UK, August 27, 2019
“Kashmiri doctor arrested after warning blackout could cause deaths” The Telegraph UK, August 27, 2019
“Our editor has been arrested, please help us find him” The Kashmiriyat, August 27, 2019
“When even a 12-year-old buying bread in Kashmir gets detained in police sweep” TheScroll.in, August 27, 2019
Essential services not active or reachable in Kashmir TheWire.in, August 27, 2019
“Everything turned to ashes.” In Kashmir, an entire house was engulfed in flames in the middle of the night. The family tried to reach the fire services, but because of the shutdown of communication services, their efforts were unsuccessful.
“’Some News Is Best Not Reported’: Press Council Chairman Defends Position On Kashmir Communication Blackout” Huffpost India August 27, 2019
August 26, 2019
“Indian order leaves Kashmir police dispirited, even disarmed” AP August 26, 2019
“How Children Are Being ‘Picked Up’ in Night Raids Across Kashmir” Aditya Menon in The Quint, August 26, 2019
“In Srinagar lockdown, how a reporter got news of his sister’s miscarriage” Indian Express, August 26, 2019
August 24-25, 2019
“Injured, pregnant Kashmiris cut off from emergency aid as phone lines go dead in Modi’s communications blackout” Fahad Shah in South China Morning Post, August 25, 2019
UN hopes negotiations for humanitarian access to Kashmir goes forward The Khaleej Times, August 24, 2019
EDITORIALS, COMMENTARY AND FEATURES
“How Modi, Shah Brought Kashmir to Global Centre-Stage” Aijaz Zaka Syed in The Caravan, August 27, 2019
“Governments around the world with their strategic economic interests may choose to ignore what is happening in Kashmir. But they cannot ignore the global public opinion, including their own, forever.
On Tuesday, a number of US lawmakers, including Congressman Adam Smith, Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, called India’s US ambassador to express their concern over the situation, urging India to immediately lift curbs on Kashmiris. “There are legitimate concerns about the ongoing communications blackouts, increased militarisation of the region, and enforcement of curfews,” Smith told the Indian envoy.”
“Kashmir and the Fire This Time” New York Times, August 26, 2019
STATEMENTS AND INTERVIEWS
Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) “Very concerned about the situation in Kashmir, particularly the ongoing communications blackout. Have heard from constituents cut off from their families who are worried about what will happen to them. Despite the blackout, the world is watching.”
Interview with David Kaye, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression, Caravan Daily, August 28, 2019 “Curbs on Communications in Kashmir not Consistent with International Law: UN Special Rapporteur”
Kashmiri cartoonists are back