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Tuesday May 11 2021
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Protesters in Brussels express solidarity with oppressed Kashmiris

Protesters chant slogans in support of oppressed Kashmiris, in Brussels, on May 11, 2021. — Photo by author

BRUSSELS: A demonstration was held in Brussels, the European Union Headquarters, in order to express solidarity with the oppressed people of occupied Jammu and Kashmir, including Kashmiri prisoners illegally detained in Indian jails witnessing a rapid spread of COVID-19.

The gathering was organised by Kashmir Council Europe (KC-EU) in front of European institutions at Place Schuman in the Belgium capital on Tuesday.

The demonstrators, wearing masks, stood in accordance with social distance norms as outlined for the coronavirus pandemic.

Holding Kashmiri flags, banners and placards bearing slogans, they called for an end to the atrocities in occupied Kashmir and immediate release of all Kashmiri prisoners in Indian jails including Shabbir Shah, Yasin Malik, Mussarat Alim, Asia Andrabi, Ayaz Akbar and Farooq Dar.

On the occasion, KC-EU Chairman Ali Raza Syed said that as coronavirus spreads in Indian jails, including Tihar prison, threats to the lives of  Kashmiri prisoners have increased and their immediate release is essential to the safety of their lives.

He also condemned the recent martyrdom of veteran Kashmir figure Ashraf Sehrai who died in hospital due to the denial of immediate necessary medical treatment by Indian jail authorities.

The KC EU chairman said there should be an independent investigation concerning the sudden death of Sehrai after being kept in illegal Indian detention.

The protesters also called upon the international community, including European Union and the United Nations, to take immediate notice of the worst human rights situation in the occupied territory and as well the poor conditions of Kashmiri prisoners in Indian jails.

They said international bodies should pressurise India for an end to the atrocities in occupied Kashmir and release of Kashmiris from Indian jails.