Immediately Release Activist Khurram Parvez! Give protection to human rights defenders, including from arbitrary detention!

The Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS) – the human rights non-governmental organization, based in Jakarta Indonesia – would like to express strong concern and solidarity regarding the arbitrary arrest of Khurram Parvez by the National Intelligence of Agency of India.

The arbitrary arrest happened after NIA raided his residence and office in Srinagar in connection with a case filed under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), including terror funding. The arbitrary arrest also happened before Parvez attended Democracy Summit in the United States. This event also happened in 2016. Police officers came to Parvez’s home in Srinagar in Indian-administered Kashmir, arrested him without presenting a warrant, and took him to the Kothi Bagh police station, where he remains in arbitrary detention.

Parvez is the Chairperson of the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD) and Program Coordinator of the Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS). Mr. Parvez has consistently highlighted violations of human rights taking place in India, notably in Jammu and Kashmir.

Arbitrary detention is a violation of the right to liberty. It is defined as the arrest and deprivation of liberty of a person outside of the confines of nationally recognized laws or international standards. Arbitrarily depriving an individual of their liberty is prohibited by the United Nations’ division for human rights. Article 9 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights decrees that “no one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile” No individual, regardless of circumstances, is to be deprived of their liberty without having first committed an actual criminal offense against a legal statute, and the government cannot deprive an individual of their liberty without proper due process of law. As well, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights specifies the protection from arbitrary arrest and detention by Article 9.

The Declaration on human rights defenders was adopted by consensus by the General Assembly in 1998. The declaration Identifies human rights defenders as individuals or groups who act to promote, protect or strive for the protection and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms through peaceful means. Whereas the Declaration is not a legally binding instrument, it contains principles and rights that are based on human rights standards enshrined in other legally binding international instruments that are legally binding. Moreover, the adoption of the Declaration by the General Assembly by consensus represents a very strong commitment by States to its implementation.

Thus, based on our report above, we would like to deliver several recommendations to:

  1. The Government of India shall end the intimidation and threats to human rights defenders and the people that express their opinion, in which freedom of opinion and expression is a basic human right that is guaranteed and protected under international law.
  2. The National Investigation Agency of India shall immediately and unconditionally release him, and allow him to continue to conduct his legitimate human rights work without hindrance or reprisal.
  3. The United States Government shall insist India to comply with its human rights obligations, notably the provisions of the 1998 UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, which underscores the right of human rights defenders to freely and peacefully engage in their work and be protected from reprisals for having exercised this right;
  4. The United States Government shall insist the Indian Government to release Khurram Parvez immediately and;
  5. The United States Government shall give Khurram Parvez protection abroad if Parvez attends Democracy Summit.

Jakarta, November 25, 2021 

Fatia Maulidiyanti
Executive Coordinator

Contact Person: Mr. Adelwin Airel Anwar, International Advocacy Division, KontraS. (