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Kashmir mass grave allegations must be investigated, say MEPs

July 10, 2008 3:00 PM

The Indian authorities must thoroughly investigate alleged Kashmiri mass grave sites uncovered in a recent report, MEPs have said in a strongly worded resolution adopted today.

Liberal Democrat MEP Liz Lynne (ALDE, UK) is a member of the European Parliament's Delegation for Relations with the Countries of South Asia and the Human Rights Subcommittee and has campaigned for many years on the rights of the Kashmiri people. She co-authored today's resolution and ensured it mentioned the case of a recent alleged attack on Parvez Imroz, founder of the Association for Parents of Disappeared Persons, APDP, who detailed the mass grave sites in a recent report.

Speaking after the vote, Liz Lynne said:

"The mass grave claims in the Amnesty-backed report are horrific as are the allegations of attacks on Parvez Imroz. If as the report claims, 8000 people have gone missing since 1989, no stone should be left unturned trying to establish what crimes were committed and to punish the perpetrators.

"The Indian authorities must fully cooperate in this process if they are to gain any credibility in the eyes of local people. This includes granting access to restricted sites near the Line of Control and India's government ratifying and implementing the UN Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, without reservations.

"The EU for its part needs to offer financial and technical assistance for investigating the mass grave allegations, for which a full and comprehensive report may prove a turning point in this tragic conflict."

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

Text of the resolution adopted by the European parliament today: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=MOTION&language=EN&reference=B6-2008-0349

A report in March by the Srinagar-based Association of the Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) detailed the existence of graves, which because of their proximity to the Line of Control are not accessible without Indian Army permission. The report claims over 8000 people have gone missing in Jammu and Kashmir since 1989.

Liz Lynne MEP is a member of the European Parliament's Delegation for Relations with the Countries of South Asia and a member of the Human Rights Subcommittee. She has for many years campaigned for a peaceful solution to the Kashmiri conflict, and the right to self-determination of the Kashmiri people. This has involved speaking in Parliament and in seminars, meeting senior politicians from the region and contributing to parliamentary reports on the issue.