India: Abuses Persist in Jammu and Kashmir
Internet Restrictions Amid Pandemic Exacerbate Yearlong Crackdown
Monday 03 August 2020
(New York, August 4, 2020) – Indian authorities continue to impose harsh and discriminatory restrictions on Muslim-majority areas in Jammu and Kashmir, one year after the revocation of the state’s constitutional status on August 5, 2019, Human Rights Watch said today. The government’s unwarranted restraints on the rights to free speech, access to information, health care, and education have been intensified by the Covid-19 pandemic. On August 3, 2020, the authorities issued an order restricting movement for two days to prevent “violent protests” against last year’s decision to revoke constitutional autonomy.
Anticipating unrest after the government revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s autonomous constitutional status and split it into two federally governed territories, the Indian authorities imposed broad restrictions on freedom of movement, banned public meetings, shut down telecommunication services and educational institutions, and detained thousands of people. While in the months that followed the government eased some restrictions, hundreds of people remain detained without charge, critics are threatened with arrest, and access to the internet is limited.