//Kashmiri detainees in Tihar facing abuse, torture

Kashmiri detainees in Tihar facing abuse, torture

J&K Bar Association members to submit report on status of prisoners to rights groups

SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association on Saturday said Kashmiri detainees at Delhi’s Tihar jail had narrated tales of "abuse, torture and humiliation."

At a news conference here, the Association members who had visited Tihar Jail claimed that the Kashmiri detainees suffered "sexual abuse and mental torture." Bar president Mian Abdul Qayoom, who headed the five-member team, said the detainees they met narrated identical stories of "abuse, torture and humiliation."

"Kashmiri detainees are subjected to third degree torture, forcible sexual intercourse and are made to drink urine instead of water," Mr. Qayoom alleged that adding, "Some incidents are hard to narrate, the situation is worse than that of notorious Abu Ghraib." The team had visited Tihar and other jails after getting permission from the High Court. "We had filed a petition in this regard and Justice Nirmal Singh allowed us to visit jails in and outside the state," he said.

The team said it was not allowed to meet all the detainees in Tihar jail. They however met Sheikh Abdul Aziz, separatist leader; Mohammad Ahsan Untoo, human rights activist; Mohammad Afzal Guru, who was found guilty in the Parliament attack case of December 2001, and Zamrooda Habib, a separatist women leader. "There are ten jails inside the huge Tihar, we were allowed to meet some detainees in Jail 1, 2, 4 and 6. All of them (detainees) told us they were subjected to the worst kind of treatment, denied medical treatment and legal help," Mr. Qayoom said.

Expressing concern over the situation prevailing in the jails, the Bar president said the report drafted by the Association would be forwarded to international human rights organisations and the United Nations Secretary General Kofi Anan.