Kashmir: Arrest of separatist leader causes uproar

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A Kashmiri separatist leader has been arrested in
Indian-administered Kashmir while leading a
peaceful demonstration.

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, from All Parties Hurriyet
Conference (APHC), was initially held in Nigeen
Police Station after being arrested in front of his
residence on Thursday, before he was transferred
to Chesma Shahi Sub-Jail on Friday, the APHC
said in a statement.

Local media reported that Mirwaiz Umar was taken
into custody for violating the terms of his house
arrest by trying to participate in a march to the
Martyrs Graveyard along with his supporters to pay
tribute and protest against the recent killings of
civilian Kashmiris.

Mirwaiz Umar has been under house arrest for
nearly two months for speaking out against “the
continuing violence and oppression by the Indian
Security Forces,” APHC spokesman Shahidul Islam
said in a statement.
“Speaking out against the Indian state’s violations
of basic human rights is not a crime, it’s heroism,”
Islam said.
“Especially when India demonises people on the
basis of their faith and ethnicity.”
APHC spokesman added that they demand Mirwaiz
Umar to be released immediately.
“We appeal to the International Community to
condemn the political detention of Mirwaiz Umar
and we demand his immediate release,” he said.

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Almost daily anti-India protests are taking place
in Indian-administered Kashmir after a popular
rebel commander was killed in a gun battle with
security forces

“Currently there is a siege going on in Kashmir,”
said Muzzammil Thakur, executive director for the
Kashmir Institute of International Affairs.
“Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has been detained
unnecessarily and illegally,” he told Al Jazeera. “He
is a popular leader who is working for Kashmir’s
prosperity.”
“We want him to be released immediately.”
Mirwaiz Umar’s arrest also caused uproar on
social media, with hundreds of people sharing their
anger about the incident under the hashtag #
freemirwaiz.

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