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Free Tanveer Ahmed (Azad Jammu and Kashmir) immediately

Free Tanveer Ahmed (Azad Jammu and Kashmir) immediately

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This petition has been created by Quayyam R. and may not represent the views of the Avaaz community.
Quayyam R.
started this petition to
Prime Minister, Pakistan, Minister for Law & Justice, Pakistan, Judiciary, Pakistan & AJK
To the Prime Minister of Pakistan,
To the Minister for Law and Justice of Pakistan,
To the Judiciary of Pakistan,
To the Judiciary of Azad Jammu and Kashmir,
To the general public opinion,

We, the undersigned,
we, the people of Kashmir,
we, the international community,
call for an immediate and unconditional release from prison of Tanveer Ahmed , a distinguished Kashmiri human rights and social activist, former BBC journalist and researcher. He is kept under arrest extra-judicially , without a sentence in Pakistan-administered Azad Jammu and Kashmir. He is deprived of justice and has been tortured under detention .

More information:
Tanveer Ahmed is a former BBC journalist and a Kashmiri citizen (Kashmiri State Subject). He was born in Kotli, where he also currently lives – in Pakistan-administered Jammu Kashmir, which is a neutral territory and is not a constitutional part of Pakistan. As a researcher and journalist, he has recently conducted a survey on public opinion on the future of Jammu Kashmir. Tanveer Ahmed was arrested and tortured by Pakistani agencies on several occasions in the past, but always acquitted after massive protests of the local population of Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
This time, Tanveer Ahmed was arrested on 21 August 2020, accused of removing a Pakistani flag from Maqbool Butt Shaheed Square in the town of Dadyaal in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, which is not a part of Pakistan under international law. The person of Maqbool Butt, hanged by India in 1984 for political reasons, is a symbol of national unity for many Kashmiris and the square commemorates him. In a provocative act, a Pakistani flag was hoisted at this particular square of symbolic importance just above Maqbool Butt’s picture in August 2020. This immediately led to massive outcry among the local population. The administration promised to remove the flag immediately, but never did that – under the pressure of Pakistani clandestine agencies. As a representative of the local population, Tanveer Ahmed removed the Pakistani flag that was hoisted on the non-Pakistani land of Kashmir. The flag of Pakistan is not the national flag of the State of Kashmir, and hence its removal did not violate any international law, or any rule or law of any country. However, the removal of the flag resulted in Tanveer Ahmed’s arrest, and since then he has unlawfully and indefinitely been held in prison, while his bail applications have been refused already thrice – each time for political rather than judicial reasons.
In the eyes of the local population, the imprisonment of Tanveer Ahmed is a provocative act of Pakistani government directed against the population of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, a symbol of the war on independent journalism and freedom of expression in Pakistan and Pakistan-administered territories.
The basic rights to freedom of speech, to dissent and self-determination and to distinct national identity are being denied.
We are gravely concerned by the repeated abrogation of international law, the disregard for basic human rights standards and the continued denial of the civil and political rights of the population of Pakistan-administered Jammu and Kashmir.

The undersigned:

• Piotr Balcerowicz (Professor & Chair of South Asia, University of Warsaw; [former] Professor, Institute of Indology and Tibetology, University of Munich)
• Noam Chomsky (Institute Professor (emeritus) MIT; Laureate Professor University of Arizona)
• Human Rights Commission of Pakistan
• Abdul H. Nayyar (Professor (emeritus) Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad)
• Pervez Hoodbhoy (Professor (emeritus) of nuclear and high energy physics, Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad)
• Nitasha Kaul (novelist; Associate Professor, Politics and International Relations, University of Westminster, London)
• Meem Hai Zaffar (writer, poet and educationist, professor, (Former) Director Institute of Kashmir Studies, University of Kashmir, J&K, India)
• Suvir Kaul (A.M. Rosenthal Professor, Department of English, University of Pennsylvania)
• Agnieszka Kuszewska (Associate Professor, Institute of the Middle and Far East, Jagiellonian University, Krakow)
• Shams Rehman (Presenter JK TV, UK)
• Mohammad Maroof (councillor, UK)
• Zahoor Ali (A member of British jury, Bradford UK)
• Anam Zakaria (writer, Canada)
• Javed Inayat (historian, USA)
• Khizar Hayat (human rights activist, Canada)
• Kabir Ahmed (journalist, JK TV, UK)
• Sardar Anwar (advocate / activist, temporarily in UAE)
• Babu Singh (former JK Minister, India-administered Kashmir)
• Hanif Raja (manager, Saudi Arabia)
• Abid Hashim (journalist, UK)
• Maqbool Ahmed (councillor, UK)
• Gulfraz Ahmad (Dr., Cadet College Paljandri, Azad Jammu Kashmir)
• Quayyam Raja (psychologist, independent columnist, founding president of the Kashmir International Solidarity and Peace Initiative, & The Free Tanveer Campaign coordinator, AJK)
• Younis Taryaby (writer, political activist, former vice-chairman Jammu Kashmir People's National Party IN AJK; The Free Tanveer Campaign)
• Mahboob Kakrvi (former editor of Kashnir Times, currently social media journalist, political activist in AJK; The Free Tanveer Campaign)
• Shaukat Jarral (political activist, member of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front in AJK; The Free Tanveer Campaign)
• Shahzad Rathore (editor of the daily Jammu Kashmir, Islamabad)
• Debbie Collins (independent therapist and punctuaist; UK)
• Mahmood Ali (Network Administrator, West Point company, Bahrain)

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Posted (Updated )