India’s anti-terrorism agency, the National Investigation Agency (NIA), on Monday night arrested human rights activist Khurram Pervaiz, in the Occupied Jammu and Kashmir region under a stringent anti-terrorism law.
The NIC raided Parvez’s residence and office in Srinagar, according to his wife Sameena Mir.
Parvez has been arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, on charges of raising funds for terrorist activities. This particular law allows authorities to jail people for three months without formally filing charges and the duration may be extended.
The arresting agency took into possession Pervez’s personal belongings, including books, a laptop, and his cell phone.
Parvez was also arrested in 2016 when he was leaving to attend the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva where he was going to address rights violations in Occupied Kashmir. He was later released on the orders of a court that termed the arrest as illegal.
International human rights groups have expressed concern over Parvez’s arrest and have called for his immediate release. U.N. Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders Mary Lawlor, in a tweet, said, “He’s not a terrorist, he’s a Human Rights Defender”.
Parvez is the program coordinator for the Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society, which investigates human rights abuses in IIOJK.
The arrest comes amid a week of heightened crackdown in the occupied valley. Last week two businessmen were killed by Indian security forces which led to enraged demonstrations. Mehbooba Mufti, former chief minister of IIOJK, accused the security forces of using the two men as human shields in their cross fire with alleged militants.