Kashmir Twitterati demand Release of Prisoners
In view of the Coronavirus pandemic, there has been a global demand by various individuals and organisations across the world for the release of prisoners to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Experts have raised concerns regarding the condition of prisoners in jails. Generally lacking in hygienic and basic facilities, overcrowding of jails might make the inmates more vulnerable to Coronavirus.”Unless government officials act now, the novel coronavirus will spread rapidly in our jails and prisons, endangering not only prisoners and correction workers but general public as well” wrote Josiah Rich in The Washington Post.
“People who live in congregate settings, including detainees and prisoners, are at risk of acquiring this infection, ” said Dr Robert Greifinger to Al Jazeera.
Acting upon the expert opinions, countries like Iran, US and Turkey have already started the process of releasing the detainees as a part of their Coronavirus containing program. However, no such development has been reported in many South Asian countries like India, Pakistan and Bangladesh so far.
Post 5th August, when Indian authorities revoked the special status of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, fearing an uprising from the population hundreds of people belonging to different age groups were detained and lodged in different jails in and outside the valley. Social media users from various backgrounds, including the relatives of detainees and journalists, took to Twitter to raise their concerns over the plight of detainees, demanding their immediate release by using the hashtag #ReleaseKahsmiriPrisoners
“Spare a thought for those whose family members are locked in jails, both outside and in Kashmir. Ever wondered how they spend their nights? reads a tweet
No sound on the highway outside. The silence is scary. Thank Allah, we are safe in our homes. But spare a thought for those whose family members are locked in jails, both outside and in #Kashmir. Ever wondered how they spend nights? #ReleaseKashmiriPrisoners
— Shams Irfan (@ShamsIrfan27) March 21, 2020
“The families of kashmiris detainees, languishing in Indian Jails, are wrought with fear and apprehension as their loved ones are vulnerable to covid-19 in cloistered and unhygienic conditions” reads another tweet.
The families of Kashmiri detainees, languishing in Indian jails, are wrought with fear and apprehension as their loved ones are more vulnerable to #COVIDー19 in cloistered and unhygienic conditions. #ReleaseKashmiriPrisoners
— Seema. (@Ceema_B) March 21, 2020
Narrating the ordeal of a daughter of daily wage labourer, Sami Jan, whose brother has been lodged in UP has appealed the authorities to shift him back to Srinagar , a user tweeted.
#ReleaseKashmiriPrisoners: Sami Jan, daughter of a daily wage labourer and whose brother, Faiz Ahmad Lone, is in a prison in UP has been appealing to the government to shift her sibling back to Srinagar Central Jail. pic.twitter.com/uKtnb8bFLU
— Durdana Bhat (@_Durdana) March 21, 2020
“#ReleaseKashmiriPrisoners is a genuine demand. New Delhi must heed to it” demanded another user
— Baba Umar (@BabaUmarr) March 22, 2020
“While we are sitting comfortably at our homes.Heart goes out to hundreds of kashmiris detained in different jails in india”, reads another tweet
While we are sitting comfortably at our homes. Heart goes out to hundreds of #Kashmir’s detained in different jails in #india. Most of these are young boys who haven’t seen their families since months now. What about the health of these people? #ReleaseKashmiriPrisoners #COVID19
— Raihana Maqbool ریحانہ (@RaihanaMaqbool) March 21, 2020
Son of an incarcerated leader ,narrating his personal story tweeted
"Why can’t we have a normal life!" I shouted at my incarcerated father this one time.
My father, with an air of calmness, told me that our life was as normal as it could get. I thought he was indifferent. I left the meeting room, furious. #ReleaseKashmiriPrisoners
— Ahmed Bin Qasim (@Aahmedbq) March 21, 2020
“Journalist Asif sultan is languishing in central Jail since 27 August 2018.Married just few months earlier, now he is a father to a daughter who barely recognizes him. We are concerned for his health and of all other political prisoners” read another tweet
#Journalist Asif Sultan is languishing in Central Jail Sgr since 27 August 2018. Married just few months earlier. Now he is father to a daughter who barely recognises him. We are concerned for his health and of all other political prisoners. #ReleaseKashmiriPrisoners #Covid_19 pic.twitter.com/tAiC44fXZH
— The Professor (@malkinmout) March 21, 2020
“Ruheel bhat of Dachnipora Anantnag has been languishing in Jail outside the valley for about a year. His family is longing for him”, tweeted another user
Ruheel Bhat, a young reverent teenager hailing from Dachnipora belt of Anantnag has been languishing in jail outside the erstwhile state of J&K for about a year. Has been arrested prior to Aug 5 2019. Release him, his family is longing for him. #ReleaseKashmiriPrisoners pic.twitter.com/li58zPEb9l
— Inayat Athar (@inayat_athar) March 21, 2020
The accounts of various other political prisoners notably Asiya Andrabi, Ashiq Hussain (Dr Qasim), Sarjan Barkati, Adv.Zahid Ali, Shabir Shah, Sheikh Imran, Sofi Fehmeeda, Nazir Ahmad Sheikh, Dr Hameed Fayaz, Dr Mohd Shafi Khan, Nahida Nasreen, Ghulam Qadir Bhat were narrated.
Thousands of Kashmiri political prisoners are languishing in Indian jails for the 'crime' of demanding their UN-mandated right to self-determination.
— Zeeshan Khan (@IbnKhayyam) March 21, 2020
Few more tweets here
— Mudasir Ali Lone (@aleemudasir) March 22, 2020
— Mudasir Nazar ☪ (@NashateSania) March 22, 2020
— Samiya Latief (@Samiyalatief) March 21, 2020
آرٹیکل 370 کی منسوخی سے پہلے اور بعد میں کہی لوگوں کو پابند سلاسل کیا گیا تھا۔ کہیوں کے بارے میں کہا گیا تھا احتياطن اٹھایا جارہا ہے لیکن وہ دن اور یہ دن ابھی تک اُن کو رہا نہیں کیا گیا۔ اس جان لیوا واٸیرس سے اُن کو خطرہ لاحق ہے اسلۓ اُن کو رہا کیا جاۓ۔#ReleaseKashmiriPrisoners
— Darvesh (@Koozager) March 21, 2020
Our chacha from redwani, Kulgoam has been jailed since 2016 now. He is our voice. We can not afford to lose him to the pandemic. Demand his release. He is old and fragile and we need to get him to safety immediately. #ReleaseKashmiriPrisoners #Covid_19
— ain saad (@aaayeeeenn) March 21, 2020
The arbitrary detention of several Kashmiri ppl in both Indian and Kashmiri jails is a glaring example of India's ugly presence in Kashmir. Their continued detention in over-crowded Indian Jails, amidst this crisis, puts them in great danger. #ReleaseKashmiriPrisoners
— Suaid Ahmad (@SuaidAhmad) March 22, 2020
As #CoronavirusPandemic is a global emergency for all of us right now, we cannot imagine the condition of Kashmir's political prisoners across Indian prisons. Please highlight across your networks. #ReleaseKashmiriPrisoners @KarakMufti @GieGoris @MCKashKashmir @MalikSajad https://t.co/qz5t0ZqXY3
— s mariam (@humaniteaspoon) March 21, 2020
— ain saad (@aaayeeeenn) March 21, 2020
From M Mushtaq Veeri to Sarjan Barkati, from Dr. Abdul Hamid Fayaz to Mufti Aashiq, from Journalist Aasif Sultan to Qazi Shibli, from minors to 80 year old we demand the immediate release of all political prisoners on humanitarian matters.
— SA-🌱 (@ShayadHartal) March 21, 2020