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Photo from aljezeera.com, Taken by: Anthony Kwan, Getty Images

On January 6, 2021, Hong Kong police, acting for the Chinese government, arrested at least 53 pro-democracy Hongkongers for the alleged crime of “subversion.” These arrests were pursuant to “national security” legislation which was imposed by fiat on Hong Kong by the Chinese government. Those arrested were accused of organizing to participate in legislative elections and included politicians, academics, researchers, labor organizers, advocates of social justice for marginalized communities.

Kashmiris have struggled for democratic and human rights for over seven decades. We too have been denied our right to organize and enjoy meaningful representative governance. We too have suffered mass illegal imprisonment and silencing under “national security” laws imposed by fiat. …


Budgam, Indian-occupied Kashmir

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Zooni Begum at her village in central Kashmir’s Budgam (Photo Credit: Stand with Kashmir).

At 108, Zooni Begum is the oldest person in her village of Zilsidora, Jabbad, hidden in the vast jungle of central Kashmir’s Budgam district.

Once the bumpy road ends, visitors must trek by foot another four kilometers to the village. Tall pine trees and snowy mounts dot the landscape. Amid the harsh climate, Zooni Begum’s deep wrinkles fold with worry.

The Jammu and Kashmir Forest Department recently issued a notice for Zooni to vacate her home, calling her family “unauthorized occupants of the forest land.” Dressed in a traditional pheran cloak and a green woolen scarf, on her head and shoulders, she is restless and anxious. …


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Photo Credit: Vice

Srinagar, Indian-occupied Kashmir

A recent advertisement in a local Kashmiri newspaper left readers shocked: A young man was selling his kidneys.

Sabzar Ahmad Khan, 28, a resident of Nussu village in the Qazigund area of southern Indian-occupied Kashmir, faces a 90 lakh-rupee debt (about $120,000 USD). Khan’s business suffered from the multiple lockdowns the Kashmir valley has endured the past year. He didn’t know what else to do.

“I want to sell my kidney because I have lost everything,” Khan said in the ad appearing in a newspaper in Kashmir’s capital, Srinagar. …


Pahalgam, Indian Occupied Kashmir

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Abdul Aziz Khatana, 37, standing outside his demolished house in Lidora village in Pahalgam. (Photo: Stand with Kashmir)

Tucked in the forests of the tourist hill station of Pahalgam, a few hours southeast of Kashmir’s capital, lies the village of Wangidaru-Lidoora. For decades, Abdul Aziz Khatana and his nomadic ancestors have called this picturesque place home. Except now, his home is gone.

At the end of a curving mountain road, tall pines surround the mud huts dotting the steep Himalayan slopes. About 100 families from the Muslim nomadic people known as Gujjar- Bakerwals reside in the village. Two weeks ago, however, government officials demolished the huts of nine families, including Khatana’s.

“For years, no one touched us,” Khatana, 37, says. “This is our home and we are supposed to be here.”

Khatana and other villagers described their shock at witnessing more than 400 officials from multiple government agencies, including the Forest Department, arrive in the village with police and then raze the huts. Officials told the Gujjar community that they were being evicted from “illegally occupied forestlands,” villagers say. This move comes a year after the Indian government abrogated Article 370 of the Indian constitution, which gave exclusive citizenship rights to the permanent residents in Jammu and Kashmir and barred outsiders from buying property and land in the region. …


Srinagar, Indian-occupied Kashmir

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Abid Mir, 18, who was shot in the head by the Indian army on November 5. (Photo Credit: Stand with Kashmir).

On November 5, Abid Mir, 18, a milkman, left his home in Meej village of Pampore for the routine collection of milk in the village that was to be delivered to his customers the next morning. The Indian army hit him with a bullet in his head near his house and he died after 18 hours of his injury. His mother Naseema Mir, 45, talked to SWK about the loss of her son at the hands of Indian-armed forces.

During the gunfight that had ensued in the neighborhood of Meej, two armed rebels were killed and two civilians, including Abid, were critically wounded. While Abid succumbed to his injuries, another civilian is still battling for his life. …


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Photo Credit: Stand with Kashmir

Srinagar, Indian-Occupied Kashmir

Indian forces killed a 45-year-old, Kousar Riyaz, in Kashmir when she was going to her shop during the dawn time on Wednesday. Kousar was a baker in Srinagar’s Firdous Abad Batamaloo locality where she owned a bakery shop and sold freshly baked bread to residents in the locality. Her son, Aqib Riyaz, 24, saw his mother being killed with a volley of bullets in the darkness.

SWK spoke to him about the tragedy and shock as the family mourn her killing.


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A mourner was detained by Indian forces in Lal Chowk, Srinagar, during Muharram processions. Photo by Zia Shakeel.

Srinagar, Indian-Occupied Kashmir

On Saturday August 29th, Indian forces targeted hundreds of Shia Muslim mourners with pellet shotguns and tear-gas shells, hitting their eyes, face, arms and other parts of their bodies for taking out a religious procession on Ashura, a holy day for Shia Muslims around the world. The pictures and videos of people with blood oozing from their eyes and faces shared on social media depicted the brutality of the action by Indian forces in the Bemina and Zadibal locality of Srinagar on Saturday. …


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Image from Swarajaya

Kashmir’s lakes and rivers, especially the waters of the Indus River system, make up part of the stunning backdrop to the diverse indigenous peoples and wildlife who call Kashmir home. For Kashmir’s settler colonial occupiers, however, wielding control over Kashmir’s rivers is yet another way to cement their control over the region, to steer water flows against rival Pakistan, and to displace indigenous people and their systems of knowledge. We must center the needs of Kashmiris to utilize water over Indian attempts to extract water and use water for geopolitical gains.


The Indian government has made a series of ‘claims’ about all the progress it has made in occupied Kashmir since August 2019. Here, we look at some of their claims, and unpack each one.

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A Kashmiri farmer shows a pile of rotten apples inside his orchard after India’s brutal lockdown that resulted in over $5.3bil economic loss. Credit: Dar Yasin (Associated Press) from LA Times

Claim: All Permanent Resident Certificate (PRC) holders are automatically eligible for Domicile Certificate.

Reality: There was no need for Domicile Certificates because Kashmir already had a well-established system of PRCs. PRCs were based on historical claims of state subjecthood in Kashmir and protected the ecologically fragile region from a rapid influx of land sharks and mining companies from the outside. It remains unclear how indigenous Kashmiris who may not have their PRC will be able to obtain the domicile certificate. …


Srinagar, Indian-Occupied Kashmir

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Credit: Indian Express

Ahmad, a resident of Srinagar, who did not want to be identified with his first name, fears to talk about the situation in Kashmir on social media. Instead, he says he discusses tomatoes, eggplants, and the weather on Twitter as the police have started to crackdown on social media users found criticizing the Indian government’s oppressive policies in the occupied territory.

The Indian government has already placed a ban on expressing opposition to the government’s controversial moves such as the abrogation of Article 370, mass arrests, silencing of journalists, and plans for demographic change. More recently, for the past two weeks, the cyber police in Kashmir have summoned a number of social media users who were countering government propaganda and highlighting the realities on the ground. Many of their accounts have now disappeared from Twitter and other social media outlets. Police have said that they are investigating 300 Twitter handles in Kashmir.

“We have been receiving complaints of online harassment, cyber bullying, blackmailing, and profanity besides threats by anonymous social media handles. Process of identification of such handles is initiated, legal action will follow,” the cyber police said in a statement. …

About

Stand with Kashmir

SWK is a Kashmiri diaspora-led international solidarity movement that seeks to end the Indian occupation and support the right to self-determination.

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