SRINAGAR – The people of Kashmir have been silenced and subjected to human rights abuses during the Indian government’s “illegal occupation” of the region over the past two years and many have gone missing after posting about the situation, according to an activist campaigning for Kashmiris.
Speaking to Salaamedia, the co-founder of Let Kashmir Decide, Claire Bidwell, said the Indian government has silenced the Kashmiri people. Bidwell claimed even her own social media pages have been hidden in India.
“Sadly, it’s things like, on my level, my YouTube is not welcomed anymore in India. It’s been banned, my Facebook. Working backwards we’ve now seen them arresting human rights defenders. Back to that it’s the media. Anybody that is standing up. Amnesty was closed down. Political leaders are in prison. Now we hardly see any local people from Indian occupied Kashmir on social media because they actually being arrested now for their post,” she said.
Bidwell further claimed that those who are arrested are not only being confined, but are also suffering from mental and physical abuse while they are in prison.
“We’ve heard stories, the evidence of these political leaders and prisoners that are in jail, the way they being abused, the way they being treated, its not just a case that they are confined day after day. They are suffering abuse and being tortured.”
Bidwell said that until they get the troops out and the political prisoners free, she will continue to inform people about the plight of the Kashmiris. She does this by hosting a solidarity event every month.
“Every 5th of every month, we are doing a solidarity event where people will upload their photographs or evidence of what is happening, show their support, tell their stories [and] share it out on social media.”
Inayet Wadee spoke to Claire Bidwell, co-founder of Let Kashmir Decide. Listen to the full discussion here: