BRUSSELS: Kashmiri rights activists staged a protest in front of the Indian Embassy here in the Belgian capital today, marking a year of continuous military lockdown in the occupied Muslim-majority territory.
The demonstration was organised by the Kashmir Council Europe (KC-EU) and the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) in collaboration with other socio-political organisations in Belgium.
It should be noted that the people of Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK) have been under a brutal and continuous military lockdown by India and facing a communications and media blackout since August last.
On August 5, 2019, the Modi administration had terminated the special status of occupied Kashmir under Articles 370 and 35A of the Indian constitution, scrapping the autonomy to the oppressed people of the Himalayan valley, violating international law and agreements, and restricting civil liberties.
A large number of Kashmiris and their Pakistani sympathisers, including women and children, joined the Brussels demonstration today to show solidarity with the oppressed people of occupied Kashmir and condemn the Indian atrocities.
During the demonstration, participants chanted slogans in support of Kashmir’s independence and against Indian atrocities.
Speaking on the occasion, KC-EU Chairperson Ali Raza Syed said India had illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir in October 1947 and started a series of atrocities that continue till today. The Kashmiri people have since struggled for the independence of their homeland.
Other speakers addressing the demonstration included the JKLF’s Shabir Mirza and Conservative British politician Owais Rajput.
Rajput said the Kashmiri people were struggling against India’s illegitimate domination of the occupied valley and for the right to self-determination.
“People, including innocent children, are victims of Indian atrocities, who kill, rape, and torture them.”
The British politician demanded the immediate release of his Kashmiri counterparts, including Yasin Malik, Shabbir Shah, and Asiya Andrabi, as well as a trial of the Indian soldiers involved in the atrocities in occupied Kashmir in the International Court of Justice (ICJ). India now had only one way to stop atrocities on Kashmiris and give them their right to self-determination, he added.
The speakers also called on the United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU) to implement their resolutions pertaining to Kashmir.
They also demanded the international community raise voice against the atrocities against Kashmiris, help them gain their right to self-determination, and play their part in holding a referendum like the one in Ireland.