ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Russell Tribunal on Kashmir has expressed concern over the grave crimes against humanity including genocide that were occurring in the Indian Illegally Occupied territory of Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), APP reported.
Kashmir Civitas, a Canadian registered NGO, partnered with the World Kashmir Awareness Forum, Russell Foundation (London, UK), the Permanent People’s Tribunal of Bologna, Italy, Nahla (Center for Education and Research), the Center for Advanced Study in Sarajevo, and International University of Sarajevo (IUS), to hold the maiden Russell Tribunal on Kashmir in Sarajevo, Bosnia on December 17-19, 2021.
The seriousness of these crimes was what motivated the tribunal to bring this to the attention of the world, since it was a direct threat to global peace.
This foundational international event, the first of many tribunals being planned over the coming years, aimed to set the stage for exposing the seriousness of the Kashmir conflict. More specifically, the focus of the tribunal was on four thematic areas: (a) Genocide, including a discussion on the Jammu Genocide in which an estimated 230,000 – 500,000 people were killed. (b) De-Colonization, Kashmir is not a secessionist/separatist
movement, but a de-colonial movement; (c) Settler-Colonialism (land grabs, coercive patriotism etc); (d) Crimes Against Humanity and Nuclear War – mass graves, rape as a weapon of war, and the ever present threat of nuclear war in this contested region.
The tribunal brought together key global personalities, academics and celebrities to highlight the ongoing genocide, massive violations of human rights, crimes against humanity, and political oppression of the people in the disputed territory of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
In actuality, Russell Tribunal on War Crimes in Kashmir 2021 aimed to replicate the significance and impact of the Russell Tribunal on Vietnam that gained worldwide press coverage and had a clear, discernible impact on transforming the narrative on Vietnam. For that reason, and in paying homage to the courage of Professor Bertrand Russell, who dared to challenge American hegemony at the height of its power, the tribunal was used to expose the crimes of India in Kashmir.
Likewise, the Russell Tribunal on Kashmir aimed to reaffirm the primacy of international law as the basis for solving the Kashmir conflict. Moreover, it aimed to raise awareness of the responsibility of the international community to prevent ongoing crimes against humanity and the potential for a genocide to occur.
This tribunal’s singular aim was to put forward the facts on Kashmir.
This was a critical, dangerous time for Kashmiris – and for all freedom, equality and justice-minded people throughout the world.
The Hindutva fascist ideology had swept Indian political institutions and society, and now there were legitimate concerns about a carefully concocted plan to enforce a genocidal demographic change in the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir. Worse, the region was at the center of a territorial dispute between India and China.
The threat of war was at its highest level since the downing of two Indian fighter jets and the capture of an Indian air force pilot.
The tribunal, with a focus on Indian Occupied Kashmir – the epicenter of resistance — included leading global, political, academic and literary figures and aspired to further clarify the reality of the situation, internationalize the crisis in Kashmir and compel the world to act.