In an unexpected part of the world, a small protest was held on Monday in Seoul, South Korea demanding the release of Kashmiri human rights activist Khurram Parvez.
People displayed banners reading, “Release Khurram Parvez” outside the Indian embassy in the South Korea capital.
“The JusPeace Foundation in South Korea held a small protest outside the Indian embassy today to demand the release of #KhurramParvez. The embassy in Seoul did not accept a letter in this regard, which the chairperson then read aloud,” the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances tweeted.
Parvez, a rights defender belonging to Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), was arrested on November 22 by National Investigation Agency (NIA), India’s anti-terror investigation agency.
Parvez is the coordinator of a local human rights group, Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society. He was arrested after raids were made at his office in Srinagar.
The office of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights had expressed concerns over his arrest. “We are deeply concerned at the arrest of Kashmiri human rights defender Khurram Parvez under Indian counter-terrorism legislation, the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA),” it said in a statement.
Arindam Bagchi, the spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs in India, had rejected the UNHCHR’s reservations, stating that the UN’s concerns were baseless and that “the arrest and subsequent detention of the individual (Parvez) referred to in the statement was done entirely as per provisions of law”.