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WikiLeaks' expose: Separatists demand probe by world bodies

Separatist leaders in Kashmir today demanded an investigaton by influential world bodies into alleged violation of human rights in the Valley in the wake of a WikiLeaks' expose.

india Updated: Dec 18, 2010 23:22 IST

Separatist leaders in Kashmir on Saturday demanded an investigaton by influential world bodies into alleged violation of human rights in the Valley in the wake of a WikiLeaks' expose.

"We appeal to the Amnesty International, the Asia Watch and other influential bodies to send a team to Kashmir to investigate all reports of torture in jails," Hurriyat hawk Syed Ali Shah Geelani said in a statement in Srinagar.

The chairman of the hardline faction of the Hurriyat Conference also expressed surprise over what he said "years of silence" maintained by the world community over the issue.

WikiLeaks, a whistle blower website, made public a US official cable this week in which the International Committee for Red Cross reportedly told American diplomats in 2005 about "torture" in jails in Kashmir.

Geelani alleged even today, arrested youths were being subjected to physical torture in jails in the Valley.

The hardline separatist leader also lashed at Chief Minister Omar Abdullah saying his reaction to the expose was a "white lie".

"During Omar Abdullah's tenure not only there have been thousands of cases of torture, but also there have deaths due to torture," Geelani said.

On Friday, Omar had tried to distance himself from the US document saying "I am not getting into anything more than the fact that these transcripts or leaks pertain to 2005. You can do your own maths as to what regime was in power at that time."

"As far as this government is concerned we do not condone torture. We never have, we never will," the Chief Minister had said.

Reacting to the document released by WikiLeaks, moderate separatist leader Mirwaiz Umer Farooq said "torture is being endorsed as a state policy here."

"We have been saying this all along that human rights situation in Kashmir is extremely bad," the chairman of the moderate faction of the Hurriyat told PTI.

He said the document revealed the "doublespeak of the US government which knew about the torture and preferred to remain silent".

The Hurriyat dove flayed successive governments in Jammu and Kashmir saying there was no accountability in the state.

JKLF chairman Yasin Malik said the torture was an "old method" used in Kashmir.