Abuses in Kashmir: OIC slams India

Mother of Tabish Bhat,16, whose eye was damaged after Indian government forces fired pellets at him during a protest, shows his damaged eye as he rests on a hospital bed in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, on July 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)
Updated 15 July 2016
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Abuses in Kashmir: OIC slams India

JEDDAH: The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has expressed serious concern over human rights violations in the Indian-administered Kashmir by the Indian military and para-military forces, which have resulted in the killing of more than 30 innocent Kashmiris.
The OIC’s Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission said the use of excessive force against innocent civilians, protesting peacefully over extrajudicial killings, is deplorable and a blatant violation of the right to life, right to freedom of expression and opinion, right to peaceful protest and assembly and other fundamental human rights.
It said that extrajudicial killings and abrasive human rights violations should stop forthwith.
“There should not be any impunity for human rights violations. An independent, fair and transparent inquiry should be conducted against the individuals responsible for these killings and culprits must be held accountable at all levels.”


Vote count begins for Afghan election

Afghan election observers at a polling center after ballots in the country’s legislative election were counted in Kabul on Monday. (AFP)
Updated 22 October 2018
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Vote count begins for Afghan election

  • Some candidates said powerful figures were behind election rigging
  • The Electoral Complaints Commission said there was mismanagement during the election, and as of Sunday it had received some 5,000 complaints from voters and candidates

KABUL: Vote counting began on Monday for Afghanistan’s parliamentary election, which was marred by violence and irregularities, with political parties alleging “organized fraud.”

The parties said mismanagement and hundreds of Taliban attacks, which led to an extension of voting for another day at hundreds of polling stations, could raise questions over the election result, which is expected to be released in two months.

Some candidates said powerful figures were behind election rigging, and biometric devices, which were put in place to counter fraud, were smashed to facilitate the rigging. 

Abdul Bade Sayad, head of the country’s Independent Election Commission (IEC), was cited by local media as confirming incidents of biometric equipment being smashed, and the presence of strongmen inside some polling stations. 

But the IEC should not be held responsible for this, he said, adding: “When the government itself feels helpless before powerful figures, then senior officials of the commission should not be blamed.”

The Electoral Complaints Commission said there was mismanagement during the election, and as of Sunday it had received some 5,000 complaints from voters and candidates.

Afghanistan’s Independent Human Rights Commission (IHRC) said people could not vote on Saturday in some 1,000 polling stations. 

Ahead of the election, which was delayed for more than three years, the government said it could not open more than 2,000 stations due to security threats.

Alleged irregularities included polling stations opening late, biometric devices malfunctioning, and the absence of IEC staff and voter registration lists.

Of the 9 million people who had registered to vote, nearly 4 million cast their ballot, the IEC said.

The IHRC said the IEC should not shun its responsibility regarding “shortcomings and grave violations in voting centers.”

The Transparent Election Foundation of Afghanistan said: “In some of the polling stations, ballots were not counted; instead the ballot boxes were transferred to a different location for counting… without informing the observers about the new location.”