Kashmir and the State of Exception

Kashmir is among the oldest unresolved international conflicts on the United Nations’ agenda. Over the last few decades, India has imposed a state of permanent emergency in Indian-administered Kashmir, through ‘draconian’ domestic laws that quell the political struggle and the rights of the people of Kashmir. Thousands have been killed in extrajudicial executions, scores have been arbitrarily detained, and many subjected to enforced disappearances. Sexual violence has been used as a weapon of war to subjugate an entire population. The political rights and basic freedoms of the people of Kashmir have been systematically denied to them by using domestic laws like the Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act 1990 and the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act 1978, among others. This seminar will address how mass human rights violations are committed in Indian-administered Kashmir with impunity, and reflect on how the state of exception has been the norm in Kashmir for decades now.

Habeel Iqbal is a lawyer from Indian-administered Kashmir working on human rights issues. He is a legal consultant with the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons, an organisation working against enforced disappearances in Kashmir.