Teenage Nightmare in Kashmir

July 11, 2011

Contrary to Katy Perry, 16 and 17-year old boys in the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K or Kashmir) are not living in a Teenage Dream; they face the daily prospect of being detained indefinitely, without charges as adults under existing law in the state. The law, called the Public Safety Act is horrible enough.

But, the detention of children is in flagrant violation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child of which India is a state party. You can take action now to urge the J&K government to do the right thing. The Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, promises to bring this up in the Monsoon session of the assembly so time is of the essence!

17-year old Murtaza Manzoor was detained without charge by the police in January 2011. He was held for nearly four months in a prison that had no special facilities for children.

Murtaza is not alone. Many other boys aged between 16 and 18 years are falling through the cracks in J&K’s juvenile justice laws and being treated as adults.

The Chief Minister of J&K, Omar Abdullah, has recognised the need for reform in this area. To make sure these reforms happen, we need you to urge the Chief Minister to begin by amending the Jammu and Kashmir Juvenile Justice Act (JKJJA) in the 2011 Monsoon session of the J&K Assembly.

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