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Today is February 23rd, 2015. Today is Kashmiri Women’s Resistance Day. Today will be the 24th anniversary of the Kunan Poshpora atrocities. Today will be the day when, 24 years back, on the night of February 23rd, 1991, soldiers of the Fourth Rajputana Rifles tortured the men and raped over 50 women in the village of Kunan Poshpora, resulting in what one political analyst called possibly “the single biggest instance of sexual violence by the state forces in India’s history.”

The struggle for justice waged by the brave survivors of Kunan Poshpora, aided by dogged human rights agencies like the Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society, have been met with intimidation, hostility, and outright cover-up by the Indian state apparatus and security forces in Jammu and Kashmir. Kunan Poshpora is just one among innumerable atrocities that have been conducted by Indian security forces in the valley of Jammu and Kashmir, where they have established a reign of state-led terror and violence. Whether it’s the massacre of over 50 peaceful protestors at Gaw Kadal on January 21, 1990, or the cruel slaughter of 19 family members, including 11 children, in the village of Sailan on August 3, 1998, or the recent killings of nonviolent student demonstrators in the streets of Srinagar during the summer of 2010, or any of the other innumerable atrocities perpetrated on the Kashmiri people, Indian security forces have conducted murders, rapes, and violent suppression in Jammu and Kashmir with impunity.

This reign of state-led terror and violence perpetrated on Kashmiris must end and it must end now.

Solidarity Kashmir, a transnational campaign in solidarity with the Kashmiri people’s right to freedom and self-determination, demands an immediate end to this multilateral occupation of Kashmir. We further demand that the Indian state apparatus and security forces allow thorough investigations by independent international and local human rights agencies into the numerous state-led human rights violations inflicted on the Kashmiri people, with the aim of implementing a process of restorative justice that attempts to heal the deep scars left on Kashmiri society after decades of brutal oppression and militarism.

Solidarity Kashmir calls on the international community to put pressure on the Indian state  to immediately end all forms of militarism, military occupation, and state-repression in Jammu & Kashmir, including withdrawal of the army from the towns and villages; dismantling of checkpoints, watch towers and barricades; release of political prisoners; annulling of various special repressive laws; and restoring the right of peaceful association, assembly and demonstrations.

Today is February 23rd, 2015. Today is Kashmiri Women’s Resistance Day. Today we pledge to always honor and never forget the victims and survivors of Kunan Poshpora and all other regions of Kashmir that have faced the brutality of occupation. Today we pledge to stand in solidarity with the Kashmiri people’s inalienable right to freedom and self-determination.

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