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Indian police rearrest Kashmir rights activist

Khurram Parvez was formally charged on Wednesday night under the Public Safety Act (PSA) that allows detention for up to six months without trial, and he was rearrested after he left prison.

“He was sent to Kotbalwal jail under PSA last night,” a senior police officer said on condition of anonymity of the prison in the region, without giving more details.

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Parvez, coordinator of the Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS), was first arrested last week for ‘breach of peace’ and sent to a different jail, but a court on Tuesday ordered his release.

It came after he was prevented by Indian immigration authorities from travelling to Geneva, where he had been due to brief UN officials on the strife-torn region.

The territory has been roiled for months by unrest over the killing of a popular young separatist by Indian soldiers.

More than 100 people have been killed since July 8 when Burhan Wani was shot dead by Indian soldiers, making it one of the deadliest bouts of violence in decades.

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“Detaining a person right after he is released, without any intention to….bring him to trial, amounts to using a revolving door of persecution,” Amnesty International India executive director Aakar Patel said in a statement.

“This kind of arbitrary use of the law suggests that the Jammu and Kashmir police are determined to lock up Khurram Parvez at any cost,” Patel said.

JKCCS has long campaigned for repeal of the PSA and also reported torture, rape, custodial murder and other rights abuses blamed on government forces.

Both India and neighbouring Pakistan lay claim to the whole of the Himalayan territory, which has been divided between the two since they separated seven decades ago.

Several rebel groups have for decades fought Indian soldiers deployed in the region, demanding its independence or its merger with rival Pakistan.

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