Issue Brief on “COVID-19 and Repression in Indian Occupied Kashmir”

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Even as the COVID- 19 pandemic spread to India, the population of 12.5 million (2011 Census) people in Indian occupied Kashmir (IOK) were already under a prolonged lockdown, suffering the travails of curfew imposed by the Indian government back in August 2019. Now, along with the curfew, Kashmiris have also been further locked down by the coronavirus. As per Ministry of Health India, there were total 300 confirmed coronavirus cases on April 16, 2020 in Indian Occupied Kashmir.[1]

The repression in the form of curfew in the Valley puts doctors there in a bind. The Indian government has threatened local doctors, warning that criticism of “government efforts to control pandemic” in “uncalled for media reports” could get them sent to prison.[2] This order came after doctors in the Kashmir Valley expressed their concern over poor infrastructure and shortage of manpower and equipment.

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