Issue Brief on “Covid-19 and the Plight of the Kashmiri Freedom Leaders”


On May 5, 2021, the iconic Kashmiri freedom leader, Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai, Chairman of the Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, died of COVID-19 while in custody of the occupying Indian forces in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).[1] The 77-year old veteran freedom movement leader remarkably struggled for more than 50 years against the illegal occupation of Jammu and Kashmir by India. He was just 22 when first detained by the Indian forces in 1965. Upon release, Sehrai famously insulted and unveiled the sham democracy in India by arguing that “What kind of democracy cages free speech and people who speak the truth?”[2] Just days after his death, his two sons namely Rashid Sehrai and Mujahid Sehrai were illegally arrested under a black law known as Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).[3]

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