Deeply concerned about reports of children arbitrarily arrested and jailed in Kashmir: Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai


Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai has appealed to the United Nations General Assembly to listen to Kashmiri voices and help children go safely back to school amidst weeks of lockdown in the valley. In a series of tweets, Malala also expressed her concern over the reports of thousands of children being arrested and jailed by the Indian security agencies.

Malala Yousafzai

She wrote, “I am deeply concerned about reports of 4,000 people, including children, arbitrarily arrested & jailed, about students who haven’t been able to attend school for more than 40 days, about girls who are afraid to leave their homes.”

Malala said that she was appealing to the ‘UNGA and beyond, to work towards peace in Kashmir, listen to Kashmiri voices and help children go safely back to school.’ According to Malala, who’s now settled in Birmingham in England, she has spent ‘time speaking with people living and working in #Kashmir – journalists, human rights lawyers and students.’ “Using hashtag #LetKashmirSpeak, Malala wrote, “I wanted to hear directly from girls living in Kashmir right now. It took a lot of work from a lot of people to get their stories because of the communications blackout. Kashmiris are cut off from the world and unable to make their voices heard.”

Malala said that one girl told her, “The best way to describe the situation in Kashmir right now is absolute silence. We have no way of finding out what’s happening to us. All we could hear is the steps of troops outside our windows. It was really scary.”

The Kashmiri girl, according to Malala, said that she felt ‘purposeless and depressed’ because she could not go to school. “I missed my exams on August 12 and I feel my future is insecure now. I want to be a writer and grow to be an independent, successful Kashmiri woman. But it seems to be getting more difficult as this continues,” the Kashmiri girl reportedly told the Pakistan-born Nobel Laureate.

Kashmir has been under a complete shutdown since the Indian government abrogated Article 370 on 5 August. Mobile phones and the internet have been banned with the curfew imposed in several parts of the valley.