Parveena Ahanger, founder of the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) has written a letter to the UN seeking protection for the victims and families following the raid by the National Investigative Agency (NIA) at her office in Hyderpora, Srinagar.
On October 28th, the NIA, CB-CID, J&K police, and the CRPF entered her office at 7 am and conducted the raid which ended by evening 4 pm. The NIA officers had enquired on the foreign funds granted to APDP and had retrieved documents and repositories that contained details about the victims and their families.
Following the raid, Ahanger, wrote the letter to the UN stating- “APDP does not engage in any illegal activities. The allegations are intended to deter APDP’s engagement with the UN and APDP’s work on raising accountability and justice on human rights violations and the long-standing demand for justice for victims of enforced disappearances,”.
The letter further expressed ‘serious concern over misuse of sensitive information, including names and addresses of victims present in documents seized from APDP and apprehension of reprisal against victims of human rights violations’.
The Nobel prize nominee and the Rafto Prize for Human Rights recipient said that “APDP’s work is funded by grants from the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture (UNVFVT). and used to provide for medical, educational needs of victims’ families, salaries of staff, etc. All the activities of APDP fall within the scope of the UN grant. Accounts of expenditure and receipts are detailed in the utilisation report submitted to the United Nations each year.” The letter added.
Ahanger also known as the Iron Lady of Kashmir, founded APDP in 1994 following the abduction of her son Javed Ahmad Ahanger by the Army in 1990. Since then the organisation strived to provide support to the families of the disappeared and also made attempts to find the lost people who are long forgotten.