POK journalist Tanveer Ahmed starts hunger strike in jail

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Tanveer Ahmed soon after his arrest on August 21, 2020. His health has deteriorated since then. Tanveer Ahmed was arrested by Pakistan after he pulled down Pakistani flag at Dadyal, POK (Pakistan-occupied Kashmir) on August 21. (Photo: News Intervention)
Tanveer Ahmed soon after his arrest on August 21, 2020. His health has deteriorated since then. Tanveer Ahmed was arrested by Pakistan after he pulled down Pakistani flag at Dadyal, POK (Pakistan-occupied Kashmir) on August 21. (Photo: News Intervention)

Dadyal/ POK: Senior journalist Tanveer Ahmed who was arrested on August 21 from POK (Pakistan-occupied Kashmir) for taking down Pakistani flag at Dadyal has begun a hunger strike against the oppressive actions of authorities who continue to deny him basic legal options available to political prisoners.

On October 29 Tanveer Ahmed’s case came up for hearing at the Supreme Court of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (POK). However, the two-member judicial panel did not even bother to record the court proceedings. The judges of “Azad Kashmir” (POK) adjourned the court without even listing the court proceeding details of Tanveer Ahmed.

“We did not get any concrete reply from Tanveer’s lawyer. We went to the Mirpur Supreme Court (in POK) and checked the records and found that there was no record of the October 29 proceedings and no date has been fixed for the next hearing,” a Dadyal resident told News Intervention requesting anonymity.

Tanveer Ahmed taking down Pakistan's flag at Maqbool Bhatt Square, Dadyal POK (Pakistan-occupied Kashmir).
Tanveer Ahmed taking down Pakistan’s flag at Maqbool Bhatt Square, Dadyal, POK (Pakistan-occupied Kashmir). (Photo: News Intervention)

Tanveer Ahmed’s family members and friends were later on told by the authorities that due to a strike against the decision to turn Gilgit-Baltistan into a Pakistani province there was limited staff in the courtroom and so the court proceedings could not be recorded. Tanveer Ahmed’s friends rejected this reasoning and termed them as “baseless”.

“With the help of this “limited staff” present in the courtroom, all other court proceedings on October 29 were typed and recorded. Why didn’t they record Tanveer Ahmed’s case proceedings?,” asked the Dadyal resident, his voice furious.

Later on Tanveer Ahmed’s family was verbally informed that the Supreme Court panel would hear Tanveer’s case on November 18.

A sit-in to demand the release of Tanveer Ahmed from Pakistani custody in POK. (Photo: News Intervention)
A sit-in to demand the release of Tanveer Ahmed from Pakistani custody in POK. (Photo: News Intervention)

Tanveer Ahmed started his fast from November 1 to protest against this mental harassment.

At the time of writing this report Tanveer Ahmed’s condition had turned critical and his friends said they fear that the ISI might try to eliminate him.

Tanveer Ahmed’s wife has requested the deputy commissioner for his medical checkup. The deputy commissioner asked for the police personnel to be deployed and also wrote to the jail superintendent to arrange for medical examination of Tanveer Ahmed at the hospital.

Tanveer Ahmed’s friends and relatives are trying hard to persuade him to end his hunger strike but he has not yet agreed. “Tanveer says that he respected and trusted the judiciary but the judiciary does not seem to respect itself. He says that if he has been imprisoned on political grounds, then he should also be given political facilities,” said the Dadyal resident.

In August this year, Tanveer Ahmed had demanded that Pakistani flag be removed from his country but after his demands were not met he himself removed the Pakistani flag from Maqbool Bhat square at Dadyal. Tanveer’s argument was that Pakistan calls this as “Azad” Kashmir so why should the flag of another nation be hoisted in a free country, he then pulled down the Pakistani flag citing international rules. Subsequently, Tanveer was arrested on August 21.

Tanveer Ahmed’s actions have irked Rawalpindi and its rogue intelligence agency ISI who now wants to silently eliminate Tanveer Ahmed.

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