Dozens of Israeli activists have petitioned the Supreme Court seeking to bar the country’s security forces from training Indian police officers involved in “severe violations” of human rights and international law in Indian-administered Kashmir.
“With this petition, we are trying our best to show solidarity with the people of Kashmir,” Israeli human rights activist Sigal Kook Avivi, who was among 40 people behind the petition, told media outlet Al Jazeera.
Background of the petition Israeli
India and Israel signed a comprehensive agreement in 2014 to cooperate on issues related to “public and homeland security”, including fighting organised crime, money laundering, human trafficking and counterterrorism operations.
The petition was signed in January after the Israeli Police, Ministry of Internal Security and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs refused to pre-screen members of India’s police force from the Muslim-majority Himalayan region, according to Israeli human rights lawyer Eitay Mack, who filed the petition.
As Israel returned to a second nationwide coronavirus lockdown last week, court proceedings are likely to be further delayed.
“The fact that India is ‘the largest democracy in the world’, and is an important political and economic partner of the state of Israel and Western countries, cannot legally and morally justify providing assistance to specific Indian officers who are involved in grave crimes under international law in Kashmir, by way of training by police in Israel,” the petition stated.
— Micky Rosenfeld (@MickyRosenfeld) August 6, 2017
Avivi to Kashmiri’s: We are not ignorant we know what is happening to you
Avivi, who has worked among African asylum seekers in Israel, said “as citizens of the world, we want to say we know what is happening to you, we are not ignorant … we see it, we hear it, we know it”
In May, the Israeli government asked the Supreme Court to dismiss the petition, as any attempt to investigate or screen Indian police officers would be considered an intervention into India’s internal affairs – which could damage relations between the two nations.
Neither Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs nor India’s Ministry of Home Affairs were available for comment at the time of publication.
Israel’s own human rights violations in Palestine Israeli
International rights groups have accused Israeli security forces of using excessive force against Palestinians and restricting their movements in territories Israel occupies illegally.
The use of live ammunition, shooting civilians at checkpoints, torture of detainees, arrest of children and extrajudicial killings are well-documented since Israel occupied large parts of Palestine in 1967.
Avivi said, in light of Israel’s ill-treatment of Palestinians and migrants in the occupied territories, it was vital to understand that the country’s forces training military and police abroad “ends up further hurting people around the world”.