Speakers at a webinar hosted by Kashmir Institute of International Relations (KIIR) and World Muslim Congress (WMC) strongly denounced the Modi government for using UAPA and other draconian laws to suppress press freedom and dissent in the Indian occupied Kashmir. The webinar titled “UAPA: A hanging sword on journalists and human rights defenders in IoK”was organised as sideline of the 50th session of UN human rights council, said a press release. Webinar was addressed by noted human rights activists, academicians and law experts from different Prof, Dr.Amina Mehmood of International Islamic University, Director LFK Advocate Nasir Qadri and Owais Bin Wasi acting Dean of social science Rafiha University Advovate Rehana Ali UK others. Whereas the event was moderated by the KIIR Chairman Altaf Hussain Wani. In his initial remarks the KIIR chief while referring to Modi government’s systematic clampdown on civil society, journalist, human rights defenders and political activists in Indian occupied Kashmir said that the occupation authorities have been using so-called anti-terror laws to as a weapon to silence the voices of dissent in Kashmir. He said that in addition to PSA, AFSPA and other draconian laws the decades old anti-terror law-the UAPA was being used by India as a weapon of war to enable complete silence in Kashmir. He said that slapping of be it journalist, rights activist or even a common citizen everyone was being slapped with UAPA. The UAPA, he said, has been amended multiple times to make it more effective. Referring to the most recent amendment in the law, Wani said that besides empowering the government to declare any individual as a terrorist the notorious law allows the DG of NIA seizure of property under Section 25 and the powers of officers with the rank of inspectors and above to investigate cases under UAPA Section 43. Citing the international covenants, Wani said, “The recent Amendment is contrary to the principle of ‘innocent until proven guilty’ and also violates the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1967, which recognizes the mentioned principle as a universal human right”. The speakers said that Indian occupation authorities had also invoked Section 13 of UAPA against people who were accessing social media during the longest ever internet ban imposed by the government when it scrapped Article 370 of the constitution to divide the state into two centrally administered UT’s.