Amnesty asks for an end to unlawful detentions in IOK

Srinagar, July 11, 2013 (PPI-OT): In occupied Kashmir, human Rights watchdog, Amnesty International urging the Indian authorities to repeal the draconian Public Safety Act (PSA) has called for an end to the practice of keeping the Kashmiris particularly the youth in unlawful detentions by the police in defiance of judicial orders for their release.

An Amnesty spokesman in a statement in Srinagar said, “Over the past year, Amnesty International India has received numerous reports of detentions in Jammu and Kashmir that …violate the right to liberty.”

“Interviews conducted by Amnesty International India with lawyers, public prosecutors, other public officials, detainees’ families, and members of civil society in JK have revealed cases of arbitrary and unlawful detentions, including the unauthorized detention of persons in defiance of court orders for their release on bail and repeated arrests and detention of persons by the police for similar or identical criminal offences, seemingly in order to extend their detention,” he said.

The PSA also violates the principle of legality by defining offences so broadly as to allow police officials to detain individuals on extremely vague grounds, including for exercising their rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression, the spokesman added.

“Like other systems of administrative detention, detentions under the PSA are notorious for facilitating other human rights violations, including incommunicado and illegal detention and torture and other forms of ill-treatment.

As the cases below illustrate, police abuse even the already abusive PSA as well as violate the rights of persons detained on criminal grounds,” he said. The Amnesty cited a few cases that of a 16 year-old boy Sajad Mir and Faisal Qayoom Butt, 18.

He said, “Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which binds India as a state party, provides for the right to liberty, which includes freedom from arbitrary deprivation of liberty.

The Human Rights Committee, the UN expert body that oversees the implementation of the ICCPR, has said that when there is a judicial determination that there are no grounds for continued detention, any further detention amounts to an arbitrary deprivation of liberty.”

In 2011, Amnesty International documented the use of ‘revolving door detentions’ – where individuals are released from detention only to be immediately re-arrested and detained again – using the PSA.

Amnesty International has received reports that police also use criminal law to repeatedly arrest and detain people in a similar manner.

AI urged authorities to carry out prompt, thorough, impartial and independent investigations into the arbitrary and unlawful detentions of Sajad Mir and Faisal Butt, and prosecute any police officers, including those with command responsibility, suspected of offences involving violations of their human rights violations in fair proceedings.

For more information, contact:
Kashmir Media Service
Phone: 92-51-4435548, 4435549
Fax: 92-51-4861736

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