India – Ignoring Custodial Deaths #Prisons


political-prisoner

Vol – XLVIII No. 19, May 11, 2013 | Rebecca Gonsalvez and Vijay Hiremath
EPW

There is justifiable anguish over the killing of Sarabjit Singh in a Pakistani jail but what about the thousands of deaths in police and judicial custody in India? Torture is common and rampant in police custody and deaths in so-called police encounters are routinely reported. Politicians and the media are demanding justice for Sarabjit. When will the Indian government hold the police and jail officials responsible for custodial deaths accountable and compensate the next of kin?

 

Rebecca Gonsalvez (rebecca.gonsalvez@gmail.com) and Vijay Hiremath (vijayhiremath@gmail.com) are human rights lawyers practising in the Bombay High Court.

The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.” (Article 14 of the Constitution of India)

Sarabjit Singh, an Indian prisoner on death row in the Kot Lakhpat jail in Pakistan died on 2 May, 2013, after being assaulted in custody making it a custodial death. Sarabjit has been proclaimed a martyr in India, his body was cremated with full state honours, a three-day state mourning was announced and the Punjab government as well as the government of India announced compensation amounts (Rs 1 crore and 25 lakhs respectively) to the next of kin. Political leaders demanded that those responsible for the barbaric and murderous attack be brought to justice. All this is commendable, of course. One only wishes that the Indian government would act just as swiftly in every case of custodial death in our country.

According to the report of the Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR), “Torture in India 2011”, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) recorded a total of 14,231 deaths in custody in India between 2001 and 2010, which includes about 1,504 deaths in police custody and about 12,727 deaths in judicial custody. The ACHR report observes that these are only the cases reported to the NHRC, and do not include all cases of custodial deaths. The report attributes the deaths in custody to torture, denial of medical facilities and inhuman prison conditions. Once a person is taken into custody, the responsibility for his/her life, health and safety rests with the authorities in whose custody he or she is, be it the police or the jail authorities.

However, so far, the government has hardly ever immediately accepted responsibility for the deaths in custody, nor has it announced compensation in such cases particularly of such large amounts as promised to Sarabjit’s kin, or taken measures to speedily prosecute the officials responsible for the deaths. Yet the very same politicians are demanding on Sarabjit’s behalf what they do not willingly give to their own citizens. Nor has the government or the opposition ever expressed any kind of outrage for the deaths of the 14,231 people in custody in India between 2001 and 2010. The media, especially television channels, termed the custodial death of Sarabjit an act of butchery, referring to his assailants as “Pak butchers”, but do not show the same passion for justice when it comes to Indian custodial deaths.

Roll Call of Dishonour

What about the police officials in whose custody arrestees die in India? What about the people regularly killed in “encounters” with the police or the army? What about Sohrabuddin, Kauserbi and Ishrat Jehan? When will those responsible for their deaths be held accountable and punished for these reprehensible acts? When will their families be compensated for their losses? Their families are regularly denied basic documents relating to their deaths, such as the post-mortem report. Most of these cases are deemed suicides. In the case of encounters, it is alleged that the deceased shot at the police/army officials involved, who somehow miraculously escape unscathed. The accused in custodial death and encounter cases are rarely prosecuted, and cases of murder are almost never registered against them. The government seldom grants sanction to prosecute the officials involved. Sarabjit is supposed to have been assaulted by fellow prisoners. What makes the cases mentioned above far worse is that they are perpetrated by the police and the army, whose responsibility it is to protect the citizens of this country from crime.

Take the case of Khwaja Yunus. The young software engineer was arrested in December 2002 by the Mumbai Crime Branch in what is commonly known as the Ghatkopar bomb blast case. He was tortured and killed in police custody, and his body was never found. Instead the police indulged in an elaborate cover-up and attempted to show that Khwaja Yunus had escaped from their custody. It was only after his father filed a petition in the Bombay High Court that the government ultimately admitted that he had died in custody and paid his family Rs three lakhs as compensation. However, though the Maharashtra State CID (Crime Investigation Department) chargesheeted 14 police officials, the government sanctioned the prosecution of only four of them. The High Court in 2011 directed the state to pay Yunus’s family Rs 20 lakhs as compensation, but did not direct the prosecution of the remaining 10 accused who had been chargesheeted. This amount was paid to his mother almost 10 years after his death. The offenders are yet to be tried and punished. Ram Singh, the bus driver, and one of the accused in the recent Delhi 16 December, 2012, gangrape case died in Tihar jail in mysterious circumstances on 11 March. Some of the media reports indicated that Ram Singh was assaulted in the jail and succumbed to the injuries. No action has been taken so far against any officials or inmates for his death. Sanaullah Ranjay, a Pakistani national was assaulted with a brick by a fellow inmate in the Kot Bhalwal jail in Jammu & Kashmir on 3 May. He sustained severe head injuries, and is presently on the ventilator in the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh. What did the authorities do to protect him? What is the government doing to protect people in custody? What are the preventive measures taken? Are there medical facilities and staff in every jail in the country to provide services in emergency situations?

Sarabjit was convicted in October 1991 of espionage and for carrying out a series of bomb blasts in Lahore and Faisalabad in 1990 that killed 14 persons, and was sentenced to death. A man who in India would be termed a “terrorist” along the lines of Ajmal Kasab the Pakistani national who was convicted in the terror attack which occurred in Mumbai on 26 November, 2008, and was executed on 21 November, 2012, or Afzal Guru the Kashmiri who was convicted in the Parliament attack case and was executed on 9 Februrary, 2013. Both Kasab and Guru were executed in secrecy, and not permitted to meet their families prior to execution. Their bodies were not returned to their families for the last rites/funeral. However, elaborate measures were taken by the government of India to ensure the speedy and safe return of Sarabjit’s remains. He was given a funeral with state honours! Why the discrimination? Why the double standards?

Torture in Police Custody

India signed the UN Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment in 1997 but is yet to ratify it. A toothless Prevention of Torture Bill is pending before the Parliament, and there is very little hope that it will be passed within the tenure of this government. While there are jail manuals in many states, (besides the model jail manual) which state how prisoners are to be treated and what they are entitled to in prisons, there are absolutely no rules regarding the treatment of inmates in police custody and they remain totally at the mercy of the police. Torture in various forms is rampant in police custody with the degree differing according to the crime for which the person has been arrested, his/her economic condition and social status and whether he/she has legal representation. Scientific and non-violent methods of interrogation are alien to our law enforcement agencies. The most common form of torture is depriving a person of sleep for days together. Assault is equally common, so is the threat to rape and torture the female relatives of the arrestees and use of torture to extract confessions is routine. Recent laws have made such confessions to the police admissible, making the job of the police easier. Some Supreme Court and High Court judgements, most importantly the D K Basu guidelines on arrest laid down by the Supreme Court in 1997, and now incorporated by recent amendments in the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), have created a few safeguards. However, there is need for vigilant judges to ensure the strict implementation of these guidelines and provisions. It is important to note here that the Right to Life is a fundamental right in this country, guaranteed to both foreigners and Indians alike by the Constitution of India. The Supreme Court of India held in 1974 in the case of D Bhuvan Mohan Patnaik vs State of Andhra Pradesh that prisoners are not denuded of their fundamental rights including their right to life, by mere reason of their incarceration.

Make Equal Justice a Reality

While discussing the plight of Indian prisoners in foreign jails and campaigning for better conditionsis important, there is urgent need to look at the conditions of prisoners in our own jails. While the assault on Sarabjit Singh in the Kot Lakhpat jail that ultimately resulted in his death deserves to be condemned strongly and acted upon, the same must be done in every case of custodial death and extra-judicial killing in India. Our Constitution guarantees equality andequal justice to all. That guarantee must not remain only on paper. It must become a reality.

 

India Child Soldiers: Thousands recruited, Government defends the records of the terror groups


Asian Centre for Human Rights
(ACHR has Special Consultative Status with the UN ECOSOC)
C-3/441-C, Janakpuri, New Delhi-110058, India
Phone: +91-11-25620583, 25503624
Email: suhaschakma@achrweb.org; Website: www.achrweb.org;  Twitter: www.twitter.com/ACHRIndia

09 May 2013

PRESS RELEASE

 

Thousands recruited as child soldiers, India defends the records of the terror groups before the UN Child Rights Committee

New Delhi:  Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) today released its report, “India’s Child Soldiers” (http://achrweb.org/reports/india/JJ-IndiasChildSoldiers2013.pdf), the first ever comprehensive study on the subject in India, and accused the Government of India of defending the records of the armed opposition groups, officially designated as terrorist groups, on the recruitment of child soldiers before the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. India in its first report on the implementation of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict to the UN Committee in 2011 stated that there is no recruitment of child soldiers including by the armed groups in India. The first periodic report of India (http://wcd.nic.in/crc3n4/crc3n4_2r.pdf) will come for preliminary examination by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child during its 66th pre-sessional working group to be held in Geneva from 7-11 October 2013 while NGOs are required to submit their reports by 1 July 2013 (http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/crc/crcwg66.htm). ACHR submitted its report today to the UN CRC Committee.

 

“The recruitment of child soldiers by the armed groups including the Naxalites is rampant and at least 3,000 children i.e. 500 in the North East and Jammu and Kashmir and about 2,500 in the Naxal affected States currently remain involved in armed conflicts. This estimate of child soldiers is conservative considering that the Maoists follow the policy of forcibly recruiting at least one cadre from each Adivasi family. ”- stated Mr Suhas Chakma, Director of Asian Centre for Human Rights.

 

In addition to providing 11 cases of forcible recruitment of child soldiers by the armed groups, Asian Centre for Human Rights presented a number of photographs of child soldiers surrendering with their arms before then Home Minister P Chidambaram and Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi in 2011 and 2012.

 

“Regrettably,  the State Governments of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh have been recruiting children below 18 years as “boy-orderlies”  under Section 60 of the Madhya Pradesh Police Regulation and deploying them for combat purposes. While hundreds of children below 18 years have been recruited as “boy orderlies” in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh over the years, the State government of Chhattisgarh on a complaint filed by Asian Centre for Human Rights before the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights admitted in June 2011 that there are approximately 300 “boy-orderlies” employed in the state police force at present and seven of them were posted with 4th Battalion of Chhattisgarh Police at Mana in Raipur. These children are not only denied the right to education but deployed with the forces who are engaged in counter insurgency.” –asserted Asian Centre for Human Rights.

 

Article 4 of the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict states that armed opposition groups should not, under any circumstance, recruit or use in hostilities persons under the age of 18 years and the government shall take all feasible measures to prevent such recruitment and use, including the adoption of legal measures necessary to prohibit and criminalize such practices.

 

The Government of India, however, in its first report of 2011 stated that there is no recruitment of child soldiers by the armed groups as “India does not face either international or non-international armed conflict situations”.

 

“This position of the Government of India is not only bizarre but also a case where the Government is actually defending the records of the armed groups on recruitment of child soldiers before the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. India effectively protected the officially designated terror groups from condemnation of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child for the recruitment of child soldiers, a war crime under the international law.”- further stated Mr Chakma.

 

Asian Centre for Human Rights urged the Government of India to inquire as to why the recruitment of child soldiers by the officially designated terror groups was concealed from the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child and take appropriate actions against the officials who are effectively ended up whitewashing the records of the armed groups on the recruitment of child soldiers

 

#India – No country for kids” 336% hike in child rapes in 10 years #Vaw #WTFnews


336% spurt in child rape cases between 2001 and 2011

, TNN | Apr 21, 2013,

CHILDRAPE

 the heinous nature of the five-year-old child’s rape, an independent report, based on National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) figures, shows that India is no country for children. The report says a total of 48,338 child rape cases was recorded between 2001 and 2011, and the nation saw an increase of 336% of such cases from 2001 (2,113) to 2011 (7,112).
The report by the Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR), however, warns that this is only the “tip of the iceberg” as the large majority of child rape cases are not reported to police while children regularly become victims of other forms of sexual assault too.Madhya Pradesh recorded the highest number of child rape cases with 9,465 cases between 2001 and 2011, followed by Maharashtra (6,868), Uttar Pradesh (5,949) and Andhra Pradesh (3,977). Delhi, which reported 2,909 cases, ranked sixth on the list.

The report, “India’s Hell Holes: Child Sexual Assault in Juvenile Justice Homes”, which has been submitted to the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, says that many of the cases take place in juvenile homes.

“It will not be an understatement to state that juvenile justice homes, established to provide care and protection as well as reintegration, rehabilitation and restoration of the juveniles in conflict with law and children in need of care and protection, have become India’s hell holes where inmates are subjected to sexual assault and exploitation, torture and ill-treatment apart from being forced to live in inhuman conditions. The girls remain the most vulnerable. It matters little whether the juvenile justice homes are situated in Delhi or in mofussil towns,” said Suhas Chakma, director, ACHR.

The 56-page report also highlights 39 cases of systematic and often repeated sexual assault on children in juvenile justice homes. Out of the 39 cases, 11 were reported from government-run juvenile justice homes, while in one case a CWC member was accused of sexual harassment during counselling sessions. The remaining 27 cases were reported from private or NGO-run juvenile justice homes.

 

#India — Nobody’s children: Report slams the state of juvenile justice in conflict zones


Mar 24, 2013, 09.08AM IST TNN[ Manash Pratim Gohain ]

NEW DELHI: “In 197 districts of India officially notified as affected by internal armed conflicts, which includes 91 districts notified as ‘disturbed’ under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and 106 districts declared as Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected, the edifice of the juvenile justice does not exist. Children, irrespective of their age, are treated as adult and subjected to gross human rights violations, including arbitrary arrest and detention, torture, extra-judicial executions and sexual assaults as part of the counter insurgency operations.”

These and many more disturbing details had been revealed by the first ever report on the state of juvenile justice in conflict afflicted districts of India, “Nobody’s children: Juveniles of Conflict Affected Districts of India“, by the Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR). Juveniles in these districts are denied access to juvenile justice unlike their counterparts in rest of the country, even as a heated debate has been raging at the national level with respect to lowering the age of juveniles in the wake of the gruesome rape of a young woman on December 16, 2012 in Delhi.

The 197 districts which have been notified as conflict affected include 71 districts notified as “disturbed” under the AFSPA in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland, Tripura and Jammu and Kashmir; and 106 districts declared as LWE affected in nine states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.

“The report highlights 15 cases of arbitrary detention and torture and six cases of detention under the Public Safety Act of Jammu and Kashmir, 15 cases of extra-judicial executions and five cases of sexual assault such as rape by the security forces. In a number of cases of these blatant violations, the National Human Rights Commission has already awarded compensation and the orders of the NHRC establish the truth beyond any reasonable doubt,” said, Suhas Chakma, director, ACHR.

As per the report on the state of juvenile justice in conflict afflicted districts, in 151 districts out of 197 conflict afflicted districts across 16 states, i.e. 76.64% of the total conflict afflicted districts do not have observation homes (OH) and special homes (SH) implying that juveniles who are taken into custody are kept in police lock up and camps of the army and para-military forces in violation of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 [JJ(C&PC) Act] and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The worst cases are Manipur which has only one OH cum SH and Jammu and Kashmir which has only two OH. This denies access to justice to many juveniles detained from other districts as they need to be produced before the respective Juvenile Justice Boards (JJB) or courts in the case of Jammu and Kashmir.

The report further brought to light that in the conflict afflicted districts, the JJBs exist on paper while their functioning remains deplorable. The Government of Manipur had submitted false information to the Ministry of Women and Child Development that nine JJBs had been operating in the State while in reality only one JJB was functioning. As the state government failed to establish the JJBs, the Project Approval Board (PAB) in its 35th Meeting under Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) held on January 17, 2012 had no other option but to decide not to sanction further grants for the nine JJBs for the current Financial Year 2012- 2013 until a report on the functioning of JJBs with complete details of members, case pendency, among others are submitted by the state government.

In Jharkhand, there were over 3,500 cases pending before various JJBs in the state as on July 11, 2012 while the OH for Boys established in the LWE affected Palamau district was converted into a girl’s residential school – Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya, and the juveniles were shifted to the OH, Ranchi, which is about 165 km away. This requires travel arrangements to be made for the juveniles to come to Palamau district and be produced before the JJB, which invariably delays justice.

In Assam, replies received from JJBs under the Right to Information Act showed that not a single review of the pendency of cases before the JJBs has been conducted by the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate or Chief Judicial Magistrate in the districts of Kokrajhar, Dibrugarh, Darrang, Lakhimpur, Udalguri, Dhubri, Goalpara, Barpeta, Golaghat, Morigaon, Chirang, Dhemaji and Nagaon from date of their constitution till March 30, 2012.

The report goes on to cite violations of juveniles’ rights in conflict affected districts. The report claimed that children in the conflict affected districts are subjected to arbitrary arrest and detention including under the national security laws, torture, extra-judicial executions and sexual violence. In many cases, the perpetrators got away by producing “No Objection Certificate” or statements obtained under duress from villagers or victims stating that they had not committed any offence.

The report cited 15 cases of arbitrary arrest, detention and torture. The report stated that “though crimes of arbitrary arrest, detention and torture are difficult to establish, ACHR has been successful to obtain compensation in at least three cases (two of which are highlighted in the report) to establish the patterns of violence against children.

The first case was that of the “illegal detention and torture of 17-year-old Soumen Mohanty, Orissa on November 17, 2010. Mohanty of Netaji Nagar was arrested in connection with Madhupatana police station case No. 218 dated November 17, 2010 under Sections 506/34 of Indian Penal Code and Sections 3 and 5 of the Explosive Substances Act in Cuttack, Orissa.

On November 23, 2010, ACHR filed a complaint with the NHRC which forwarded it to the Orissa Human Rights Commission for taking necessary action. The Police submitted misleading report and this was challenged by the ACHR. Thereafter, the OHRC asked its director (investigation) to conduct an independent inquiry and the inquiry report.

The inquiry revealed that Mohanty was taken into detention at Madhupatana police station on November 17, 2010 between 7.30 pm to 8.30 pm and interrogated by the police. Mohanty was tortured physically and mentally by ASI Satayanarayan Senapati in presence of inspector Jayant Kumar Mohapatra and sub-inspector, S B Jena. Senapati who assaulted Soumen Mohanty for which he is liable to be prosecuted under sections 341/323 IPC and Mohapatra is liable for illegal detention of Mohanty for more than 40 hours under sections 342/ 341/ 323/ 109 IPC. Police records were manipulated showing that Mohanty was arrested on November 18, 2010 at 8.30 pm to cover up the illegal action of Mohapatra and Senapati which amounts to misconduct and dereliction of duty.”

The OHRC also found that when Mohanty was produced before the CJM-cum-Principal, JJB, Cuttack on November 19, 2010, the JJB observed, “Soumen Mohanty complaints of ill-treatment by police while in custody. He has shown his right hand where marks of assault are visible. “The OHRC accepted the report of the director investigation on November 23, 2012 and awarded compensation of Rs 50,000 to the victim. The Commission directed the authorities to decide about the action to be taken against the erring officials for having assaulted Mohanty and manipulated the records.

The second case is about the illegal detention and torture of a 12-year-old minor in Assam, Dipak Saikia (name changed) of Sanitpur village who was tortured by Manuj Boruah, Officer In-Charge at the Sungajan police station in Golaghat district, Assam. On August 16, 2009 at about 11am, a group of about six police personnel entered the house of the victim and dragged him out without giving any reason. He was taken to the Sungajan police station and on reaching the police station, he was ordered to sit on the floor of the verandah. Boruah allegedly tied the minor’s hands on his back with a chain and tortured him. The victim was beaten up with a stick repeatedly on his body including in the thigh, knees, foots, sole, back, arms, elbows and ears. The Officer-In-Charge also asked the minor to keep his hand on his table and was beaten on the nails. He was again hit on the head, neck and nose until Dipak became unconscious.

Pursuant to a complaint filed with the NHRC by ACHR, the Superintendent of Police, Golaghat district, vide communication dated December 7, 2010 submitted a report to the NHRC confirming that the accused Boruah directed his subordinate police officials to pick up the victim from his home at 10.00 am, caned him and detained him in the police station. The report of the SP further stated that accused police officer willfully omitted to make necessary entries in the General Diary of the police station, pertaining to the whole episode including the picking up of the victim, his illegal detention and subsequent release. The report further stated that a Departmental Disciplinary Proceeding has been drawn up against the accused officer for criminal misconduct and dereliction of duty.

The NHRC ordered the state government to provide a compensation of Rs 50,000 to the victim. On April 20, 2012, the NHRC closed the case after the joint secretary to the Government of Assam, Political (A) Department informed that payment of compensation amounting to Rs 50,000 was paid through cheque to the victim.

The special focus of the report has been on the arrests under the Public Safety Act (PSA) in Jammu and Kashmir. Children continue to be arrested under the PSA which provides for preventive detention upto two years without trial in the name of public safety. The report cited the case of one Faizan Rafeeq Hakeem who was arrested for his alleged involvement in “stone-throwing” incident on February 7, 2011 when he was all of 14 years eight months 11 days old. He was booked under the PSA and shifted to Kotbalwal Jail. Finally, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah ordered his release. Hakeem was released on April 5, 2011.

Another case of administrative detention under PSA was that of 17-year-old Murtaza Manzoor. He was released from jail after the High Court intervened and found his imprisonment to be unlawful. He was locked up for more than three months.

The report also claimed that children are routinely picked up and extra-judicially killed including in alleged fake encounters. In this report, ACHR provided 15 cases of extra-judicial execution of children. In a number of cases, extra-judicial executions have been established by the National Human Rights Commission.

Two emblematic cases are killings of 13-year-old Rakhal Gaur by CRPF, Assam and 15-year-old Jatan Reang by Assam Rifles, Assam.

“On December 8, 2011 morning, Cobra commandos of the CRPF reportedly shot dead Gaur at his village, Malasi Namkhi Gaur village under Dolamara police station in Karbi Anglong district of Assam. On December 9, 2011, ACHR filed a complaint with the NHRC urging its immediate and appropriate intervention. NHRC registered the complaint (Case NO.348/3/8/2011-PF) and issued notice to Director General, CRPF, New Delhi and Superintendent of Police, Karbi Anglong district, Assam calling for reports within four weeks. The state government of Assam paid a compensation of Rs 3,00,000 to the next of kin of the deceased from the Chief Minister’s Relief fund and in view of this, the NHRC closed the case.

Meanwhile, Reang was killed in firing by the personnel of 14th Assam Rifles and arbitrarily arrested four other tribal villagers at Gudgudi village under Katli Chara police station in Hailakandi district, Assam. The five tribal villagers including the deceased were returning from Boirabi bazaar when they were ambushed by the 14th Assam Rifles from North Tripura over a bridge at Gudgudi village at around 10 pm on May 14, 2010. The 14th Assam Rifles personnel opened fire indiscriminately without any provocation and killed Reang although they were unarmed. Following the killing of Reang, the Assam Rifles personnel arrested the four other Reang tribal villagers and handed them over to Katli Chara police station.

On July 23, 2010 ACHR filed a complaint with the NHRC urging its immediate and appropriate intervention. The NHRC registered the complaint as Case No.170/3/21/2010-PF/UC and issued notice to the Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. During the course of proceeding, the NHRC received the Magisterial Enquiry Report, Investigation Report of the Superintendent of Police, Hailakandi, and the Post-Mortem Report. The reports confirmed that the minor was fired at from point blank range by a jawan and injured his right thigh. But, the minor was not provided medical care and he died on account of excessive bleeding. The NHRC directed the Ministry of Home Affairs to pay a compensation of Rs 5,00,000 to the next of kin of the deceased.

The ACHR also cited examples of sexual violence children, especially the girls, face sexual violence from the law enforcement personnel in the conflict affected areas. One of the case cited is that of a 15-year-old tribal girl raped by a personnel of Tripura State Rifles on February 23, 2011 at Nandakumarpara village in Khowai subdivision in West Tripura district. The accused Tejendra Barui was deployed in the Village Committee Election for the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council.

According to the family members, the accused TSR personnel dragged the victim to a nearby jungle forcefully when she was returning home from her relatives house and raped her. On February 25, 2011, ACHR filed a complaint with the NCPCR which was registered as Case No. TR-19023/21623/2010-11/COMP. Pursuant to NCPCR’s intervention, the District Magistrate and Collector, West Tripura district vide letter dated May 13, 2011 informed the NCPCR that a compensation of Rs 40,000 was recommended to two victims under the Tripura Victim Compensation Fund Rules, 2007.

On June 21, 2012, ACHR further intervened with the NCPCR to ensure that the compensation is enhanced.

Another case of sexual violence cited was that of a 14-year-old mentally challenged girl being raped by a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel near the CRPF camp in Warangal district, Andhra Pradesh in April 2011. The victim was an inmate of a Shelter Home run by an NGO. The matter came to light only when the victim was admitted to a local hospital and gave birth to a premature baby on November 5, 2011. ACHR filed a complaint with the NHRC on November 14, 2011. The NHRC directed the Director General, CRPF, New Delhi and Superintendent of Police, Wrangal district to submit reports.

In compliance, the Director General, CRPF submitted a report which stated that during investigation the caretaker of the Home revealed that a CRPF Constable had raped the girl in the month of April 2011 as a result the victim might have become pregnant. An FIR was also registered under Section 376 IPC at Kakatya University Campus police station, Warangal against an unidentified CRPF personnel and Caretaker of the Home. The NHRC vide its proceedings dated April 13, 2012 directed the CRPF to submit a further report regarding the status of action taken.

 

 

Maldives girl to get 100 lashes for sex #Vaw #WTfnews


 

 

Maldivian Court|Maldives Girl|Lashes For Sex

 Male-A COURT in the Maldives has ordered a public flogging for a 16-year-old girl who confessed to having premarital sex.

The unnamed teenager was convicted on her confession under sharia law after her family complained she had sex with a 29-year-old man in July.  The ruling triggered widespread criticism from rights groups.

The man was given 10 years in jail during a court hearing on the remote Raa atoll on Sunday.

A court official said the girl could refuse the flogging and would then instead be subjected only to eight months house arrest. Should she agree, the lashing will be carried out when she reaches the age of 18.

“In most cases, the offenders would accept the lashing as part of penance,” the official, who declined to be named, said.

The ruling came 10 months after UN human rights chief Navi Pillay urged the Maldives to stop publicly flogging women for having extra-marital or pre-marital sex.

Pillay noted during a visit that the Maldives had progressed in safeguarding the rights of its 330,000 Sunni Muslims, but more needed to be done to protect women.

Flogging, carried out with a cane, is normally handed down as a punishment by village chiefs who also act as local judges.

Rights activists slammed the judgement and called for it to be overturned.

“Degrading and inhuman punishments should find no place in a democracy,” said Aruna Kashyap, women’s rights researcher for Asia at Human Rights Watch.

“Maldives should immediately halt the execution of the punishment and take action to amend its discriminatory laws.”

Suhas Chakma, director of the Asian Centre for Human Rights, said the sentence reflected the government’s intention to consolidate its support among sharia law followers, in the face of serious political opposition.

“This could be used by the government to say they’re committed to Islam,” he said. “Courts are not independent in the Maldives so the government will have a hand.”

He said the lashes were also a breach of the UN Convention against Torture.

There were mixed reactions in comments posted on the local news website Minivan News.

“This is ridiculous, and hypocritical,” said one reader, identified as Mariyam.

“How many people over the age of 18 are having sex outside of marriage every day in this country. Why not flog them. And why not flog the 29-year-old man. If the girl has to face public humiliation why not the man.”

Another, identified as Dhivehi Hanguraama, volunteered to administer the lashing.

“I myself would volunteer to whip this creature, as would any of self-respecting, esteemed, members of the ulama (religious scholars).”

Police said they began their probe after receiving a complaint from the girl’s family.

“We investigated and forwarded our findings to the prosecutor general. The man was convicted of having sex with a minor,” police spokesman Hassan Haneef said.

Official sources said the girl had been tried under sharia law which prohibits girls between the ages of 13 and 18 having pre-marital sex. Sex with a girl under the age of 13 is considered rape.

She was convicted on the basis of her confession.

Her lover, on the other hand, was tried under common law and convicted of having sex with a minor, an offence punishable with a sentence of up to 15 years in prison.

The pair had intercourse on the Raa atoll, about 200 kilometres north of the capital island Male.

There was no immediate comment from the Maldivian government, which includes the ultra conservative Adhaalath Party, whose supporters follow a strict brand of Wahhabi Islam.

The country’s first democratically elected president, the Western-educated Mohamed Nasheed, resigned in February saying he was forced out in a coup backed by Islamic extremists along with elements of the police and the armed forces.

However, a Commonwealth investigation declared last week that the transfer of power was constitutional and ruled out a coup.

Mr Nasheed’s fall was followed by the Taliban-style destruction of pre-Islamic era Buddhist statues at the country’s main museum.

According to statistics revealed by the Gender Department in April this year, between December 2010 and October 2011, 1,138 cases of child abuse were reported from atoll family and children service centres. 1,005 of these cases involved minors while 133 of these cases involved victims aged older than 18, the report said.

 

For Immeditae Release- Juveniles attempt to commit suicide in Karnataka


Date: 05 April 2012

PRESS RELEASE

Karnataka: Juveniles attempt to commit suicide – administration of juvenile justice remains deplorable

NEW DELHI: The Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) in its report, “The State of Juvenile Justice in Karnataka”
(http://www.achrweb.org/reports/india/JJ-Karnataka-2012.pdf), released today stated that the administration of juvenile justice remains deplorable and children incarcerated in congested and appalling living conditions have been attempting suicide. On 31 January 2012, three juveniles lodged in the Government Remand Home for Boys and Girls at
Madivala attempted suicide inside the Home by consuming pesticide and needed hospitalisation.

Though Karnataka has established Juvenile Justice Boards (JJB) in 28 out of 30 districts, the cases pending before the JJBs are not regularly heard in clear violation of Section 14(2) of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000. As of 10 February 2012, there were about 2,500 cases pending under the Juvenile Justice Act in Karnataka and 1,567 cases were pending as of December 2011 in Bangalore Urban district alone.

Instead of increasing vigilance over the Observation Homes, Special Homes and Children’s Homes, which have become centres of abuse, the State government of Karnataka in October 2010 put the most regressive condition that “members of the Child Welfare Committees cannot visit child care institutions, when they are not holding a sitting, without prior permission of the heads of these institutions”.

In a number of juvenile justice homes, no inspection has taken place during 2009-2011 according to information obtained under the Right to Information Act, 2005. No inspection took place in the Balakara Bal Mandir, Gulbarga; Children Home for Boys, Chikmagalur; Government Observation Home (Boys), Gulbarga; Government Observation Home, Dharward;
Government Juvenile Home for Boys at Bagalkot; Government Juvenile Home for Girls at Bagalkot; and Balamandir for Boys, Belgaum during 2009 to 2011.

As admitted by Karnataka State government, as of December 2011 no educator was appointed in as many as 19 government runs homes out of 81 homes and the juveniles in these homes are being deprived of the right to education which is recognized as a fundamental right.

In five juvenile homes, no cook has been appointed despite being sanctioned. At Balakiyara Balamandira, Mandya, no cook has been appointed since 12 December 1996.

A large majority of the Juvenile Homes were found to be under-staffed which has negative impact on care and protection of the inmates. At the Children’s Home for Boys, Koppal, out of eight sanctioned staff only two have been appointed.

In clear violations of the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (“The Beijing Rules”) and the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Karnataka Rules, 2010 which provides for segregation of the inmates on the basis of their gender, degree of offence and age (preferably up to 12 years, 12-16 years and 16 years and above) have not been complied with. The non- separation of the inmates on the basis of their age undermines the danger to juveniles of
“criminal contamination”. At Children Home for Boys, Chikmagalur, boy and girls are being kept in the same home and no inspection took place in the Home during 2009-2011!

Asian Centre for Human Rights lamented that the role of the Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Karnataka State Human Rights Commission (KSCPCR) and the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights has been limited to ordering the release of those illegally detained or recommending departmental action against the guilty. As
recently as 20 December 2011, KSCPCR rescued a 16-year-old boy who was illegally detained without any diary entry, handcuffed, beaten, chained and inadequately fed during his detention at the Sampigehalli police station in Bangalore following his arrest on 17 December 2011.

“Though the boy was rescued, no complaint was lodged against the accused police personnel as per Section 23 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act which provides that “Whoever, having  actual charge of, or control over, a juvenile or the child, assaults,abandons, exposes or willfully neglects the juvenile or causes or procures him to be assaulted, abandoned, exposed or neglected in a manner likely to cause such juvenile or the child unnecessary mental or physical suffering shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or fine, or with both”.

“Even a member of the Child Welfare Committee was found to abuse children.The Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights failed to respond to queries from the Asian Centre for Human for Human Rights as to the further action taken following the order of the State Government ofSeptember 2010 restraining Balakrishna Masali, a member of the Child
Welfare Committee-II of the Bangalore Urban district, from attending sittings of the Child Welfare Committee, after he was reportedly found guilty by the KSCPCR of molesting girls who were brought before him for inquiry.” – stated Mr Suhas Chakma, Director of Asian Centre for Human Rights.

Asian Centre for Human Rights urged the State Government of Karnataka to implement the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 in letter and spirit and further recommended to the National Commission
for Protection of Child Rights to ensure the implementation of the recommendations made by ACHR.[Ends]

For any further information or clarifications, please contact Mr Suhas Chakma at 9810893440

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