Memorandum to India-Pakistan Judicial Committee on Prisoners


MEMORANDUM

indopak

The Hon’ble Members,

IndiaPakistan Judicial Committee on Prisoners

Respected Members,

Greetings from Pakistan India Peoples’ Forum for Peace and Democracy, India Chapter!

We are writing to you expressing our concerns on the issues concerning Indian and Pakistani prisoners. At the outset, we want to communicate our appreciation for the initiatives of the Judicial Committee and the prisoners visits organised. We are also thankful to the Judicial Committee for the recommendations you have made to the governments in the past.

We appreciate that the committee has been doing excellent work within its limitations since its inception in January 2007. The joint recommendations of the committee have been appreciated by both the governments and we hope they will address these recommendations with sincerity and willingness. We are happy to share that PIPFPD along with the National Fishworkers’ Forum (India) and the Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum has been consistently demanding the governments to implement the recommendations made by the Judicial Committee.

We would like to place our demands (on prisoners in general) for the consideration of the JC:

  • Prisoners involved in minor offences like crossing the border inadvertently & visa violations need to be treated with compassion and the committee should recommend their release.
  • In case of a death of a prisoner his/her body should be handed over to his/her family in 3-4 days time. There are cases where dead bodies were handed over after 25-30 days. Also, a copy of Post Mortem Report should be given to the respective High Commission, so that rumours and speculations that can hamper te spirit of peace are put to rest.

We would also like to bring to your notice the issue of arrest of fisher people belonging to India and Pakistan.

The recent upsurge in the arrest of fishermen and confiscation of their boats since January 2013 has created panic in the coastal areas of Gujarat and Diu. Fishermen are afraid of going to sea to catch fish and this has had adverse effects on the economy and livelihood of the poor workers.

According to our information there are around 300 Indian fishermen in Pakistan’s Malir prison and about 100 Pakistani fishermen in various prisons of India. Also, about 765 Indian boats and over 200 Pakistani boats are rusting in Karachi and Gujarat harbours. These boats are owned by fishermen and are their only source of livelihood.

We appreciate the recommendations given by the Judicial Committee as on January 27, 2012 after visiting Indian prisons and meeting Pakistani prisoners, wherein the recommendations for mechanisms for release of inadvertent crossers and their boats where release at sea was given priority.

We request you to continue to address the issue of arrested fishers from a humanitarian perspective. We request the Judicial Committee to consider and recommend the following:

  • All Indian and Pakistani fishermen should be released and repatriated immediately and unconditionally along with their boats.
  • We demand for a “No Arrest Policy” for fishworkers, which would be a significant Confidence Building Measure.
  • We request that a computerized identity card along with a permit to do fishing be provided to each fisherman in order to speed up the verification process. Presently, due to lack of identity fishermen are languishing behind the bars for many years despite the fact that the maximum sentence awarded to them is six months imprisonment.
  • Both the countries must release all fishing boats, confiscated at the time of arrest of fishermen. In the past whenever, the fishermen were released, their boats were also released along with them, but that process has been suspended and now a large number of boats are kept confiscated despite the fishermen being released. We demand that the old system should be revived.
  • Constitute a high-level working group involving the representatives from the fisherfolk community to monitor and prevent the arrest of fishermen and confiscation of the boats.
  • In the long run, an Economic Cooperation Agreement between India and Pakistan is a requirement that needs to be addressed at the earliest since we are already faced with a situation of depletion of marine resources. A technical solution like a joint fishing zone is an option that would be beneficial to the fishing communities on both sides.

We are hopeful that you will consider the demands from PIPFPD, endorsed by the fisherpeople’s organisations of India and Pakistan and take necessary steps to prevent the misery of the fishing communities. We also hope the Judicial Committee will engage with all sincerity in getting the other innocent prisoners released, without bureaucratic delays.

Yours sincerely,

Ved Bhasin                                          E. Deenadayalan                                 Jatin Desai

Co-Chairperson                                    Secretary                                      Joint Secretary

                                                                                          (09869077718)

 

London-Protest against sexual violence in India @7thJan 2013


7th January 2013 at 4-7pm

Outside the Indian High Commission, LondonWC2B 4NA

WARNING: The details below of the gang rape that took place recently on 16 December might be graphic and/or upsetting for some.

Please share this with your friends, colleagues, activists, feminists and blog, tweet, facebook and other social networks.

Update: 3rd January 2013
Please note the Protest has now been extended to 7pm
The 23-year-old medical student died from her injuries on 29th December

We have all been shocked by the recent case of a young woman who was gang raped by a group of six men on a bus in Delhi. When she was taken to hospital, the doctor found that she had severe injuries to her intestines and all over body. ” that a rod was inserted into her and it was pulled out with so much force that the act brought out her intestines along. That is probably the only thing that explains such severe damage to her intestines.” She remains critically ill.

Shocking as it is, this is only one of many acts of horrific sexual violence that take place every where and every day in India. The world’s largest democracy was named the worst country in the G20 countries for violence against women (after Saudi Arabia) in the recent Trust Law/Reuters Survey. This is the heart of darkness in ‘India shining’. By drawing world wide attention to this horror and solidarity for Indian women, we hope to shame the Indian government into acting now by making public spaces safe for women, starting with implementing the laws and bringing the perpetrators to justice.

Southall Black Sisters invites you to stand in solidarity with Indian feminists who are demanding:

  1. Increased patrolling and deployment of police, including police women in public places so that such incidents can be prevented, and women’s safety assured; improved infrastructure to make cities safer for women.
  2. Fast track courts to deal with rape cases, hearings to be held on a day to day basis, so that sentence can be delivered within a period of 6 months. Police investigation to be conducted in a time bound manner.
  3. Standardized investigation procedures to be circulated to all police stations, with action taken against police personnel who do not implement them properly;
  4. Increased sensitization, effective investigation and accountability of the police in dealing with heinous crimes against women.
  5. Immediate relief, legal and medical assistance, and long term rehabilitation measures to be provided to survivors of rape, without delays and hassles.

SAFE ACCESS TO PUBLIC PLACES IS A RIGHT, NOT A PRIVILEGE FOR WOMEN ALL OVER THE WORLD!

Please bring banners, placards, whistles, songs, slogans and all your friends and let the our anger echo from the Indian High Commission all the way to India.

Hope to see you there.

For further information please contact us

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