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HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: India: Punjab Case Shows Need for Anti-Torture Law

admin September 28, 2012 6 Comments
HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: India: Punjab Case Shows Need for Anti-Torture Law

Torture and Ill-Treatment Raises Bar to Extraditions

SEPTEMBER 27, 2012

(New Delhi) – The alleged mistreatment of a suspected Sikh separatist in Punjab highlights the widespread use of torture by Indian security forces, which may prevent foreign extraditions to India, Human Rights Watch said today. The Indian parliament should promptly enact the Prevention of Torture bill and the government should take immediate steps to implement its provisions, including ending all torture and ill-treatment by security forces and prosecuting those responsible.

Human Rights Watch called for an investigation into allegations that the Punjab police tortured Kulvir Singh Barapind after his September 20, 2012, arrest on charges of waging war on the state, possession of explosives, and sedition.His lawyer told Human Rights Watch that Barapind had complained to the magistrate that the police “applied electric shocks to his ears, beat him, and humiliated him.” The United States had extradited Barapind to India on June 17, 2006, on murder charges after obtaining assurances from India that he would not be tortured. A court in India subsequently acquitted Barapind of all charges and released him in April 2008.

“Indian authorities seldom deny that torture is a problem, but their failure to ensure the safety of someone in a high-profile international case shows how extensive it is,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “This case spotlights the urgency for India to enact the Prevention of Torture bill and put its provisions into immediate effect.”

Foreign governments need to take into account India’s poor record on torture in assessing whether to extradite individuals to the country, Human Rights Watch said. International law prevents governments from returning any person, including criminal suspects, to a country where they are likely to face torture or other ill-treatment. The Convention against Torture states that countries making such a determination “shall take into account all relevant considerations, including…the existence in the State concerned of a consistent pattern of gross, flagrant or mass violations of human rights.”

In June 2012 a court in Denmark stopped the extradition of Danish national Niels Holck, known as Kim Davy in India, who was sought by India for smuggling weapons to a militant group in West Bengal in 1995. The Danish government had accepted India’s request for extradition in 2010, but Danish courts eventually ruled that Holck said that he was at risk of torture and mistreatment in India.

During India’s Universal Periodic Review at the United Nations Human Rights Council in May 2012, several countries recommended that India enact legislation specifically prohibiting torture and ratify the Convention against Torture.

“Human rights groups have long documented the widespread use of torture to extract confessions, identify criminals, and often to simply punish suspects in custody by assuming their guilt,” Ganguly said. “But the recent UN review of India’s rights record made clear that governments are also deeply concerned about pervasive torture.”

In two reports, “Broken System,”documenting the urgent need for police reforms, and “The Anti-Nationals,”on violations during India’s counterterrorism operations, Human Rights Watch found evidence of widespread use of torture throughout India. Police admitted that without proper training and equipment to gather evidence, and under pressure to solve crimes, an overworked force frequently uses torture as the tool most readily available to them. Many admitted that coerced confessions and information also misled inquiries, allowing criminals to escape and innocent individuals to be arrested.

Human Rights Watch has also extensively documented allegations of torture in Punjab, Manipur, and Jammu and Kashmir, by both the army and police. Border residents in the Indo-Bangladesh border are also subjected to torture by the Border Security Force. In operations against Maoist insurgents, government forces, including the police and central government paramilitary, have engaged in arbitrary arrests and torture of ordinary villagers in an effort to extract information about insurgents hiding in the jungles. Security forces often use electric shock, crushing of limbs, pulling of fingernails, severe beatings, and threats of violence against family members to punish suspects and extract information.

Human Rights Watch called on the Indian government to ratify the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and to enact the Prevention of Torture bill, which is currently awaiting cabinet approval before it is voted on by the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of parliament. The law should override all provisions of Indian law that allow government officials immunity from prosecution for human rights violations. It should also ensure that adequate time is given for victims to be able to file complaints, and that all forms of inhuman and degrading treatment are brought under the purview of the law.

“Torture is routine in India’s police stations, but that practice is exacerbated in situations of conflict,” Ganguly said. “Barapind’s case gives the Indian government a high-profile reminder to take action against the chronic problem of torture in custody.”

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6 Comments

  1. MISS KAUR October 3, 2012 at 9:33 am

    TO ALL SIKHS: Please READ THIS MESSAGE FROM MISS KAUR

    PLEASE RAISE AWARENESS AND BECOME AWARE AND EDUCATE YOURSELF ABOUT THE MASSIVE PROPAGANDA THAT IS BEING SPREAD BY THE INDIAN GOVERNMENT RIGHT NOW. ONCE AGAIN, GENERAL BRAR, THE COMPULSIVE LIAR AND SLAVE OF THE INDIAN GOVERNMENT, IS OPENING HIS MOUTH BUT NOT SPILLING ANY TRUTH OR EXPOSING HIS DIRTY LAUNDRY BUT FABRICATING STORIES, LIKE SERIOUSLY???? THIS ALMOST 80 YEAR OLD PIECE OF S**T SURVIVED AN ALLEGED ATTACK BY 3-4 YOUNG “SIKHS”….THE REPORTS ARE ALL DIFFERENT, THERE IS NO EVIDENCE BESIDES HIS AND HIS WIFE’S TESTIMONY….IT APPARENTLY HAPPENED IN LONDON WHICH HAS MORE CCTV SURVEILLANCE THAN ANY OTHER PLACE IN THE WORLD, WHERE ARE THE PICTURES OF THE ATTACK? AND IF 3-4 SIKHS REALLY ATTACKED YOU, I DONT THIKN HE WOULD HAVE GOTTEN AWAY WITH JUST A LITTLE CUT TO THE THROAT…HE IS SO OLD AND HE IS A WEAK COWARD..THIS WHOLE THING IS JUST RIDICULOUS, IF ANYONE EVEN TRIED TO ATTACK THIS MAN OR IF HE CAME FACE TO FACE WITH A REAL LION, I BET HE WOULD HAVE GOTTEN A HEART ATTACK RIGHT AWAY BECAUSE HE IS A SHEEP, HE IS A COWARD, HE IS THE LOWEST OF THE LOW…..

    HE IS A LIAR!!

    HE LIES ABOUT EVERYTHING THAT HE DID IN 1984, WHY DO PEOPLE THINK HE CANNOT PUT ON A BANDAID AND ALL OF A SUDDEN LIE AGAIN???? THE INDIAN GOVERNMENT CONTROLS THE MEDIA, THEY ARE USING THIS FAKE ATTACK AS A WAY TO BOMBARD THE INDIAN MEDIA WITH THE FEAR OF “KHALISTAN” AND “SIKH TERRORISM” WHEN SIKHS ARE BEING PORTRAYED AS VICTIMS IN AMERICA AND BY JK ROWLING IN HER NEW BOOK, SIKHISM IS PORTRAYED AS A GOOD RELIGION,…THE INDIAN GOVERNMENT WANTS TO MESS IT ALL UP….PEOPLE THEY WERE DOING THIS DURING THE 1980S….LOOK AT THE HISTORY….THEY DONT WANT THE WEST TO EVER SYMPATHIZE WITH SIKHS FOR ANYTHING OR TO EVEN LOOK AT SIKHS AS HUMANS, THEY WANT SIKHS TO BE THE ALIEN OTHER WHO IS A THREA TO INDIA, THAT IS THE IMAGE THEY WANT TO CREATE….INDIA IS THE VICTIM AND SIKHS ARE THE TERRORISTS…..WAKE UP PEOPLE….WAKE UPPPPPPPPPPPPP CUZ YA’LL KNOW THE TRUTH AND YA’LL KNOW WHO THE REAL TERRORISTS ARE AND YA’LL KNOW THE TRUTH OF THE BLOODY DAYS OF 1984….YA’LL KNOW WHAT STATE TERRORISM IS!!

  2. MISS KAUR October 3, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    THE INDIAN INTELLIGENCE IS MAKING “SIKH LEADERS” TALK ABOUT BANNING THE NEW JK ROWLING BOOK IN INDIA….

    THYE WANT SIKHS TO BE PORTRAYED AS FUNDAMENTALISTS WHO WANT TO BAN A BOOK THAT ACTUALLY LOOKS AT GURU NANAK AND SIKHI IN A GOOD WAY….DOESNT MAKE MUCH SENSE…PLUS THOSE FAKE SIKH BABEY SITTING IN THE AKAL TAKHT CANNOT UNDERSTAND SUCH NOVELS…THEY NEVER SPEAK OUT ABOUT REAL ISSUES….THIS IS JUST MORE EVIDENCE THAT THE AKAL TAKHT IS BEING USED AS A “TOOL” BY THE INDIAN GOVERNMENT….YES I FEEL ASHAMED OF SAYING THE AKAL TAKHT IS BEING USED AS A “TOOL” BUT ITS REALITY……INDIAN GOONS HAVE CONTROL OVER IT……WAKE UP SIKHS WAKE UPPPP

  3. MISS KAUR October 3, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    MAINSTREAM MEDIA IN THE WEST IS TALKING ABOTU SIKHS IN INDIA AND HOW THEY WANT TO BAN THE BOOK….ALSO, GOSSIP SITES ARE ALSO TALKING ABOUT IT LIKE PEREZHILTON.COM……AND MILLIONS AND MILLIONS OF PEOPLE VIEWS THESE SITES……SIKH ACTIVIST NETWORK CAN YOU GUYS CREATE SOME AWARENESS ABOUT HOW SIKHS ARE ACTUALLY HAPPY THAT JK ROLWING MENTIONS THEM AND THEY DO NOT WANT TO BAN THE BOOK BUT JUST A COUPLE OF FAKE SO CALLED SIKH LEADERS ARE ADVOCATING FOR THIS??

    THIS IS A VERY SERIOUS ISSUE I HOPE MORE PEOPLE ARE AWARE OF THE PROPAGANDA THAT IS BEING THROWN AT SIKHS RIGHT NOW

  4. MISS KAUR October 3, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIESLIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIESLIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIESLIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIESLIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIESLIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIESLIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIESLIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIESLIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIESLIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIESLIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES

    EVERYTHING THE INDIAN GOVERNMENT IS DOING RIGHT NOW IS SPREADING PROPAGANDA!!

  5. MISS KAUR October 3, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    where are all the people who used to debate on this blog?

    is everyone sleeping…i guess so

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