News Alerts - India
Criticising the Central government for framing the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, a human rights organisation today demanded immediate withdrawal of the law on the ground that it violated basic human rights.
“We want immediate withdrawal of the UAPA. This is much more dangerous than POTA, TADA or the Rowlatt Act of the British colonial rule. It denies basic human rights and legal immunity to those who are tried under it,” Association for Protection of Human Rights president Sujato Bhadra said.
Bhadra said it was regrettable that the Congress, which claimed to be a believer in the ideals of Mahatama Gandhi who had once denounced the Rowlatt Act, should pass such a law which is much more draconian and anti-human.
Bhadra also took a swipe at the ruling Trinamool Congress and the previous Left regime for agreeing to put the law into effect. (more…)
A historic decision by India’s Supreme Court commuting the death sentences of 15 prisoners and setting out guidelines to safeguard the rights of prisoners on death row and their families is a positive step for human rights in the country, Amnesty International India said today.
The Supreme Court commuted the death sentences of Suresh, Ramji, Bilavendran, Simon, Gnanprakasham, Meesekar Madaiah, Praveen Kumar, Gurmeet Singh, Sonia Chaudhury, Sanjeev Chaudhury, Jafar Ali, Shivu and Jadeswamy, on the ground of delay in the disposal of their mercy petitions by the President ranging between 5 and 12 years.
The Court commuted the death sentences of Sundar Singh and Magan Lal Barela on the ground that they suffer from mental illness.
“While acknowledging the need to strike a balance between the rights of the accused as well as the victims, this momentous decision reaffirms the rights guaranteed to death row prisoners under the Constitution of India and international law and standards” said G Ananthapadmanabhan, Chief Executive, Amnesty International India.
“The verdict places a strong emphasis on the human rights of all persons, and should steer the country towards completely doing away with the death penalty.”
Yug Mohit Chaudhry, one of the lawyers representing prisoners affected by the decision, told Amnesty International India, “This judgment is a tribute to Indian constitutional values and the independence of the judiciary. It recognizes that death row prisoners have rights that the court will protect.” (more…)
The Indian government’s inability to protect women and children from rape and sexual violence undermines its commitment to uphold the rights of all Indians, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2014. During 2013 the authorities also failed to enforce laws that protect vulnerable communities including Dalits, religious minorities, and tribal groups. Government efforts to increase mass surveillance raised concerns over rights to privacy and free speech.
“International attention to sexual attacks in India led to a new law, but should have spurred the government towards systemic changes to make real progress on this issue,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The government has also failed to keep its promises of reforms to create a responsive police force, and to repeal laws that protect the armed forces from prosecution.”
In the 667-page World Report 2014, its 24th edition, Human Rights Watch reviews human rights practices in more than 90 countries. Syria’s widespread killings of civilians elicited horror but few steps by world leaders to stop it, Human Rights Watch said. A reinvigorated doctrine of “responsibility to protect” seems to have prevented some mass atrocities in Africa. Majorities in power in Egypt and other countries have suppressed dissent and minority rights. And Edward Snowden’s revelations about US surveillance programs reverberated around the globe. (more…)
A ruling by India’s Supreme Court making consensual same-sex conduct between adults a criminal offence marks a black day for freedom in India, Amnesty International India said today.
“This decision is a body blow to people’s rights to equality, privacy and dignity,” said G Ananthapadmanabhan, Chief Executive, Amnesty International India. “It is hard not to feel let down by this judgement, which has taken India back several years in its commitment to protect basic rights.”
The Supreme Court overturned a historic ruling by the Delhi High Court in 2009 which had decriminalized consensual same-sex activity between adults. The Supreme Court said that Section 377 – which criminalizes “carnal intercourse against the order of nature”- was constitutionally valid, and said that the Government could take legislative steps to repeal the law. (more…)