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    November 10, 2017

    The arrest and detention of Dalit rights activist Chandrasekhar Azad under the National Security Act a day after he was granted bail is a brazen attempt to sidestep human rights safeguards in the ordinary criminal justice system, Amnesty International India said today.

    Chandrasekhar Azad was arrested by the Uttar Pradesh state police under the National Security Act (NSA) on 3 November, a day after he was granted bail by the Allahabad High Court after four months in jail. Newspaper reports had quoted the court stating that the cases against Chandrasekhar Azad appeared to have been politically motivated. Under the NSA, he is at risk of being detained for up to 12 months without charge or trial.

    October 31, 2017

    The impunity enjoyed by the perpetrators of the 1984 Sikh massacre must end immediately and authorities should ensure that all those responsible, including those with command responsibility, are brought to justice, Amnesty International India reiterated today in a new briefing, “Chauraasi Ki Nainsaafi: The continuing injustice for the 1984 Sikh massacre”.

    Marking the 33rd anniversary of the 1984 carnage, the briefing gives a glimpse into the lives of the families of 15 victims and survivors, and their struggle for justice for over three decades.

    “It is shameful that thousands of victims and survivors are still waiting for justice. If the government wants to revive the faith of these people in the justice system, it must end the impunity around the massacre and bring closure to those who have suffered,” said Asmita Basu, Programmes Director at Amnesty International India.

    September 06, 2017

    The killing of journalist Gauri Lankesh by gunmen outside her residence in Bengaluru on Tuesday night raises alarms about the state of freedom of expression in the country, said Amnesty International India today.

    “Gauri Lankesh was never afraid of speaking truth to power. Her assassination must be thoroughly investigated and the perpetrators brought to justice,” said Asmita Basu, Programmes Director at Amnesty International India. “The police must investigate whether she was killed because of her journalism.”

    55-year-old Gauri Lankesh was the editor of Gauri Lankesh Patrike, a Kannada weekly. She was widely regarded as an independent and outspoken journalist and activist, and a fierce critic of hardline Hindu groups in Karnataka.

    Speaking to journalists, the Bangalore City Police Commissioner said unidentified men shot Gauri Lankesh from close range, and three bullets hit her on the neck and chest.

    “Critical journalists and activists have increasingly faced threats and attacks across India in recent years. State governments must act to protect those whose voices of dissent are being silenced,” said Asmita Basu.

    August 10, 2017

    Responding to the arrest of Medha Patkar, of the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), Asmita Basu, Programmes Director at Amnesty International India said:

    "The right to protest peacefully and without arms is a fundamental right in India. The Madhya Pradesh government must immediately release Medha Patkar and 11 others who were arrested on 9 August when they were on their way to meet people protesting against their displacement by the Sardar Sarovar Project".

    Medha Patkar, a former commissioner on the World Commission of Dams, along with others, joined the evictees from the Sardar Sarovar dam, to stage an indefinite fast demanding the satisfactory rehabilitation of the evictees. According to Patkar, there are no basic amenities, including water, for evictees in the rehabilitation sites. Patkar, along with 11 others, were forcibly removed from the protest site on 7 August and then admitted in different hospitals. After being discharged from hospital, they were arrested by the Madhya Pradesh Police on charges of kidnapping, criminal intimidation, rioting and assaulting a public servant.

    May 23, 2017

    The Indian Army’s decision to present an award to a soldier suspected of having a man tied to a moving military jeep in Jammu and Kashmir last month gives the impression that it condones human rights abuses, Amnesty International India said today.

    “Rewarding an officer who is under investigation for a human rights violation suggests that the Army seems to be willing to not just overlook, but actually valorise an act of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment amounting to torture,” said Aakar Patel, Executive Director at Amnesty International India.

    March 29, 2017

    Uttar Pradesh authorities must bring to justice those responsible for recent racist attacks against black African students and ensure the students’ safety, said Amnesty International India today.

    “The recent attacks in Uttar Pradesh show how black people in India - particularly African students - continue to face racist discrimination and violence. Many of those injured were targeted merely because of the colour of their skin. These are hate crimes, and authorities need to ensure that those responsible are punished,” said Makepeace Sitlhou, Campaigner at Amnesty International India.

    Several black African students have been attacked in a series of hate crimes in Greater Noida over the last three days. On Wednesday, a Kenyan woman was pulled out of a taxicab and beaten in Greater Noida. On 27 March, four Nigerian men were beaten up by locals holding a protest march demanding justice for a 17-year-old who had died two days earlier from a suspected drug overdose. The boy’s family had accused their five Nigerian neighbours of murder and demanded their arrest. The men were arrested, and later released due to lack of evidence.

    September 21, 2016

    Kashmiri human rights activist Khurram Parvez has been detained a second time, after a court ordered his release from administrative detention on Tuesday.

    “Detaining a person right after he is released, without any intention to charge him or bring him to trial, amounts to using a revolving door of persecution,” said Aakar Patel, Executive Director, Amnesty International India.

    “This kind of arbitrary use of the law suggests that the Jammu and Kashmir police are determined to lock up Khurram Parvez at any cost.”

    The activist was first arrested on 16 September and placed in administrative detention in a jail in Kupwara, over 100 kilometres from his home in Srinagar, for allegedly posing an imminent threat of ‘breach of peace’. The detention order was based on a police report which claimed that policemen had seen Khurram Parvez on 15 September standing outside a mosque inciting people to shout slogans and march towards a government building. His wife has denied the claim, saying that they were at her parents’ house in another part of the city at the time.

    September 16, 2016

    Kashmiri human rights defender Khurram Parvez must be immediately released from administrative detention unless he is charged with recognizable criminal offences, Amnesty International India said today.

    The 39-year-old, who is the coordinator of the Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society Organisation (JKCCS), a prominent human rights organization, was arrested from his Srinagar residence and detained by the state police on Thursday evening, a day after he was prevented from traveling to the ongoing UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

    “Preventing a well-known activist from traveling abroad for human rights advocacy, and then locking him up on spurious grounds, is a shameful attempt to suppress a peaceful dissenting voice from Kashmir,” said Aakar Patel, Executive Director at Amnesty International India.

    “The JKCCS has been consistently working on several human rights issues including mass graves, torture and extrajudicial executions. Khurram Parvez has a right to raise these important human rights concerns abroad, but his attempt to exercise this right is now being painted as an imminent crime.”

    September 12, 2016

    Security forces are using arbitrary and excessive force in response to protests in Jammu and Kashmir, violating international standards and worsening the human rights crisis in the state, Amnesty International India said today.

    At least 78 people, including two security force personnel, have been killed in the state since 8 July, following protests and violent clashes after the killing of a member of the Hizbul Mujahideen armed group. Some demonstrators have thrown stones and attacked police stations, government buildings and politicians’ homes. Security force personnel have fired live ammunition, tear gas and pellets from pump action shotguns.

    “Pellet-firing shotguns have injured and blinded peaceful protestors and bystanders,” said Aakar Patel, Executive Director at Amnesty International India. “Children have been hit by pellets from these shotguns while sitting inside their homes.”

    “These weapons are inherently indiscriminate and always carry the risk of causing serious injury to people who are not engaging in violence. There is simply no proper way to use these weapons, and they should be prohibited.”

    August 09, 2016

    Amnesty International Prisoner of Conscience Irom Chanu Sharmila ended her 16-year-long hunger strike against the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) today. Amnesty International India calls on authorities to drop all charges against her, and take steps to repeal the AFSPA.

    At a hearing in a local court, Irom Sharmila said, “I have been fasting for the last 16 years. I haven’t got anything from it yet. I am ending my fast today. I want to try a different agitation now. I will contest against the Chief Minister of Manipur in the upcoming state elections.” The activist signed a bail bond and is likely to be released on bail soon.

    “Irom Sharmila’s hunger strike over the last 16 years has been a testament to her passion for human rights, and her belief that a draconian law like the AFSPA has no place in any society.  The government arrested her, confined her to a hospital room and force fed her for 16 years, seemingly to break her will.  There was zero dialogue. A peaceful protest was criminalized,” said Abhirr VP, Senior Campaigner with Amnesty International India.

    July 26, 2016

    Amnesty International’s Prisoner of Conscience Irom Sharmila Chanu has taken an individual decision to end her 16-year-old fast against the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act on August 9. Amnesty International India calls on the Manipur government to immediately and unconditionally release the 44-year-old activist and to drop all charges against her.

    At a district court hearing in Imphal, Sharmila expressed the desire to come out of her fast and contest state elections. Speaking to local media, Sharmila said, “The only way to bring change is electoral process. I will stand as an independent candidate from Malom constituency. My single issue would be to remove AFSPA from the state. In my next hearing in the court on August 9 I will end my fast.”

    July 11, 2016

    Authorities in Jammu and Kashmir must ensure that people injured in shootings by security forces have access to medical assistance, and medical professionals can carry out their work without interference, Amnesty International India said today.

    Security forces must use live ammunition only as a last resort to protect against a threat to life, and not use pellet-firing shotguns against protestors.

    At least 23 people, including two children, have been killed in firing by security forces during demonstrations following the killing of a leader of the Hizbul Mujahideen, a banned armed group, on Friday. Over 200 have been injured.  A policeman was killed after his vehicle was pushed into a river by a mob in Anantnag district. The state police have reported attacks on police stations and other public property, and looting of weapons. It said that scores of policemen have been injured.

    Local newspapers have reported that injured people had been assaulted while on their way to or while being treated at hospitals.

    May 06, 2016

    Authorities in the south Indian state of Kerala must ensure an independent investigation into allegations of police inaction in a case involving the rape and brutal murder of a 30-year-old Dalit woman in Vattolippadi, Kerala. The failure of the police to investigate previous complaints about caste-based discrimination and harassment against the woman’s family must also be investigated.

    On the evening of 28 April, the woman, a law student, was found dead in her home by her mother, who works as a daily wage labourer. Media reports state that the autopsy found 38 wounds on the woman’s body and signs of rape, and her intestines had been partially removed. The police subsequently registered a First Information Report (FIR), but have not yet provided a copy of the FIR to the victim’s family, despite being required to do so under Indian law.

    Three men have been detained in relation to the killing. The Kerala government has announced that it will give 100,000 INR as compensation to the family.

    March 18, 2016

    Amnesty International India Release

    Authorities in Madhya Pradesh must drop charges against and immediately release two men arrested for allegedly sharing a satirical image of the chief of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the ideological mentor of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.

    "Arresting people simply because they mocked public figures is an absurd overreaction by the authorities,” said Abhirr VP, Campaigner at Amnesty International India.

    On 17 March, 22-year-old Shaqir Yunus and 21-year-old college student Wasim Sheikh from Khargone, Madhya Pradesh were arrested for allegedly sharing the satirical image on Whatsapp and Facebook, following complaints that the men had hurt the feelings of the Hindu community. The digitally altered image made fun of the RSS’s recent decision to change its uniform from khaki shorts to brown trousers.

    December 18, 2015

     

    US chemical giant Dow must respond to court summons and show up on Saturday at the Chief Judicial Magistrate’s (CJM) court in Bhopal in relation to criminal charges around the 1984 Bhopal gas leak disaster, Amnesty International India said today.

    “Dow must stop dodging the Indian justice system and ignoring survivors who have suffered from the toxic fallout of the disaster for over three decades now,” said Aruna Chandrasekhar, Business and Human Rights Officer at Amnesty International India.

    Dow has ignored three previous, consecutive criminal court summons issued by the CJM since July 2013 for service on Dow in the US through official government channels. “We hope that the Indian and US governments have done their part to ensure that Dow complies with an official Indian court order,” said Aruna Chandrasekhar.

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