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    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.

    September 16, 2015

    By Jackie Hansen, Women’s Rights Campaigner, Amnesty International Canada

    In May 2015, Meenakshi Kumari, her 15 year old sister (whom we are not naming because she is a minor), and other family members fled their village in India’s Uttar Pradesh state after an all-male village council ordered them to be raped and paraded naked through the streets as punishment for their brother eloping with a higher-caste woman. Meenakshi took the courageous step of reporting what happened to the authorities, and her case was taken all the way to India's Supreme Court.

    Today, the Supreme Court of India recognized the risks to Meenakshi and her family and ordered the Delhi Police to provide the family with protection. But this isn’t over yet. The family must receive justice and reparation, and if they are unable to return to their village they must receive support to rebuild their lives in another community.

    September 16, 2015

    Amnesty International India welcomes orders by the Supreme Court of India that recognize the vulnerability of a Dalit family from Baghpat, Uttar Pradesh, who fled their village fearing caste-based discrimination and violence.

    On 16 September, the Supreme Court, responding to a petition filed by 23-year old Meenakshi Kumari, directed the Delhi Police to provide the family with protection. The previous day, the Court had assured the family in an in-camera hearing that they would receive full protection.

    Meenakshi Kumari’s petition stated that the family had faced several human rights abuses by dominant caste members, including an order by a khap panchayat- an unelected all-male village body- that she and her 15-year old sister be raped and paraded naked as ‘punishment’ for their brother Ravi Kumar having eloped with a married woman from a dominant caste.  

    “The last few months have been a harrowing time for this family,” said Gopika Bashi, Women’s Rights Researcher, Amnesty International India. “The Supreme Court orders offer hope that they will finally get justice.”

    September 09, 2015

    By Gopika Bashi, Women’s Rights Researcher, Amnesty International India

    On 24 August, Amnesty International India launched a petition regarding two Dalit sisters who had been told they had been ordered to be raped and paraded naked by a khap panchayat - an unelected village council - in Baghpat, Uttar Pradesh in northern India, as ‘punishment’ because their brother had eloped with a married woman from a dominant caste.

    Amnesty offices around the world circulated similar petitions, so that our supporters globally would have an opportunity to take action. Over 500,000 people have so far signed these petitions.

    Some media organizations have subsequently released reports which have questioned the petition. Some have said that members of the gram panchayat – the elected village council – and members of the dominant caste have denied the allegations. Others have claimed that Amnesty did not investigate the case.

    Unfortunately, these reports have taken the attention away from the situation of the sisters themselves, who along with their family still fear for their safety.

    September 09, 2015

    An Amnesty International India Release

    The Manipur government should carry out prompt, full and independent investigations into all allegations of human rights abuses related to protests in the state in the past few months, including the excessive use of police force, Amnesty International said.

    “Authorities in Manipur must demonstrate their commitment to human rights and the rule of law. They must ensure that they respect the right to freedom of expression and peaceful protest while maintaining public order and safety,” said Aakar Patel, Executive Director of Amnesty International India.  

    “Incidents of violence and vandalism by protestors also need to be effectively investigated, and those suspected of human rights abuses brought to trial.”

    Since July 2015, civil society groups and civilians in the Imphal valley have been demonstrating for the implementation of a system to regulate the entry of non-domicile people into the region.  On 8 July, a 16 year old student was killed in a protest in Imphal after being hit by a teargas shell fired by the police.

    July 30, 2015

    The execution of Yakub Memon marks another disheartening use of the death penalty in India, Amnesty International India said today.

    Yakub Abdul Razak Memon was executed by hanging this morning at the Nagpur Central jail. The 53-year-old was convicted for his involvement in a series of bomb blasts in Mumbai in March 1993 which killed 257 people. In 2007, he was convicted and sentenced to death under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (TADA) Act, a law that contained provisions incompatible with international fair trial standards. His mercy petition to the President of India was rejected in April 2014.

    Yakub Memon’s mercy petition to the Governor of Maharashtra and a second petition to the President were rejected on Wednesday. Early on Thursday morning, the Supreme Court rejected an application seeking the suspension of the execution for 14 days.

    “This morning, the Indian government essentially killed a man in cold blood to show that killing is wrong,” said Aakar Patel, Executive Director, Amnesty International India.

    July 21, 2015

    The rejection of Yakub Memon’s curative petition in the Supreme Court today, paving the way for his imminent execution, is a disappointing and regressive step towards the continued use of the death penalty in India, said Amnesty International India.

    Yakub Abdul Razak Memon was convicted for his involvement in a series of bomb blasts in Mumbai in March 1993 which killed 257 people. He was arrested in 1994. In 2007, he was convicted and sentenced to death under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (TADA) Act, a law that contained provisions incompatible with international fair trial standards. The conviction was upheld by the Supreme Court in March 2013. Yakub Memon’s mercy petition to the President of India was rejected in April 2014.

    “More than a dozen death sentences were commuted in progressive judgments by the Supreme Court last year. Today’s judgement, in contrast, regrettably puts India in opposition to the global trend towards moving away from the death penalty,” said Divya Iyer, Research Manager at Amnesty International India.

    July 01, 2015

    Amnesty International India News Release

    Twenty-five years after the introduction of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act in Jammu and Kashmir, the law continues to feed a cycle of impunity for human rights violations, Amnesty International said in a new report published today.

    The report, Denied: Failures in accountability for human rights violations by security force personnel in Jammu and Kashmir, documents the obstacles to justice faced in several cases of human rights violations believed to have been committed by Indian security force personnel in Jammu and Kashmir. It focuses particularly on Section 7 of the Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act, 1990 (AFSPA), which grants virtual immunity to members of the security forces from prosecution for alleged human rights violations.

    April 09, 2015

    The Telangana Government must order an independent criminal investigation into the killing of five undertrials by Telangana Police on 7 April, Amnesty International India said.

    The Telangana Police say the five undertrials - Viqaruddin, Amjad Ali, Mohammed Hanif, Zakir Ali and Izhar Khan - were being taken in a van by 17 policemen from the Warangal central prison to a court in Hyderabad. The police say that the undertrials attempted to overpower the policemen and snatch their assault rifles, and claim they opened fire in self-defense.

    Video footage given to Amnesty International India by a journalist appears to show the five undertrials inside the police van after they were killed. All five appear to be handcuffed.

    “Impunity for extrajudicial executions is a serious issue in India,” said Abhirr V P, Campaigner at Amnesty International India. “Authorities in Telangana need to urgently conduct an independent criminal investigation into the case to determine if it involved extrajudicial executions disguised as ‘encounter’ killings.”

    March 06, 2015

    Members of a mob who lynched an undertrial suspected of rape in Dimapur, Nagaland must be brought to justice urgently.

    Syed Farid Khan had been arrested for allegedly raping a woman in Dimapur on 24 February. According to local police, he was dragged out from the Dimapur central jail – where he was being held in pre-trial detention - by a mob of around 4000 people. He was then stripped, beaten, pelted with stones, and made to walk naked towards the centre of Dimapur town, seven kilometres away. Syed Farid Khan succumbed to his injuries along the way. The mob then dragged his body to a clock tower and displayed it.

    “This is a serious lapse in the criminal justice system,” said Shemeer Babu, Amnesty International India’s Programmes Director. “The Nagaland government, which is probing this gruesome incident, must ensure that every person who was part of the mob is brought to justice. Failure to do so will send the message that anyone can commit outrageous abuses and attempt to justify them as an expression of public anger.

    December 24, 2014

    The series of attacks, allegedly by armed groups, on unarmed civilians in Assam that has led to the death of at least 50 people and serious injuries to several others is highly condemnable and shows contempt for human lives. Authorities must step up security for civilians and bring the perpetrators to justice.

    The Assam Police said the killings started at Sonitpur district in northern Assam where more than 23 people were killed on 23 December. Several others were killed and injured in Kokrajhar districts as well. Authorities have blamed members of the Songbijit faction of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB-S) for the attacks.

    The men, women and children killed and injured in these attacks were mostly members of the Adivasi community who traditionally work in the tea gardens of the region.

    This region has witnessed several incidents of violence in the past. In July 2012, clashes broke out between Bodo and Muslim communities, killing over 75 people and displacing thousands from their homes. In May 2014, at least 27 civilians were killed in Kokrajhar and Baksa districts in attacks authorities blamed on NDFB-S. 

    December 16, 2014

    Authorities in India must build on the central government’s decision to decriminalize suicide by dropping all charges of attempted suicide against Prisoner of Conscience Irom Sharmila and releasing her immediately and unconditionally, Amnesty International India said today.

    Irom Sharmila has been held in detention in Manipur for over 14 years on repeated charges of attempted suicide. She has been on a hunger strike since November 2000 demanding the repeal of the draconian Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA).

    On 10 December, India’s Minister of State for Home Affairs stated in the upper house of Parliament that the central government had decided to repeal Section 309 of the Indian Penal Code, which makes attempting to commit suicide punishable with imprisonment for up to one year.

    “The Indian government’s decision to decriminalize suicide is in line with an increasing global trend. This move should lead to the immediate release of Irom Sharmila, who has been held in detention merely for exercising her freedom of expression in a peaceful manner,” said Shailesh Rai, Program Director at Amnesty International India.

    December 03, 2014

    A man stands by the water’s edge, proffering a small, sad looking fish. A mud-stained canvas bag full of them hangs from his left shoulder. He tells me he has caught the fish fresh from the pond behind him and it costs just 10 Indian rupees.

    We’re standing in stifling heat on the site of one of the world’s worst industrial disasters. On the night of 2 December, 1984, 80,000 pounds (36,300kg) of toxic gas leaked from Union Carbide’s pesticide factory in Bhopal, poisoning more than half a million people. It’s estimated that up to 10,000 died in the first three days as chemicals tore through their internal organs. Many choked to death on their own fluids, while thousands more have been suffering a slow and painful death since.

    The man is fishing from one of Union Carbide’s abandoned evaporation ponds, used between 1970 and 1984 to remove water from hazardous waste. After the disaster, the plant was abandoned and never cleaned up. The hazardous chemical waste remains. The fish this man will take home to feed his family have been swimming, eating and breeding in it.


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