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    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.

    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.”

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