In News: Amnesty Calls for Repeal of AFSPA

An Amnesty International report points out repeated cases of human rights abuses in Jammu and Kashmir.

Published01 Jul 2015, 02:30 PM IST
Hot News
2 min read

Amnesty International has released a report demanding the repeal of Armed Force Special Powers Act (AFSPA) which was passed in 1958.

The report, titled “Denied: Failures in accountability for human rights violations by security force personnel in Jammu and Kashmir,”by the London-based organisation points out repeated violations of human rights by Indian soldiers who are empowered by AFSPA in Jammu and Kashmir.

The report points out the root of grief caused to Kashmiris due to the alleged misuse of power by the armed forces: not a single member of India’s forces has been tried in a civilian court for violating human rights of Kashmiris.

By not addressing human rights violations committed by security force personnel in the name of national security, India has not only failed to uphold its internationalobligations, but has also failed its own Constitution.
–Minar Pimple, Senior Director (Global Relations), Amnesty International

Hundreds of thousands of Indian forces have been deployed in the insurgency-wracked region. And AFSPA gives them immunity from being tried for human rights violation unless the federal government permits.

State of Cases Against Army

The government denies registration of cases against members of the army or paramilitary for human rights violation and in the small number of cases registered, the results are kept pending.

Not a single family interviewed for the report had been informed by the authorities of the status or outcome of a sanction request in relation to their case.
–Divya Iyer, Research Manager, Amnesty International India

In a rare exception last year, the army revealed that a court martial had convicted and sentenced five soldiers to life in prison for shooting and killing three men in a staged extrajudicial execution in 2010.

Government’s Stand

The last word on this should not come from political functionaries but from security experts and security agencies.
–Jitendra Singh, Junior minister, PM Office

Government officials did not immediately comment on the report.

Jitendra Singh, a junior minister in the Prime Minister’s office, had on Tuesday said he did not favor even a partial withdrawal of the draconian impunity law.

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