Amnesty International calls for repeal of AFSPA

Imphal, July 25: Welcoming the findings of the Supreme Court-appointed panel on fake encounter killings in Manipur, the Amnesty International India urged authorities to go beyond its recommendations and repeal the AFSPA in Manipur and elsewhere.

In a statement, the Amnesty International India said AFSPA has provided impunity for perpetrators of grave human rights violations for decades and Its continued operation in any form will allow human rights violations to continue,

In Manipur, impunity is endemic and authorities take little to no action to investigate and prosecute allegations of rights violations by security forces, the statement said and called for setting up a special investigation team comprising of senior police officers from outside the state to conduct prompt and full investigations into all 1,528 cases of alleged extrajudicial executions brought before the Court by local groups.

“Where sufficient admissible evidence is found, suspects – including those with command responsibility – should be prosecuted in fair and speedy trials meeting international standards in a civilian court, regardless of the time that has lapsed since the crime occurred” the statement said and added that families of the victims should receive adequate reparation, including compensation.

Further, the Amnesty International India, urged both state and central authorities to heed the panel’s recommendations to bolster the Manipur police and Criminal Investigation Department in six months time in order to conduct thorough, impartial and effective investigations into all future cases of alleged extrajudicial executions in Manipur.

Authorities must apply procedures laid down by India’s National Human Rights Commission in cases of deaths caused in the course of police, army or other security personnel action, and follow the UN Principles and Manual on the Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extra-Legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions, the statement added.

The Government of India must also act on the recommendations of the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions and set up a credible commission of inquiry intoextra judicial executions throughout India, it added.

It may be recalled an independent panel set up by the Supreme Court of India to investigate six alleged extrajudicial executions in Manipur submitted its report to the Court on April 4, 2013. The report mentioned that all seven deaths in the six cases investigated by the panel were extra judicial executions, and not deaths resulting from “encounters” where security forces claimed they had fired in self-defence against members of armed groups. The panel also said that the continued operation of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (AFSPA) in Manipur has made “a mockery of the law,” and that security forces have been “transgressing the legal bounds for their counter-insurgency operations in the state of Manipur.”

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Courtesy:ISTV Imphal


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