Saturday, January 22, 2011


New Delhi, Jan 22 (Only Kashmir): The UN envoy has said that the draconian laws like, Armed Forces Special Powers Act and the Public Safety Act should be repealed in Kashmir while continuation of other controversial laws should be reviewed. Margaret Sekaggya, UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders after concluding a 10-day visit to occupied Kashmir and Indian states of Gujarat, West Bengal, Assam and Orissa said human rights are being violated both by state and non-state actors in India.
About Jammu and Kashmir, she said, the issue in Kashmir is about people. It is important to address the real issues of people there. She said that there should be efforts to heal their wounds and hoped that her recommendations in the detailed report would be implemented by the authorities.
"Throughout my mission, I heard numerous testimonies about male and female human rights defenders and their families, who have been killed, tortured, ill-treated, falsely charged, disappeared, arbitrarily arrested and detained or their offices raided and files stolen, because of their legitimate work in upholding human rights," she said.
Especially expressing concern about the situation in occupied Kashmir and Northeastern states, she said the AFSPA and PSA must be repealed.
"The Armed Forces Special Powers Act and the Public Safety Act should be repealed and application of other laws, which adversely affect the work and safety of human rights defenders should be reviewed," Sekaggya said, noting that she would file a detailed report to the UN in March.
Asked specifically about human rights violations in West Bengal, the official said
"I am particularly concerned over the plight of human rights defenders working for the rights of marginalised people that is Dalits, adivasis, religious minorities and sexual minorities who face particular risks and ostracism because of their activities".
Sekaggya said she wanted permission for at least 14 days to visit but the government of India had allowed her only 10 days.


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