Home » India yet to take concrete steps to address human rights violations and deliver justice

India yet to take concrete steps to address human rights violations and deliver justice

by Huirem Naresh
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The UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions will submit a follow-up report analysing the steps taken by India to implement the recommendations he made in May 2013 in a country visit report. Christof Heyns, the UN Special Rapporteur, will submit the follow-up report today before the UN Human Rights Council 29th session in Geneva later today. The UN proceedings can be viewed LIVE through the webcast link http://webtv.un.org. An Amnesty international India press release today urged the government to act on the UN expert’s call for justice for unlawful killings, stating that over two years after a UN human rights expert raised serious concerns about unlawful killings and excessive use of force, India is yet to take concrete steps to address these violations and deliver justice. The follow-up report states that while some steps have been taken, “much remains to be done to address and prevent extrajudicial killings and to ensure accountability”. It says that guidelines provided by courts and the National Human Rights Commission, and recommendations by inquiry commissions, often “remain on paper with little or no implementation on the ground”. “The report is another grim reminder that India needs to do a lot more to prevent extrajudicial executions, and end the impunity that continues to deny justice to victims,” said Raghu Menon, Advocacy Coordinator at Amnesty International India. “Authorities need to urgently implement the recommendations of this report.” Though some positive steps have been taken to prevent unlawful killings, including Supreme Court rulings on ‘fake encounters’ (staged extrajudicial executions) and the death penalty, and the setting up of commissions which have made important recommendations on ending sexual violence against women and extrajudicial executions, he also points out that unlawful killings by state and non-state actors continue to be reported. According to the Special Rapporteur, “impunity remains a serious problem and the lack of accountability in the majority of instances of state actors is a principal concern”, and called for the repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, saying that such legislation “remain a real impediment to proper accountability”. Pending repeal or amendment, the status of a ‘disturbed area’ under the Act must be regularly reviewed, and justified decisions made on its extension.

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