PRESS: CORE seeks clarification from IB, warns of legal action

The Centre for Organisation Research & Education issued a press statement yesterday on 16th June 2014 regarding the reported contents of a “classified” document claimed by a few national media houses as originating with the Intelligence Bureau (IB) of India. In this apparently deliberately leaked report of 3rd June 2014, the organisation was said to be explicitly mentioned as involved in activities detrimental to national development and receiving funds from a Dutch funder. CORDAID to train local activists in campaigning against government and private corporation plans to start oil exploration in some areas of Manipur in the North East region of India.

CORE has categorically denied all the allegations reportedly raised in the IB’s report to the Ministry of Home Affairs of India as unfounded and based on conjectures with no evidence whatsoever.

PLEASE CLICK ON THE LINKS BELOW TO READ THE MEDIA COVERAGE OF OUR PRESS STATEMENT

http://e-pao.net/GP.asp?src=22..170614.jun14

http://www.thesangaiexpress.com/page/items/39819/core-seeks-clarification-from-ib

http://e-pao.net/epSubPageExtractor.asp?src=news_section.Press_Release.Press_Release_2014.CORE_statement_on_Intelligence_Bureau_IB_classified_report_Impact_of_NGOs_on_Development_20140617

 

CSCHR Media Brief on second UPR of India

CSCHR emphasises that this is the first time that the issue of AFSPA has reached the political arena of the UN debate in a significant way. The recommendation to repeal AFSPA 1958 or review in accordance with the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights has now reached the level of the UN Human Rights Council finally.

PLEASE CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW TO READ THE PRESS RELEASE

CSCHR_UPR Media Briefing Note-India_2june2012

STATE LEVEL CONVENTION ON UN RESPONSE TO AFSPA AND RELATED ISSUES: CONCLUSIONS AND RESOLUTIONS

STATE LEVEL CONVENTION ON UN RESPONSE TO AFSPA AND RELATED ISSUES

The State Level Convention on UN response to AFSPA and related issues organised by the Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights in Manipur and the UN, held on 6th April 2012 at Manipur Press Club, Majorkhul, Imphal, Manipur thoroughly discussed the recent developments arising from visits to India of:

1. The Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, Mrs. Margaret Sekaggya and her final report at the 19th regular session of the UN Human Rights Council on 5th March 2012; and
2. The Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Mr. Christof Heyns and his general comments, conclusions and preliminary recommendations on 30th March 2012.

The delegates of the Convention:

1. Warmly welcome the general comments, conclusions and preliminary recommendations of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Mr. Christof Heyns;
2. Warmly welcome the final report of the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, Mrs. Margaret Sekaggya and her final report;
3. Takes note of the remarks made by the Union Minister of Home Affairs, Mr. P. Chidambaram during his monthly report on 31st March 2012;
4. Strongly reiterate and support the stand of the people of Manipur for the repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) of 1958;
5. Warmly applaud the 11 years long struggle of Nura Temsingnabi Irom Chanu Sharmila for the repeal of AFSPA 1958 and to end the summary and/or arbitrary killings in Manipur;
6. Conclude that the situation in Manipur arises from the Manipur people’s struggle for their right to self-determination, endorsed by the Human Rights Committee in 1997 and also by the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders;
7. Conclude further that a situation of armed conflict existed in Manipur since the 50s, and that international humanitarian law is applicable to this situation, which is also supported by the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions;
8. Also recognise that the Manipur peoples’ movement for self-determination and human rights continues to this day with the inclusion of all the people and this movement needs to be strengthened further;

Hereby unanimously resolve:

1. To further the Peoples’ Campaign to Repeal the AFSPA 1958 by fully supporting the organisation of a Manipur National Convention to consider the present situation of armed conflict and international human rights and humanitarian law violations in Manipur, and take up necessary steps and actions to Repeal AFSPA 1958 and advance the agenda for a peaceful political solution to the situation;
2. To urgently compile and publish the relevant recent documents relating to the UN officials’ visits to the North East region of India to further the People’s Campaign.

Signed/

(Dr Debabrata Roy Laifungbam)
Convenor
Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights in Manipur and the UN

6 April 2012
Imphal

please click on the link below to access the full text document

Conclusion and Resolution, One-Day Convention

Press Statement by UN Special Rapporteur Christof Heyns at the conclusion of his India Mission

The UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns completed his mission to India on 30 March 2012 and issued an official press release as a current method of work practice of his mandate set by his predecessors.  Acknowledging the huge diversity of India in terms of religion, languages and culture, and India’s federal structure, he said that “[t]he challenge to protect, promote and respect the right to life (in India) is undeniably a real one. It is of concern however that despite constitutional guarantees and a robust human rights jurisprudence, extrajudicial killings is a matter of serious concern in India.” Emphasising that the “solutions to these issues largely lies within the system itself”, he elaborated on his concerns, shared his conclusions and presented his provisional recommendations.

His concerns regarding unlawful killings, both in terms of prevention and accountability, focused on the use of force of State actors and non-state actors, systemic challenges, and the role of human rights institutions.

The use of excessive force by the police attracted special attention. The statement mentioned that salutary guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court “are not sufficiently complied with.” Statutory immunity that restrict accountability aggravate the problems and the practice of “fake encounters” has developed in parts of the country, the statement added. Reported deaths in police and judicial custody in India were one of the major concerns, often in the context of torture. He expressed his hopes that the proposed legislation underway to ratify the UN Convention against Torture (CAT) would be compliant with the UN treaty’s provisions.

Prof Heyns’ statement dwelt on the issue of the Armed Forces deployed in the so-called ‘disturbed areas’ in the North East and in Jammu and Kashmir. He gave elaborate attention to the question of the long-term application of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) in these parts of the country. He emphatically and unequivocally stated that “such a law as AFSPA has no role to play in a democracy and should be scrapped.” Stating that the Act clearly violated international law, he said “the widespread deployment of the military as a primary response to conflict with a concomitant  permissive approach…of the use of lethal force…is difficult to reconcile in the long run with India’s insistence that it is not engaged in armed conflict.”

A number of systemic challenges were mentioned in his statement. The issues of delayed justice, awarding alleged perpetrators,compensation instead of prosecution, burdening the victim to initiate civil, criminal or writ proceedings, emphasis on juridical form over real practice, statutory immunity, lack of protection of witnesses, the weak role of human rights institutions, etc. were some key aspects of his concerns. The question of impunity encouraged by legal and juridical shortcomings was also an identified concern and challenge.

Significantly, Prof Heyns proposed a national Commission of Inquiry, that is credible and inspires the confidence of the people, to inquire into extrajudicial executions in India to be appointed by the government which also serves a transitional justice role. The Commission has to be required to complete its work within a reasonably short period. Such a Commission, he suggested, should “inquire into past violations, propose where relevant measures to deal with those, and work out a plan of action for the future to eradicate practices of extrajudicial executions. The Commission must submit recommendations on legal reform, and the reform of state structures, security apparatus and processes that encourage impunity.”

His provisional recommendations covered a range of issues. including the repeal of AFSPA and the Jammu and Kashmir Armed Forces Special Powers Act of 1990 in order to send a powerful signal about the State’s commitment to a new dispensation.

PLEASE CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW TO READ THE FULL PRESS RELEASE

Press Statement of the Special Rapporteur on EJE at New Delhi_30 March 2012

CSCHR Press Conference on Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders, Margaret Sekaggya's Mission to Indian report

CSCHR held a press conference at the Manipur Press Club on Monday, 5 March 2012 to release the report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Margaret Sekaggya who conducted a country visit to India from 10 to 21 January 2011, to assess the current situation of human rights defenders in India, during which she met with senior officials at the central and state levels, and human rights defenders. She visited Guwahati, Assam on 14 January 2011 and met with human rights defenders from Manipur and the north-eastern States. Mrs Sekaggya’s final report of her India mission was tabled before the 19th regular session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday, 5 March 2012.

The UN Special Rapporteur’s report recommends to the government of India to repeal the National Security Act, the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, and the Chhattisgarh Public Safety Act; enact a law on the protection of human rights defenders, with an emphasis on defenders facing greater risks, developed in full and meaningful consultation with civil society and on the basis of technical advice from relevant United Nations entities; strengthen national human rights institutions; etc.

CLICK ON LINKS TO READ THE PRESS REPORTS

Imphal Free Press Headline:UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders details UN on rights violations in Manipur

Hueiyen Lanpao Headlines: State issues including AFSPA put before the UN

Sangai Express Headline: AFSPA and human rights issues tabled in UN session

Poknapham Headline (Meiteilon/Manipuri).pdf

The Telegraph: Official submits report in Geneva meeting