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NGO condemns India’s failure to ratify Convention Against Torture
Newmai News
 IMPHAL, Oct 1 - Manipur-based Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights (CSCHR) said that during the session for the adoption of the outcome document on India’s 3rd Universal Periodic Review (UPR) to improve its human rights situation, on September 21 last, the Government of India has formally accepted only 152 recommendations out of the 250 recommendations given by 112 member States of United Nations.

According to CSCHR, the remaining 98 recommendations were simply noted. “However, most of the human rights issues critical to the situation in Manipur including the repeal/review of AFSPA, ratification of Convention on Protection of All Persons Against Enforced Disappearances (CED), moratorium on death penalty, ratification of the Rome Statute on International Criminal Court, etc., are only noted without indicating a follow up plan and not accepted,” CSCHR also stated.

Many international organisations including Amnesty International, International Commission of Jurist, Forum-Asia, WGHR, etc., have strongly denounced the Government of India’s continued refusal to accept the recommendation for the repeal/review of AFSPA, it added.

A five-member delegation of CSCHR attended the 36th regular session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on September 21.

According to CSCHR, during their participation at the session of the UN Human Rights Council, it strongly deplored the refusal of the Government of India to repeal Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958 (AFSPA) despite persistent recommendations from the UN and international community.

The CSCHR mentioned that, in the first cycle of Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in 2008, Germany, UK and Canada made recommendation regarding AFSPA. Similarly in the second cycle in 2012, Switzerland, France and Slovakia made similar recommendations. In this third cycle too Government of Switzerland and Pakistan raised the issue. But in all the three cycles, Government of India has persistently refused to accept the recommendation.

CSCHR also condemns the failure of India to ratify the Convention against Torture (CAT) despite its signing the treaty 20 years ago in 1997 and strongly urges Government of India to urgently ratify CAT by adopting an Act of Parliament for the prevention of torture that is consistent with the provisions of CAT.

According to CSCHR, in the side event entitled “UPR Outcome Document”, held on September 21 in the Palais des Nations, Jiten Yumnam of CSCHR stated, “The continued enforcement of AFSPA means the unleashing of more inhumanity, extreme forms of violations, genocidal practices and a culture of impunity, targeting the most marginalized communities and national minorities”.

Babloo Loitongbam of WGHR/CSCHR, who moderated the event, questioned the true meaning of India repeatedly accepting a recommendation to ratify the Convention Against Torture, which was accepted by the Government of India in the first, second and third UPR, while taking no meaningful action at all, the CSCHR further stated. Renu Takhellambam of EEVFAM drew the attention of the UN Human Rights Council on the issue of extrajudicial executions and AFSPA, it added.

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