Convention on "Human Rights of Human Rights Defenders of Manipur",

June 27, 2014

An HR activist deliberating at Manipur Convention on HRDs on 27 June 2014 at Manipur Press Club
An HR activist deliberating at Manipur Convention on HRDs on 27 June 2014 at Manipur Press Club


Convention on "Human Rights of Human Rights Defenders of Manipur",
Date: June 27, 2014, Manipur Press Club, Imphal

A one day Convention on Human Rights of Human Rights Defenders of Manipur, was jointly organised by Human Rights Law Networks (Manipur Unit), Human Rights Initiative, United NGOs Mission and Centre for Research and Advocacy Manipur at Manipur Press Club on 27 June, 2014. The convention was organized in the backdrop of increased human right attacks on human rights defenders of Manipur, the latest being the attack on Mr. Laimayum Shivananda, an advocate. Mr. Phulindro Konsam, Chairperson, Committee on Human Rights, Mr. U. Nobokishore, Secretary, United NGO's Mission, Manipur and Ms. Maibam Nganbileima, victim of Lamphelpat Yaipha Lekai Eviction victim.

Mr. Jiten Yumnam given the key note addresses elaborating the need for protection of human rights defenders of Manipur working in an environment of armed conflict situation and also in the context of recommendations of Ms. Margeret Sagakya, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders to protect human rights defenders across India. Mr. Rakesh Meihoubam, Director, Human Rights Law Network, Manipur Unit said the government should change their behaviors and respects the human rights of all peoples of Manipur.

Mr. Pojel Chaoba (journalist IFP) shared his incident of harassment by personnel by Indian Reserve Battalion and condemned how the state security forces even violated the rights and freedom of media persons of Manipur. Mr. Babloo Loitongbam, Executive Director, Human Rights Alert stressed the need for a system where all the violation can be taken up with proper legal aid. He express the crucial need for specific mechanisms, where all victims of violations can raise their voice and further stressed the need for a focal point committee where all violations can be monitored. Mrs. Sobita Director WAD expressed concern with the recent incident of physical attack on Advocate Shivananda by team of security personal. She expressed that attacking an Advocate like Mr. Shivananda represents an attack of All Advocates of Manipur.

Phulindro Konsam, Chairperson of COHR expressed the risk involved to all defender in Manipur. He explained how the Government of India still relied on colonial laws, which the British implements against the Indian freedom movement. He said the we should demand to the govt to implements the provisions of UN declaration on Human Rights Defenders, 1998 to end violations against human rights defenders. Mr. U. Nobokishwor secretary, UNMM said that the law enforcing agencies, instead of protecting people are instead targeting innocent people and human rights defenders. He stressed the need for review of the Indian Police Act, 1860 for its inconsistency with human rights advances. The participants of the meeting adopted the following resolutions:

Resolution: Convention on "Human Rights of Human Rights Defenders of Manipur" Manipur Press Club, Imphal, Manipur, 27 June 2014

The participants of the Convention on "Human Rights of Human Rights Defenders in Manipur", organized by the Human Rights Law Network Manipur Unit, Human Rights Initiative, United NGO's Mission, Manipur, Centre for Research and Advocacy, Manipur at Manipur Press Club on 27th June 2014, hereby:

Strongly condemn:

1. The assault on Mr. Laimayum Sevananda of Human Rights Law Network, Manipur Unit by suspected security forces in plain clothes and called on the Government of Manipur to investigate and identify those involved in the attack within a reasonable period of time.
2. Increased targeting of human rights defenders from human rights organizations, Media, Legal fraternity, such as assault of Mr. Paojel Chaoba of Imphal Free Press in early 2014.
3. The vilification campaign unleashed by the Intelligence Bureau on activist and NGOs in the name of deterring development by using foreign funds.

Further resolved that the Government of Manipur and Government of India should:

- Recognize the human rights and ensure protection of all human rights defenders who's striving for the protection and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms at all levels, as also outlined in Article 1 of UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, 1998.
- Stop targeting of all human rights defenders of Manipur to threats and direct physical attacks and deprivation of their right to life and liberty.
- Investigate and punish those involved in the torture, arbitrary detention and killing of all human rights defenders of Manipur. Specifically, punish those personnel of Manipur police involved in the attack on Mr. Paojel Chaoba of Imphal Free Press in early 2014.
- Fully implement the recommendations of the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, Margaret Sagakya in February 2011 during her visit to India.
- Repeal all emergency laws, the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958, the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967 and the National Security Act, 1980 and other legislations that facilitate violations of human rights in Manipur.
- Call for unconditional release of Ms. Irom Sharmila and to concede her legitimate demand to repeal the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958.
- Review Indian Police Act, 1860 for its compliance with human rights principles
- Ensure the full functioning of the Manipur Human Rights Commission by appointment of competent and committed members through a transparent process.
- The Government of Manipur should set up special cell for protection of human rights defenders.
- Ensure that all security forces in Manipur strictly adhere to recommendations of Supreme Court judgement of 1997 in hearing of AFSPA, 1958 especially to identify themselves in their operations.
- Establish legislations for the protection of human rights defenders of Manipur with their due consultation in accordance with the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, 1998.
- Formulate legislations to end all practice of torture as per the UN Convention against Torture.

The Convention further adopted to form an Adhoc Committee to constitute a platform for the protection of the safety and security of human rights defenders of Manipur

Rakesh Meihoubam, Director, Human Rights Law Network
U Nobokishore, Secretary, United NGO's Mission Manipur
Joykumar Wahengbam, Director, Human Rights Initiative
Jiten Yumnam, Secretary, Centre for Research and Advocacy, Manipur

* This PR was sent to by Jiten Yumnam (Secretary, Centre for Research and Advocacy, Manipur) who can be contacted at jitnyumnam(at)yahoo(dot)co(dot)in
This Press Release was posted on June 28, 2014

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