TODAY -

World Organisation Against Torture UA on harassment of Ranjeeta

13th March 2018:



Urgent Appeal on the harassment and intimidation of Ms. Ranjeeta Sadokpam issued by the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and International Federation of Human Rights Organisation (FIDH).

The UA can also be found in the OMCT website:

http://www.omct.org/human-rights-defenders/urgent-interventions/india/2018/03/d24762/

India: Intimidation and harassment against Ms. Ranjeeta Sadokpam and her family
IND 001 / 0318 / OBS 028

Harassment / Intimidation

India

March 13, 2018

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a partnership of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and FIDH, requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in India.

Brief description of the situation:

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about acts of intimidation and harassment against Ms. Ranjeeta Sadokpam and her family. Ms. Sadopkam is a researcher with Human Rights Alert (HRA)[1], based in Manipur, India.

According to the information received, on February 27, 2018, at around 1 am, Ms. Ranjeeta Sadokpam was harassed and intimidated by mixed police and army personnel who knocked on her door and attempted to conduct a search of her home. The police and army personnel were allegedly looking for an individual named “Somendro”, who would allegedly be a member of the United National Liberation Front (UNLF).

Despite Ms. Sadokpam’s insistence that the so-called “Somendro” was not present in her home, an army officer insisted that they were authorized to conduct a search[2]. After discussing the situation with her family, Ms. Sadokpam went out of her home to talk with the army officer. She then noticed that many army personnel were deployed around her neighbourhood along with Manipur police officers and an unidentified masked man.

Ms. Sadokpam spoke with the army officer and cooperated by providing details about the identities of all her family members who lived in her home and the adjacent apartment. Meanwhile, the team cornered Ms. Sadokpam’s younger brother, whom the combined team seemed to suspect of being “Somendro”. Despite Ms. Sadokpam’s insistence that he was not “Somendro”, the army officer and his personnel spoke to him outside the house before they could confirm that he was not “Somendro”.

The army officer then asked Ms. Sadokpam’s family members to sign a statement that they were not allowed to read. After they reluctantly signed the paper, the mixed police and military personnel left the premises.

The Observatory strongly condemns the harassment and intimidation of Ms. Ranjeeta Sadokpam and her family, which seems aimed at sanctioning her legitimate human rights activities, particularly at a time when the Central Bureau of Investigation and the National Human Rights Commission are conducting an investigation upon orders of the Supreme Court regarding 90 cases of extrajudicial executions involving the Manipur police and the army, in which HRA is a petitioner[3].

The Observatory has also been informed of several other recent incidents of violence, harassment, intimidation, and threats against human rights defenders in Manipur by police and armed forces, including against a member of the Extrajudicial Execution Victims’ Families Association, Manipur (EEVFAM) and a legal representative of many of the victims involved in the EEVFAM and Another Vs. Union of India and Another [Writ Petition (Criminal)] 129 of 2012.

The Observatory calls upon the Indian authorities to put an end to all acts of harassment and intimidation against Ms. Ranjeeta Sadokpam, her family members, and all defenders who support the EEVFAM petition, and undertake a prompt, thorough and impartial investigation in the above-mentioned events.

The Observatory is concerned that under Section 4(d) of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFPSA), the Indian armed forces have the power to enter and search without warrant any premises to make arrests, which provides the legal basis for arbitrariness and abuses, including against human rights defenders, as illustrated by the case of Ms. Sadokpam.

The Observatory urges the Indian authorities to urgently implement the recommendation formulated by then United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders Ms. Margaret Sekaggya upon completion of her official visit to India in January 2011 to repeal the AFSPA[4].

Actions requested:

Please write to the authorities in India, urging them to:

i. Guarantee, in all circumstances, the physical and psychological integrity of Ms. Ranjeeta Sadokpam, her family, and all human rights defenders in India;

ii. Put an end to any harassment against all human rights defenders in India, and ensure in all circumstances that they are able to carry out their legitimate activities without any hindrance and fear of reprisals;

iii. Conduct a prompt, independent, and thorough investigation on the aforementioned acts of harassment and intimidation against Ms. Ranjeeta Sadokpam in order to identify the perpetrators, bring them before an independent tribunal, and sanction them as provided by the law;

iv. Repeal the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) without further delay;

v. Conform with the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 9, 1998, in particular with Articles 1 and 12.2;

vi. Ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards and international instruments ratified by India.

Addresses:

o Mr. Shri Narendra Damodardas Modi, Prime Minister of India, Fax: + 91 11 2301 6857. E-mail: pmosb@pmo.nic.in / manmo@sansad.in

o Mr. Raj Nath Singh, Union Minister of Home Affairs of India, Fax: +91 11 2309 2979. Email: dirfcra-mha@gov.in

o Mr. Rajiv Gauba, Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs of India, Email: hshso@nic.in

o Justice Dipak Misra, Chief Justice of India, Supreme Court, of India, Fax: +91 11 233 83792, Email: supremecourt@nic.in

o Justice Shri H.L. Dattu, Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission of India, Fax +91 11 2465 1329. Email: chairnhrc@nic.in

o Mr. Biren Singh, Chief Minister of the Government of Manipur, Fax: +91 385 242 11 71, Email: cmmani@man.nic.in

o Mr. Rajani Ranjan Rashmi, Chief Secretary of the Government of Manipur, Fax: +91 385 245 2629, Email: cs-manipur@nic.in

o Chairperson of the Manipur State Human Rights Commission, Email: mhrc@man.nic.in

o Mr. Srinivasa Kammath, Focal Point on Human Rights Defenders, National Human Rights Commission of India, Email: hrd-nhrc@nic.in

o H.E. Mr. Rajiv Kumar Chander, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. Fax: +41 22 906 86 96, Email: mission.india@ties.itu.int

o H.E. Mr. Manjeev Singh Puri, Embassy of India to the European Union, Belgium and Luxembourg in Brussels, Belgium, Fax: +32 2 6489638 / +32 2 6451869

Please also write to the diplomatic mission or embassy of India located in your country.

Geneva-Paris, March 13, 2018

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (the Observatory) was created in 1997 by the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and FIDH. The objective of this programme is to prevent or remedy situations of repression against human rights defenders. OMCT and FIDH are both members of ProtectDefenders.eu, the European Union Human Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented by international civil society.



* This Press Release was sent to e-pao.net by Babloo Loitongbam (HRA) who can be contacted at bloitongbam(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This Press Release was posted on March 15 2018

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