Saturday June 24 2006 01:02 IST
CUDDALORE: Until India ratifies all the UN conventions; the country cannot field any candidate for any post in the world body including that of the secretary general, according to executive director, People’s Watch, Henri Tiphange.
Addressing a function organised to felicitate artists who took part in a 20-day awareness rally on torture across the State here on Friday, he said the country’s nominee Shasi Tharoor, who is contesting for the post of UN Secretary General, would not succeed.
‘‘Fielding Tharoor would be futile attempt until the Central Government ratifies all the conventions. Ratification of all the conventions is an important qualification for a country to field its candidate for any post,’’ he said.
The country had not ratified conventions such as the UN Convention against Torture and Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, UN Optional Protocol to Convention Against Torture and UN Optional Protocol to the Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, Tiphange said, adding that states, including West Bengal, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka, were all set to introduce the National Plan Against Torture.
He urged the government to implement guidelines on the procedure for making arrests laid down by the Supreme Court in the DK Basu vs State of West Bengal case and order a fresh probe into the death of brigand Veerappan.
He also called upon the Union Government to revamp the National Human Rights Commission and State Human Rights Commissions and arm them with more powers.
Currently, four posts were vacant in the State Human Rights Commission in Tamil Nadu. Among the 138 member countries of the United Nations, 56 had signed the International Convention against Torture. However, they had not ratified the convention and as a result torture had not been declared as a criminal offence.
Tiphanage further said torture was the worst form of human rights violation since it robbed the victim of his/her dignity.
He said NGOs had been engaged in creating awareness among the people by undertaking ‘cultural yatras’ across the State.
This year, the yatra was held between June 2 and 22, in which more than 100 artists participated. The rally passed through 31 districts in two states and more than 500 shows were performed. Nearly six lakh people watched the events.
Five teams that had started from different places, as part of the yatra reached the coastal town on Friday morning.
The participants enacted street plays, skits, dramas, folk songs, etc, on the various forms of torture, including atrocities against Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, women, students, dowry harassment and custodial torture.
The artists would take participate in a ‘cultural night’ to be held at Manjakuppam grounds here on Saturday.