Hon’ble Justice Shri S. Rajendra Babu
National Human Rights Commission
Copernicus Marg, New Delhi – 110 001.
Subject: Detention of Human Rights Activists in Mysore.
We NCHRO (National Confederation of Human Rights Organizations) deeply concerned about the detention of human rights activists (Mr. Shaheen and Mr.Noushad) on Thursday, 12 July 2009 from Mysore.These activists were arrested in the wake of a demonstration held, they where in spot since at the place several activists are suffering from serious medical conditions owing to police torture and some require urgent medical treatment but have not received much care.
NCHRO considers Mr. Shaheen and Mr. Noushad prisoners of conscience and calls for their immediate and unconditional release. We are also concerned that hundreds of other people – including students, political figures, and human rights activists have been detained by authorities since 12 July. We urge you to insure that Mr. Shaheen and Mr. Noushad is treated humanely in detention, that their whereabouts be made known, and to give access to family and lawyers. We strongly urged concerned governments and intergovernmental bodies to call on the Karnataka government to take all necessary steps to ensure detainee’s safety and well being while in police custody and to release them at the earliest possible date.
NCHRO urges the authorities to:-
* Ensure that freedoms of association and assembly, are respected in practice and that no restrictions are placed on the exercise of these rights other than those prescribed by the law and which are necessary in a democratic society.
* Immediately stop indiscriminate or targeted attacks against civilians and respect the most fundamental human right, the Right to Life.
* Conduct prompt, impartial and independent investigations into all allegations of torture or other ill-treatment, even where no formal complaint has been made, and bring those responsible to justice in proceeding of fair trial.
* Take immediate steps to ensure that officers , who routinely violate legal safeguards, no longer carry out arrests and detentions and that they will no longer be able to exercise judicial police functions.
* Ensure that human right defenders, families of the victims and others can conduct their human rights work and express views and opinions on human rights issues without fear of intimidation, harassment or prosecution by respecting the United Nations Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
Most of the crimes were never investigated and the perpetrators were never held to account.serious concerns remain on the occurrence of human rights violations, such as secret and incommunicado detention, torture and other ill-treatment and unfair trials in the Mysore type of cases .
We call upon you to publicly condemn and take effective measures to prevent torture and other ill-treatment, including by investigating all allegations of torture, and to put an end to incommunicado detention, enforced disappearance and abuses in prisons.
We call on you to ensure that all those suspected protest related offences are given a fair and prompt trial.We urge you to immediately release all detainees and to launch an inquiry into the torture allegations and a full review of the public security laws that have been used to target human rights activists. We urge you to ensure that these attacks on civil liberties are immediately halted.
NCHRO (National Confederation of Human Rights Organizations – Karnataka Chapter)