India
10.04.18
Urgent Interventions

Acts of intimidation and harassment against Ms. Salima Memcha, EEVFAM Thoubal District Coordinator

IND 002 / 0418 / OBS 044

Harassment / Intimidation /

Threats

India

April 10, 2018

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

Brief description of the situation:

The Observatory has been informed byreliable sources about acts of intimidation and harassment against Ms. Salima Memcha, Thoubal DistrictCoordinator of the Extrajudicial Execution Victims’ Families Association, Manipur(EEVFAM).

According to the information received, on April 7,2018, at around 5am, a team of the Manipur police commando knocked loudly atMs. Salima Memcha’s gate. When she enquired about the reason for their visit, thepolice unit gave no explanation and instead rushed inside her house, searchingevery room and destroying personal property. One police officer reportedly threatened her, saying that “shewas the one they have been looking for months”. They also asked her informationabout her family members, including her children. The search lasted about 30minutes, after which police officers left the house. Before leaving, one of thepolice officers took a picture of Ms. Memcha and threatened her with “direconsequences”.

On the same day,Ms. Memcha submitted a memorandum to the Director General of Manipur police,asking for protection and his urgent intervention through the registration of aFirst Information Report (FIR) against the police team involved in the raid onher home.

Ms. Memcha was due to visit the Police Crime InvestigationDepartment (CID) branch office at Imphal that day, in connection with the caseof her husband, who was killed in an alleged encounter with Assam Rifles, anIndian paramilitary force. Her husband’s case is part of 62 cases submitted by EEVFAM to the Supreme Court along with Writ Petition (Criminal) 129 of 2012[1]. However, due to concerns about her safety, Ms.Memcha did not attend the meeting.

TheObservatory recalls that there have been otherrecent incidents of violence, harassment, intimidation, and threats againsthuman rights defenders in Manipur by police and armed forces, including againsta member of EEVFAM and a legal representative of many of the victims involvedin EEVFAM’s 2012 petition to the Supreme Court of India, as well as against Ms. RanjeetaSadokpam, a researcher with Human Rights Alert (HRA)[2].

TheObservatory strongly condemns the acts of harassment, intimidation, and threatsagainst Ms. Salima Memcha, which seem to be aimed at punishingher for her peaceful and legitimate human rights activities as EEVFAM Thoubal District Coordinator.

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

Actions requested:

Please write tothe authorities in India, urging them to:

i. Guarantee, in all circumstances, thephysical and psychological integrity of Ms. Salima Memcha, her family, and allhuman rights defenders in India;

ii. Put an end to anyharassment against all human rights defenders in India, and ensure in all circumstancesthat they are able to carry out their legitimate activities without anyhindrance and fear of reprisals;

iii. Conduct a prompt, independent, and thoroughinvestigation on the aforementioned acts of harassment and intimidation againstMs. Salima Memcha in order to identify theperpetrators, bring them before an independent tribunal, and sanction them asprovided by the law;

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

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

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

Addresses:

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

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

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

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

· JusticeShri H.L. Dattu, Chairperson of the NationalHuman Rights Commission of India, Fax +91 11 2465 1329. Email: chairnhrc@nic.in

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

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

· Chairperson of the ManipurState Human Rights Commission, Email: mhrc@man.nic.in

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

· H.E. Mr. Rajiv Kumar Chander, Ambassador, PermanentMission of India to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. Fax: +41 22 90686 96, Email: mission.india@ties.itu.int

· 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

Pleasealso write to the diplomatic mission or embassy of India located in yourcountry.

***

Geneva-Paris, April 10, 2018

Kindly inform us of any action undertakenquoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

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

To contact the Observatory,call the emergency line:

E-mail:Appeals@fidh-omct.org

Tel and fax OMCT + 41(0) 22 809 49 39 / + 41 22 809 49 29 Tel and fax FIDH: + 33 (0) 1 43 55 25 18 / +33 1 43 55 18 80

[1] EEVFAM isthe petitioner in Writ Petition (Criminal) 129 of 2012 to the Supreme Court ofIndia, which demanded an investigation to be launched into 1,528 reported casesof extrajudicial killings that took place in Manipur between May 1979 to 2012. The Court decided in favour of EEVFAM and orderedthe Central Bureau of Investigation to initiate an investigation into thesecases. An hearing in the case is now scheduled for April 16, 2018.

[2] For more than two decades, HRA has been documenting human rightsviolations and organising victims of Manipur and north-east India to accesshuman rights redressal mechanisms both at national and international levels. Inparticular, HRA is also a petitioner of the EEVFAM and Another Vs. Union ofIndia and Another [Writ Petition (Criminal) 129 of 2012] to the Supreme Courtof India. For more information, see ObservatoryUrgent Appeal IND 001/ 0318 / OBS 028, published on March 13, 2018.

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