Alert: Afghanistan one year on: open season on the defence of human rights
India
28.06.13
Urgent Interventions

Death in detention of Mr. Safiqul Haque and acts of intimidation and judicial harassment against his family

Case IND 280613

Allegations of torture and ill-treatment/ Arbitrary detention/ Judicialharassment/ Death in detention/ No proper investigation/ Risk of impunity

The International Secretariat of the WorldOrganisation Against Torture (OMCT) requests your URGENT intervention in the following situation in India/West Bengal.

Briefdescription of the situation

The International Secretariat of OMCT has beeninformed by Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM), a member of OMCTSOS-Torture Network, about acts of intimidation and judicial harassment againstthe family of Mr. Safiqul Haque, a 51 year-old man from Bilbari Village,after the family lodged a complaint alleging that Mr. Safiqul Haque had died indetention due to torture and lack of proper medical care. OMCT is particularlyconcerned about the arrest and alleged false charges brought against his son,Mr. Rafikul Alam, 22 year-old, and the lack of proper investigation intothe death in detention of Mr. Safiqul Haque.

According to the information received, Mr. Safiqul Haque’s family hasbeen continuously threatened by the Nabagram police after lodging a complaintin relation to the death in detention of Mr. Safiqul Haque (see background information hereunder).In a recent event, on 11 May 2013, at about 5:00 am, the Officer in charge ofNabagram Police Station, along with other 12 policemen, entered Mr. SafiqulHaque’s family house and arrested without any arrest warrant Mr. Rafikul Alam,son of Mr. Safiqul Haque, after the family refused to sign on blank papers. Mr.Rafikul Alam was illegally detained during two days. During his detention, heallegedly suffered verbal abuses, repeated threats and intimidation. He wasalso allegedly deprived of adequate food and proper sleep.

On 13 May 2013, Mr. Rafikul Alam was reportedly falsely charged inNabagram Police Station Case no. 20/2013 under sections 147 (punishment forrioting), 148 (armed with deadly weapon), 149 (member of unlawful assemblyguilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object), 332 (voluntarilycausing hurt to deter public servant from his duty) and 353 (assault orcriminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) of IndianPenal Code and Section 3 of Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, 1984.According to the same information, on 14 May 2013, Mr. Rafikul Alam’s motherlodged a written complaint to denounce the aforementioned events before theDistrict Magistrate. To date, there has been reportedly no investigationcarried out into the aforementioned events.

Background information

According to the same information received, on 7 December 2012 at about5:00 pm, Mr. Safiqul Haque was praying at Bilbari Boro Mosque, in BilbariVillage, when he was apprehended, together with Mr. Ismail Seikh, Mr. Jarman Seikhand Mr. Anawar Hossan, bySuperintendent of Police of Murshidabab district, Mr. Humayun Kabir, who camewith about 500 police personnel. The police entered the mosque and startedbrutally assaulting Mr. Safiqul Haque and his acquaintances. Mr. Safiqul Haque,Mr. Ismail Seikh, Mr. Jarman Seikh and Mr. Anawar Hossan were reportedly tiedand dragged by force to the police prison vans parked outside the mosque, wherethey were again beaten and verbally abused.

On 8 December 2012, Mr. Safiqul Haque’s wife reportedly received a phonecall from an unknown person who informed her that her husband, together withMr. Ismail Seikh and Mr. Jarman Seikh, had been brought to Lalbagh Courtaccused of murder. She went to Lalbagh Court where she found out that her husbandand the two men were detained in the court lock up and that they had beentortured during the whole night by the police personnel who beat them withtheir boots and with wooden sticks. After rejection of their bail petition on 8December 2012, Mr. Safiqul Haque, Mr. Ismail Seikh and Mr. Jarman Seikh were detainedin Bhagwangola Police Station until 12 December 2012 when they were brought tothe Additional Second Court Special Judge, Berhempur and implicated in theNarcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS) case 1117/12. Mr. SafiqulHaque esd then moved to Bharampur Central Correctional Home where his familywas not allowed to visit him. The police personnel allegedly tortured Mr. SafiqulHaque again during this detention causing him several injuries.

According to the same information, it was not till 7 January 2013 whenMr. Safiqul Haque was admitted to the Berhempur Sub-District Hospital to betreated from the injuries inflicted. Despite the advise of the doctor to movehim to Kolkata Hospital for better treatment, the officials in charge did notdo so. On 7 January 2013 Mr. Safiqul Haque reportedly died in BerhempurSub-District Hospital without getting any proper treatment. The police did notinform Mr. Safiqul Haque’s family about his death. On 11 January 2013, Mr. SafiqulHaque’s wife lodged a complaint before the district Magistrate, in Murshidabad.On 14 February 2013 MASUM made a complaint to the National Human RightsCommission. However, to date, no action has been taken and there has beenreportedly no investigation carried out into the aforementioned events. As forMr. Ismail Seikh, Mr. Jarman Seikh and Mr. Anawar Hossan, they have beenreleased on bail.

The International Secretariat of OMCT expresses itsconcern about the safety and physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Safiqul Haque’s family, particularly of his son, Mr. Rafikul Alam. OMCT is also gravely concernedabout the circumstances surrounding the detention and death in detention of Mr.Safiqul Haque. OMCT urges the competentauthorities to guarantee Mr. Safiqul Haque’s family physical and psychologicalintegrity at all times, notably by immediately putting in place adequateprotection measures for them, and by suspending the police personnel believedto be responsible for the allegations of torture and ill-treatment, pending aninvestigation.

OMCT recalls that the authorities have to fulfil theirobligations underthe Indian Constitution and under international human rights law toprotect the right to life, the right not to be subjected to torture or othercruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and the right to libertyand security, to consider seriously any allegations of ill-treatment andarbitrary arrest, and to undertake a prompt,effective, thorough, independent andimpartial investigation in thisregard, in order to identify all those responsible, bring them to trial andapply adequate sanctions. OMCT also recalls that victims must be ensured theright to an effective remedy for the human rights violations suffered as wellas the right to full redress, including compensation and rehabilitation.

Action requested

Please write to the authorities in Indiaurging them to:

  1. Guarantee, in all circumstances, the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Safiqul Haque’s family, particularly of his son, Mr. Rafikul Alam;
  2. Immediately put in place adequate protection measures for the family of Mr. Safiqul Haque;
  3. Immediately put an end to acts of intimidation and judicial harassment against the family of Mr. Safiqul Haque;
  4. Carry out a prompt, effective, thorough, independent and impartial investigations into the alleged acts of ill-treatment, arbitrary detention and alleged false charges against Mr. Rafikul Alam, Mr. Ismail Seikh and Mr. Jarman Seikh and into the death in custody of Mr. Safiqul Haque, the result of which must be made public, in order to bring those responsible before a competent, independent and impartial tribunal and apply penal, civil and/or administrative sanctions as provided by law;
  5. Ensure that adequate, effective and prompt reparation including adequate compensation and rehabilitation is granted to Mr. Safiqul Haque’s family, Mr. Rafikul Alam, Mr. Ismail Seikh and Mr. Jarman Seikh;
  6. Guarantee the respect of human rights and the fundamental freedoms throughout the country in accordance with national laws and international human rights standards.


Addresses

Ø Mr. Shri Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India, Prime Minister’s Office, Room number 152, South Block, New Delhi, India.Fax: + 91 11 2301 6857. E-mail: pmosb@pmo.nic.in / manmo@sansad.in;

Ø Mr. Sushil Kumar Shinde,Union Minister of Home Affairs, Ministryof Home Affairs, 104-107 North Block, New Delhi 110 001 India, Fax: +91 11 23092979;

Ø Justice AltamasKabir, Chief Justice of India, Supreme Court, Tilak Marg,New Delhi -1, India. Fax: +91 11 233 83792, Email: supremecourt@nic.in;

Ø Justice K. G. Balkrishnan,Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission of India, Faridkot House,Copernicus Marg, New Delhi 110 001, India. Fax: +91 11 2334 0016 / 2338 4863,Email: covdnhrc@nic.in; ionhrc@nic.in;

Ø Justice Asok Kumar Ganguly, Chairperson, West Bengal Human Rights Commission,Bhabani Bhaban, Alipur, Kolkata -27. Fax +91 33 2479 9633 / 2479 7750, Email: wbhrc8@bsnl.in

Ø Governor, West Bengal, Raj Bhaban, Kolkata – 62, Phone: +91 33-2479 7259,Fax: +91 33 2479 9633 / 2479 7750, Email: secy-gov-wb@nic.in

Ø Miss Mamata Banerjee, ChiefMinister, Government of West Bengal, Writers’ Buildings, BBD Bagh, Kolkata – 1,Fax - +91 33 22145480, Email: cm@wb.gov.in, sechome@wb.gov.in;

Ø H.E. Mr. DilipSinha, Ambassador, Permanent Mission ofIndia to the United Nations (Geneva), Rue du Valais 9, 1202 Geneva, Switzerland. Tel: +41 22 906 86 86, Fax: +41 22 906 86 96, Email: mission.india@ties.itu.int

Please also write to the diplomatic mission or embassyof India in your respective country.

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of thisappeal in your reply.

Geneva, 28 June 2013

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