Excessiveuse of force / Arbitrary detention
The International Secretariatof the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) requests your URGENTintervention in the following situation in India.
Description of the Situation:
The OMCT InternationalSecretariat has been informed by reliable sources of the use of excessive forceby law enforcement agents against peaceful protesters in Manipur, and of thearbitrary arrest of at least 89 students and six professors from the ManipurUniversity.
According to the informationreceived, on the morning of 21 September 2018 a large number of security forcesfromthe Manipur Police Commando, the Manipur Civil Police, the Central ReservedPolice Force, the Indian Reserved Battalion and the Manipur Rifles raided without a warrant severalstudents’ hostels and professors’ quarters at Manipur University, allegedly insearch of Manipur University Students’ Union (MUSU)’s leaders. The search wascharacterised by the destruction of hostels’ properties such as doors andwindows, as well as by the use of excessive force against the students. It wasreported that tear gas, mock bombs and even live bullets were used by the lawenforcement agents in different occasions during the operations, whichcontinued until dawn. It was also reported that security forces tried to plantincriminating evidence, such as a gun, on the bed of a MUSU councillor and thatstudents who sustained injuries were not allowed to seek medical attention orbuy medicine until 2pm the following day, when an ambulance was finally allowedon campus. Since the morning of 21 September 2018, all mobile internetconnections have been shut down.
This raid took place in theframework of three-month long protests by the students, teachers and staffs ofManipur University, who were expressing their dissatisfaction with theappointment of Prof. Adya Prasad Pandey as Vice Chancellors (VC) of the ManipurUniversity. Prof. Adya Prasad Pandey was subsequently dismissed, however thecontroversial designation of Prof. Jugindro as Prof. Pandey’s successor, triggeredfurther protests by the students. As a consequence, Prof. Jugindro filed aFirst Information Report (FIR) under the Indian Penal Code and the Criminal LawAmendment Act, 2013 at the Singjamei police station, claiming that he had beenharassed by the students. The security forces raided the University inpursuance of the above-mentioned FIR.
During the raid, at least 89students were arbitrarily detained in different police stations and, as of 28September 2018, six professors, namely Professor Sougaijam Dorendrajit, Professor L. Vishwanath Sharma, Professor L. Sanju Kumar, Professor ChungkhamYashowanta, Professor N. Sanatombaand Professor Yengkhom Raghumani, aswell as seven students, Mr. L. Peter,Mr. M. Santosh, Mr. Kh. Sushilkumar, Mr. L. Reynold, Mr. P. Romarjit, Mr. Kh.Joychand and Mr. Ngamkholen Mate,remain in judicial custody. A further two students, Mr. Laishram Robindro and Mr. IromKennedy, are in police custody. Their hearing is scheduled for the 6thof October 2018.
The OMCT condemns the arbitrarydetention of the above-mentioned individuals and urges the Indian authoritiesto guarantee their safety and their psychological and physical integrity at alltimes.
TheOMCT further urges the Indian authorities to immediately and unconditionally releasethe above-mentioned individuals, as well as to conduct prompt, effective, thorough, independent andimpartial investigated into the use of excessive force by security forcesduring the events occurred at Manipur University on 21 October 2018.
Please write to the Indianauthorities, urging them to:
i. Guarantee,in all circumstances, the physical and psychological integrity of the above-mentionedindividuals currently in detention;
ii. Immediately and unconditionally release the individualscurrently in detention;
iii. Carry out immediate, thorough, impartial, andtransparent investigations into the events described above in the Manipur Stateof India in order to identify all those responsible and hold them accountable beforea competent, independent and impartial tribunal and apply penal, civil and/oradministrative sanctions as provided by law;
iv. Ensure thatadequate, effective and prompt reparation, including adequate compensation andrehabilitation, is granted to the victims for the violation of their humanrights;
v. Conduct human rights trainings for the police and securityforces;
vi. Ensure the respect of human rights and fundamental freedomsthroughout the country in accordance with national laws and international humanrights standards ratified by India, including the right to freedom of expression.
· Mr. Raj Nath Singh,Union Minister of Home Affairs of India, Fax: +91 11 2309 2979. Email: email@example.com
· Mr. Rajiv Gauba,Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs of India, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
· Justice Dipak Misra, Chief Justice of India,Supreme Court, of India, Fax: +91 11 233 83792, Email: email@example.com
· Justice Shri H.L. Dattu, Chairperson of the NationalHuman Rights Commission of India, Fax +91 11 2465 1329. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
· Mr. KhaleelAhmad, Focal Point on Human Rights Defenders, National Human Rights Commissionof India, Email: email@example.com
· H.E. Mr. RajivKumar Chander, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of India to the UnitedNations in Geneva, Switzerland. Fax: +41 22 906 86 96, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
· H.E. MS. GaitriIssar Kumar, Embassy of India to the European Union, Belgium and Luxembourg inBrussels, Belgium, Fax: +32 2 6489638 / +32 2 6451869
Please also writeto the diplomatic representations of India in your respective countries.
Geneva, 28 September 2018