Int’l HRs organizations want end to black laws from IOK

Srinagar—The Amnesty International India, Human Rights Watch and the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) have said that the authorities in occupied Kashmir should end the use of black law, Public Safety Act (PSA), to arbitrarily detain people including children.
The groups in a joint statement said, the PSA violates international due process standards and should be repealed.
Quoting media reports, the groups said that the authorities have detained over 400 people, including children, under PSA between July 9 when clashes erupted against the death of Hizb Commander, Burhan Wani, and October 6.
“The use of PSA to detain people, particularly children, violates a range of human rights, and its increasing use in recent weeks undermines the rule of law and further entrenches impunity in Kashmir,” said Sam Zarifi, ICJ Asia Director. “Police should end the use of the PSA. If people are suspected of committing offences, they should be properly charged and given fair trials.”
On 16th September, Rayees Ahmad Mir, who is 16 years old according to his school records, was arrested in Baramulla district under ordinary criminal procedure for allegedly throwing stones at forces, the groups said.
“Two days later, an executive official passed an order to detain him under the PSA, to preclude his release on bail. The order incorrectly stated that he was 18 years old. Rayees Mir’s family challenged the order before the Kashmir High Court, producing documents that proved he was only 16. On 7 October, the court stated that Rayees Mir should be treated according to juvenile justice rules, as there was prima facie evidence that he was a minor, and ordered his transfer to a juvenile home. The PSA detention order has not yet been quashed. An official at the Kot Bhalwal jail said on October 14 that the prison authorities had not yet transferred Rayees Mir, as they had not received a copy of the court order,” they said.
“On August 18, Waheed Ahmed Gojree, who is 16 according to his school records, was arrested in Kupwara district and detained at a police station. According to his family, the police at first told them that he would be released the next day, but then said that he had been detained under the PSA. He was first taken to a jail in Baramulla, and then to the central jail in Jammu. An official at the central jail confirmed that he had been detained under the PSA. The family has not yet received a copy of the detention order, or been formally informed about the grounds of Waheed Gojree’s detention. The authorities appear to have not taken his age into account before issuing his detention order,” the rights groups added.
The United Nations Human Rights Committee, which monitors the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights – to which India is a state party – has stated that administrative detention in the name of security “presents severe risks of arbitrary deprivation of liberty” and “would normally amount to arbitrary detention as other effective measures addressing the threat, including the criminal justice system, would be available”.—KMS

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