GUWAHATI, August 23 (TNN): A UN body, which works on crime against women, has appealed for the withdrawal of the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act from the northeast states, lending strength to the cause of human rights crusader Irom Sharmila, who was arrested yet again on Friday.
The UN report, which was presented in Geneva, suggested that violence against women by armed forces should be tried under ordinary criminal law and all the pending cases be disposed of.
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) has also come up with ‘General Recommendation 30’ to address the problems of the country. “AFSPA should be repealed so that violence against women, perpetrated by the armed forces, be brought under the purview of ordinary criminal law of the country and all pending cases be settled,” the CEDAW report said.
It also urged the Centre to review the continuation of AFSPA in accordance with Justice Verma Commission recommendations.
Babloo Loitongbam, a noted human rights activist from Imphal, said women have always remained vulnerable under such circumstances. Twelve rape cases have been committed by armed security forces in Manipur in the last seven years, he added. Loitongbam expressed concern over extra-judicial killings in the region.
CEDAW stressed on the need for registering cases of all the victims even when the perpetrators are from the Army, paramilitary or other state and central security forces.
“India has been the focus of the recent human rights discourse in the United Nations. It has presented an unprecedented opportunity to the Government of India to re-examine its human rights performance with reference to women’s rights,” said Babloo.
Rashida Manjoo, the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women who visited India recently, said she was not informed about any such measures to ensure accountability of the perpetrators and justice for the victims in her report.
The AFSPA does not meet the international human rights standards, including provisions of treaties, to which India is a state party and is inconsistent with India’s international legal obligations to respect and protect the right to life, liberty and security of a person, to freedom from torture and other ill-treatment.