Srinagar: India faced criticism on its record on torture and failure to ratify the relevant Convention against Torture (CAT) at the 27 session of UPR -3 (Universal Periodic Review) conducted by the UN Human Rights Council at its offices at Geneva on May 4, a statement issued by Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) said.
“Over 30 countries recommended India to ratify the CAT. In 2008, during UPR-I, India accepted the recommendation to ratify the international convention on Enforced Disappearance and during UPR-2 in 2012, India declined to ratify the international convention on protection of all people from Enforced Disappearances, a visible decline for the concern of Human rights in the world community in general and in the workings of the Indian state in particular in Jammu Kashmir,” the statement added.
The statement also said that a major concern is the law on Enforced Disappearances is not codified as criminal offence and complaints are filed under the provisions of “abduction” and “kidnapping” under the RPC (Ranbir Penal Code) or simply as missing persons.
“These legal provisions are inadequate and do not capture the nature and complexity of the crime of enforces disappearances and nulls the involvement of the state or other persons in milieu with the military apparatus of the state,” the statement said.
“Pakistan lashed out at India in solidarity with the Kashmir cause of self determination in consonance with the provisions incorporated in ICCPR (International covenant on Civil and Political Rights). Ireland also recommended doing away with reservations on ICCPR.”
The statement said that India has ratified ICCPR with reservations and therefore the Indian constitution does not allow secession as an option to realise the right of self determination.
“When India talks about finding a solution within the Indian constitution, it denies complete independence, adding to the complexities of the Kashmir dispute which finds expression in the competing notions of self determination,”.
The statement also said that the Pakistani representative attacked the Indian government on its atrocities in Kashmir, the continuation of AFSPA, and the use of pellet guns, among other things.
The representative, according to the statement, also called on the Indian government to allow fact finding missions to travel to Jammu Kashmir to better ascertain the situation and investigate the human rights violations.
“Switzerland recommended review of Armed Forces Act in consonance with ICCPR and stressed upon India stop trampling on the political and civil rights of the people. US in its judgment applauded the judgment of the Supreme Court of India in 2016 which disallows the blanket immunity that the armed forces enjoy under AFSPA. However, the US also said that the violence perpetrated by the police and other security personnel still persists,” the statement added.