`UN HRC could recommend India to repeal AFSPA`

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IMPHAL, May 25: “The 13th session of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review of the UN Human Rights Council, HRC examined India`s human rights record in the afternoon on May 24”, a press statement of the Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights in Manipur and the UN said.

“According to reliable information from the United Nations HQ in Geneva, the repeal of AFSPA 1958 has been put forward as one of the recommendations of the session by Slovakia, with Switzerland and France raising the issue of AFSPA and also making similar recommendations”.

“The Swiss recommendation is also to review AFSPA as per the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (lCCPR)”, it continued.

Further according to the statement, the final report for India will be adopted on May 30 and the preliminary report is to be made available on May 29.

According to the CSCHR delegation presently attending the session in Geneva, the recommendation for repeal of AFSPA is likely to be retained in the final recommendation, it continued.

Other recommendations, which were raised during the review, included call for ratification of the Convention Against Torture (UN CAT), the Convention on Enforced Disappearances (UNCED), protection of Human Rights Defenders, implementation of the recommendations of UN Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders in her visit to India (2011), Ratification of ILO 169 on Indigenous Peoples (made by Iraq), ratification of the Optional Protocol UNCRC, UNCEDA W, ICCPR, etc. Permanent Representatives of many countries attending the session in Geneva took serious note of the trend of impunity to human rights violations and recommended to take prompt and effective measures to prosecute those involved in such violations (Spain, UK, US), the statement said.

The 19-member high-powered Indian delegation led by Attorney General of India, Goolam E VAHANVATI with Joint Secretaries of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of External Affairs, Women and Children, Planning, etc. made statements in response to the questions from member states, it further continued.

In total, 80 States participated in the discussion: 31 HRC members and 49 observers, the statement concluded.

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