THOUBAL, January 30: A one-day district level people’s convention on Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958 was held today at Meisnam Kangjeibung Community Hall, Charangpat.
The convention was organised by the Human Rights Initiative, Manipur in collaboration with United Women’s Development Organisations, Social Welfare Club, Charangpat Mamang Leikai and Women Welfare Association, Charangpat Mamang Leikai.
Speaking at the convention, HRI executive director, Wahengbam Joykumar said that even though there have been several calls for repeal of AFSPA from several UN forums, intellectuals from the country as well as outside the country, after hearing about the acts’ impact on the general public.
However, both the centre and the state governments have continued to remain silent to the appeals of repealing the draconian Act, he said.
The armed conflict in the North Eastern states especially in Manipur has been there for more than 50 years, and the imposition of draconian Acts to control the conflict including the AFSPA has also been long, he observed before continuing that the outcome, however, has not been much beneficial.
Meanwhile, the people gathered at the convention resolved and recommended to the centre and the state government that the government of India should fully implement the recommendations by the United Nations Treaty bodies, Jeevan Reddy Commission, Justice Verma Commission, Justice Shantosh Hedge Commission to repeal the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act 1958 and to respect and implement the Geneva Conventions, 1949’s common Article 3 and Additional Protocol II of 1977.
The recommendations also include to urge the centre to invite special rapporteur on the rights of the Indigenous peoples, Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism, allowing free access during a country visit for investigation in the Northeast India, particularly Manipur.
The people had also resolved to urge the centre to ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court at the earliest and to sign and rectify the Convention against Torture and Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
During the consultation, the people had also recommended to the political armed opposition groups to respect and implement the Geneva Conventions, 1949`s common Article 3 and Additional Protocol 11 of 1977; to reconcile among the factions and stop Inter-factional fighting in the Interest of the common people and to sign and commit to the Geneva Call`s Deed of Agreement on gender violence and child rights.