IMPHAL, April 2: Civil Society Coalition for Human Rights Manipur (CSCHR) has lauded Slovakia and the states of Switzerland and France for recommending the repeal of AFSPA to the Indian delegation at the second round of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the Human Rights Council on May 24 last.
The Indian government represented a 19-member delegation headed by Goolam Vahanvati, Attorney General of India has requested time for giving a reply in this regard within September 2012. One Gloria Gangte from Manipur was also part of the Indian team.
Briefing media in the regard CSCHR spokesperson and Executive Director of Human Right Alert Babloo Loitongbam said he was optimistic about the proceedings. Babloo was present at Geneva when the Indian report was discussed at the UN body.
Babloo said, “We are grateful to the country of Slovakia, Switzerland and France. They had recommended the repeal of the draconian law and India has to give a reply. AFSPA has reached the political arena of the UN debate in a significant way.”
Stating that it was for the very first time that the UN body has sought a remedial action from India, eighty countries also forwarded 169 recommendations which include ratifying the Convention against torture, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and end impunity for security forces accused of committing human rights violation.
To review the law on the special powers of the armed forces to align it with its obligations under the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, repeal the AFSPA or adopt the negotiated amendments that would address the accountability of security personnel, carry out an annual review of AFSPA aiming to gradually reduce its geographic scope, etc.
Babloo candidly stated that the most of the delegates could not mention the word ‘AFSPA’ properly and said ‘AFSPA 1947’ instead of 1958.
L Debabrata Roy, Convenor of Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights (CSCHR) expressed gratitude to the efforts put in by human rights defenders for making a foundation on which such a debate could be generated.
“We mourn the lives lost as a consequence of this law and pay respect to martyred Thangjam Manorama and Pebam Chittaranjan. We also applaud Irom Sharmila for her protest against the act”, he added that all these efforts could not have come about without the strength of the people’s protest against the black law.
CSCHR also applauds the role of the media in Manipur for their positive role and support to the struggle against AFSPA.