ACHR condemns Irom Sharmila's arrest

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New Delhi, Mar 8 (UNI) The Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) today condemned the re-arrest of Human Rights activist Irom Sharmila by the Manipur Police for alleged attempt to suicide.

Ms Sharmila, who has been leading a fast unto death since November 2000 to protest against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) of 1958, was scheduled to address a meeting of the Apunba Manipur Kanba Ima Lup (Mothers Union to Save Manipur) on the International Women's Day.

She was released yesterday by the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate of Imphal, She had been in detention for more than a year since March 7, 2007-- the maximum sentence that could be awarded to those who are found guilty of committing offence under section 309 of the IPC.

ACHR director Suhas Chakma described the arrest as ''another blow to the universally praised Gandhian methods of protests against injustice''.

He said the arrest of Ms Sharmila once again ''showed'' the unwillingness of the government to implement the recommendations of its own commissions on AFSPA--Justice Jeevan Reddy headed Commission on the Review of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958 and the Administrative Reforms Committee headed by Veerappan Moily.

''If the government does not implement the recommendations of its own commissions, it breeds contempt for the State,'' he added.

ACHR calls for immediate implementation of the recommendations of the Reddy and Moily Commissions and release of Irom Sharmila, Mr Chakma said.

UNI NR SW HS1826

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