AFSPA: Amnesty seeks probe into human rights violations in J&K

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New Delhi, July 2: Calling the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) as one of the "primary facilitators of impunity" by security forces, Amnesty International today demanded its repeal and sought investigation into cases of human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir by an "independent and impartial" authority.

Read more: J&K govt: BJP stands firm on AFSPA, Army happy

The international human rights body has also sought removal of all "requirements of sanction or prior permission" to prosecute security force personnel and has held "lack of political will" as a long-standing problem in Jammu and Kashmir.

'AFSPA functioning without rules'

The demands have been made by Amnesty International in a report, titled "Denied: Failures in accountability for human rights violations by security force personnel in Jammu and Kashmir", which was released here today.

"One of the primary facilitators of impunity is the existence of Section 7 of the AFSPA under which security forces are protected from prosecution for alleged human rights violations. This legal provision mandates prior executive permission from central or state authorities for prosecution of a member of the security forces," the report reads.

"The lack of political will to account for past and present actions of the security forces, including the state police, is fortified by legislation and aggravated by other obstacles to justice, especially for those who lack financial resources or education," it adds.

The 72-page report is an analysis of government and legal documents related to over 100 cases of human rights violations committed between 1990 and 2013. It also contains 58 case studies of alleged excesses by the armed forces in the state.

Amnesty has asked the government for an independent and impartial probe into all human rights violations in the state.

"Both the governments of India and Jammu and Kashmir must take immediate steps to ensure that all human rights violations and crimes under international law alleged to have been committed by Indian security forces, including police, are investigated by independent and impartial authorities," the report recommends.

PTI

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