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Repeal AFSPA: UN rapporteur

New Delhi: U.N.’s special rapporteur, Margaret Sekaggya advised India to keep politics with Pakistan aside and instead take up issues “about the people” and begin “the healing process” for those who are suffering for years. She felt that the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and the Public Safety Act arbitrarily applied at the national and state levels in J&K and North East India, should be repealed because these “adversely affect the work and safety of human rights defenders.” This was the first time that a Special Rapporteur has been given permission by the centre to study the human rights situation in the country. Admitting that the security challenges that prevailed she added, “people and their basic rights are also important.” Citing an instance she pointed out that a prisoner in the valley had been kept “naked” in solitary confinement for seven years. She also spoke of having received several complaints about killings, ill-treatment, disappearance, threats and arbitrary arrests and detentions.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 March 2011 on page no. 18

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