India goes the way of ‘Gitmo’ with 20,000 detained without charge

BBC News: India, it seems, has gone the way of ‘Gitmo‘ as under its tough Indian Public Safety Act (PSA), the country’s law enforcement agencies are able to detain anyone for up to two years without charges.

So far, around 20,000 people are in Indian detention centres in Kashmir without a trial in sight. This has been going on since 1989 when the region’s violent insurgency had started. Essentially, the law is used to enable long-term detention of people against whom no good evidence can be presented for a trial. 

BBC News reports that Bikramjeet Batra, Amnesty’s campaigner for Asia Pacific programme in India, said:“The Jammu and Kashmir authorities are using PSA detentions as a revolving door to keep people they can’t or won’t convict through proper legal channels locked up and out of the way… ..hundreds of people are being held each year on spurious grounds, with many exposed to higher risk of torture and other forms of ill-treatment” .

It is reported that the detainees are from a wide range of individuals, including: political leaders, suspected insurgents, activists, lawyers, journalists, protestors and some of them are children. When apprehended, they are usually harshly treated and some are tortured. They do not have access to any legal representation.

Amnesty International has called for the law to be cancelled and has been critical of the country’s judiciary for its ‘blind-eyeing’ of the detainees’ human rights. In the meantime, world leaders have been silent on the matter.

[Human Rights Contributor]

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