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Researched & written by Claudia Wikse Barrow
I am not the most experienced or educated person in this area but what pushed me to write this was simply to spread the word.Who is currently write a book for PVCHR on police torture and has provided me with chapters of his book. S. Before I came to India the issue of police torture was completely unknown to me. academics and human rights defenders who have given me insight in this complex issue. Irshad Ahmed – For providing insight and information to the political and social situation Muslims are in today.Foreword This publication is made by an outsider. PVCHR has a lot of documentation on police torture and their projects. He developed the idea of this project and has helped me from beginning to end. All the information I have gathered have been from firsthand accounts of the people mentioned below or from publications and text written by members of PVCHR. Shaheen Nazar – A professor and a jury member of the People’s Tribunal who informed about the political and social discrimination Muslims face today as well as the lack of a mechanism for justice. an observer of PVCHR and aspects of Indian society I have experienced living in Varanasi and travelling around Uttar Pradesh. a ‘cheat sheet’ for other outsiders who want more information. I wouldn’t have been able to write this piece without help from many people working for PVCHR and other policemen. A special thank you to: Lenin Raghuvanshi – Co-founder of the organization PVCHR. explaining his work to me. To simplify this complex issue and to provide an overview of the human rights violations Muslims face today. Darapuri – A former police officer who is now involved with a number of human rights organizations and a member of the Peoples Tribunal Jury who gave insight and information about the political and social discrimination Muslims face today and an insight of the mindset of policemen working in Uttar Pradesh. I also want to highlight PVCHR and the work of other organizations to provide basic rights. and has acted as a translator for important occasions. but most of the information is in Hindi. factors than enable or perpetuate police torture. I have therefore focused on three aspects of the situation of police torture today.R. I want ed to write a piece. the situation Muslims face today. Claudia Wikse Barrow 24 April 2013 . and how police torture against Muslims can be ended. like so many other human rights violations I now see and hear about daily. Anup Srivastava – Who has provided me with PVCHR publications and information PVCHR’s work reducing police torture. Sunil Kuksal .
religious. As a part of this. lower caste. There was widespread violence and bloodshed throughout India and Pakistan. The torture is used for intimidating the victim to speak the truth. Muslims are therefore denied the right to be treated equally and the rights to have equal protection before the law. The Muslim community does not only face discrimination because of the caste system. This event bred a lot of animosity among Hindus. In a country where the caste system still dictates the lives of India’s citizens. Tribal. Third. the Muslim. To try to give an overview of the situation today three main aspects of police torture against Muslims will be discussed. One of the most gruesome human rights violations the Muslims face from governmental bodies is the widespread use of torture by the police. Because of these factors. First. the Muslim community is an easy target for torture. the historical. The religious biased against Muslims prevalent in Indian society is also reflected in governmental bodies. but there are other historical. Historical Causes of Torture There are two main developments of modern history that have lead to the growing marginalization as well as legislative and social discrimination of the Muslim community. The police torture of Muslims in Uttar Pradesh will therefore be highlighted and discussed. India is no exception. social and political factors that enable or perpetuate police torture. the condition the majority of the Muslim community lives in today and in what circumstances the torture is executed. After the partition of India there were huge clashes between Hindu and Muslim communities migrating across the newly created borders. These aspects are also crucial to discuss when writing about police torture against Muslims. or untouchable communities are marginalized and discriminated. who today do not trust and dislike the Muslim minority.Introduction Today there is an open or undercurrent prejudice against Muslims in various parts of the world. or to push Muslim torture victims to admit to false crimes. These historical events are the partition of India in 1947 and the 9/11 attack in 2001. the policemen who torture do not get sentenced for crimes. Second. and social factors which have added to the marginalization and dislike of the Muslim community. The majority of the Muslims are targeted because of their marginalization and religious prejudice. 5 cases of police torture and discrimination are presented for detailed accounts of how police torture is carried out and the discrimination Muslims face. many Hindus believe that the Muslims belong in Pakistan. and the mechanism of justice for the common man is lost. Because of this Muslims . not India. how PVCHR is working to reduce police torture and what needs to be changed for ending police torture against Muslims.
It can be argued that the same system exists today. and politically subdue the voices of the marginalized. These laws have also given the police more legislative freedom to torture. Because of this system. After the 9/11 attacks many Muslims lives have been extremely negatively affected because of the terrorist stigma that is now associated with Muslims. This has resulted in corrupt police forces that continuously violate human rights. the powerful and wealthy were not affected by police atrocity. As in colonial times. or change. Riots between Muslims and Hindu’s are still frequent in some places of Uttar Pradesh.face growing systematic violence and discrimination from Hindu communities. After Independence India rewrote the constitution. and the British. economically. The Uttar Pradesh police have also abused this stigma and use crimes of terror or having terrorist affiliations as a common way to arrest and torture Muslims by picking up innocent Muslims on suspicions of terrorist affiliations. the government of India uses the police to continue to socially. but to create fear by violence and discrimination to subdue the masses. Yet today current laws and legislations that are in place still reflect the British use of the police as an authoritarian agent of the state rather than an agent of law. . Young Muslim men are targeted and constantly dread being arrested. The terrorist stigma the Muslim community has today has added to the marginalization. To counter this new threat. As a part of this system. the police are seen to be ‘above’ the law. Many Muslims in Uttar Pradesh are now alienated and find it harder to be employed or have certain jobs and are exposed to name calling in public. the police. only Indian politicians have replaced the British. In India these newly enacted laws have been used and abused by the police to diminish the civil rights of Muslims. laws to combat terrorism more effectively. India was one of many countries to create. making discrimination of caste and religion illegal to cast away the suppressive years of Colonialism. This means that the marginalized communities fear the police force. the laws for policemen were not made to protect the majority of the citizens of India. which police laws today still reflect. There are extremely few cases of the police getting persecuted for their crimes. The 9/11 attacks shocked the world and changed the face of modern day terrorism. This is one of the factors for the widespread existence of police torture today. Many young Muslims men have starting using Hindu names in fear of the police. who all sustained power through corruption. creating a mutually beneficial arrangement between the powerful and wealthy Indians. Many people working for independent organizations related to police torture even argue that as is colonial times.
5 % of the total population in this state. low income jobs such as glass making. This also polarizes the Muslim and Hindu communities socially and can lead to further animosity and discrimination as well as riots. How the torture happens India’s National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) released figures recoded from 2008-2011. The children are not receiving proper. The caste system also leaves the Muslim. Because of the caste system and other forms of discrimination the majority of the Muslims in Uttar Pradesh live on the brink of poverty. the gap between rich and poor Muslims is extreme and the wealthier Muslims distance themselves from the problems of the majority of Muslims face.552 registered cases of torture. As in the Hindu communities. The promises of development made by political parties’ are empty and little has been done to improve the economic and social standards of Muslims. Most Muslims communities are highly congested areas without proper drainage and electrical facilities. When election time comes in Uttar Pradesh one party usually adopts more Muslim friendly politics while another party wants to enforce communal riots.836 cases of custodial torture registered in India. showing that within the 4 years there were 4. lock making and weaving. The polarization is created by the political parties to gain votes and increase their power in different communities and areas. perpetuating and enforcing marginalization. with 999 registered deaths and 1.034 custodial deaths and 1. Muslims are the biggest minority constituting 18. The money allocated to Muslim communities is instead filling the pockets of corrupt politicians. often in the cottage industry.Situation today Muslims society Uttar Pradesh constitutes more than 30 % of the total population in India. The Muslim communities are discriminated daily because they are considered untouchables in India where the caste system still dictates the lives of the population. This makes them an easy target for the police to abuse and subdue through torture and discrimination. This often leads to the voices of these people unheard and their suffering from human rights violations unspoken for. With no education or proper leadership the communities often fall for the same traps election after election. The worst affected state was Uttar Pradesh. This creates polarization between Muslims and other marginalized communities. as well as Dalits and Tribal communities marginalized living on the outskirts of society. education and the income of families are from menial. if any. It is estimated that . leading to a whole Muslim community voting for the same party. Muslim communities have little to no representation in the government or governmental bodies and lack strong leadership in the communities.
” Furthermore. In these cases torture is used to extract false confessions. including illegal detention and torture. Torture victims can also often be randomly picked up on the street simply for having a Muslim name. the Human Rights Watch analyzed the effectiveness of the Indian police forces and documented human rights abuses committed by police officers. it is often not recorded until the victims of torture admit to criminal activity. police officers interviewed also admitted that instead of collecting “forensic evidence and . ethnic of religious group.there are many more cases of torture. only Muslim rioters or bystanders are picked up by the police and in connection to this. accused of having terrorist affiliations or are used as scapegoats for a crime. physical abuse. To enable torture. By definition. In connection to police torture. psychological humiliation. and according to the report. the lack of human sympathy is considered necessary for the torturer. sleep and medical attention. For the report more than 80 officers and 60 victims of police officer abuse were interviewed from 19 police stations in Uttar Pradesh. Himachal Pradesh. In the report many officers acknowledged the illegality of their actions. torture also includes practices such as custodial rape. [are] necessary tactics of crime investigation and law enforcement. In 2009. and deprivation of food. been involved in police brutality and torture. the victims are held under illegal or prolonged arrest or detention and are subjected to biased and unfair investigation. Uttar Pradesh is one of the states that have experienced the most mob violence and large-scale riots. When the riots occur. and Delhi. Torture is also used to intimidate or coerce a victim of a crime. or indirectly. Methods for torture include assault. For women. torture involves the dehumanization of the victim which is made easier if the victim is from a marginalized social. custodial death. When suspects and witnesses are picked up illegally by the police and tortured for a number of days or weeks. beating. political. The torture by police officers often occurs in undisclosed locations or unofficial rooms in police stations. molestation and other forms of sexual harassment. Karnataka. or killing. it is believed among many aid organizations like PVCHR and the NHRC that all policeman have directly. many believed “that unlawful methods. water. to drop charges or to not file complaints against the perpetrators of crimes such as rape. many Muslim youths are accused of terror or criminal activity. threats. Police torture is so widespread in Uttar Pradesh. The huge amount of the victims in these cases was Muslims. The most gruesome forms of torture usually occur in the course of the investigation and interrogation of the alleged suspects. or a family member of a victim. but most cases go unregistered.
As in the police force. Muslims are therefore denied the right to be treated equally and equal protection before the law. The practice is even promoted within certain police forces as means of gathering information. there is a religious-based prejudice penetrating the judicial institutions. This prejudice leads to biased and wrongful sentences of victims of torture who are innocent of any crime. In most cases complaints against police officers are not even registered because other police refuse to do this. or the police use stalling tactics with no intent of actually filing cases for Muslims. a general distrust and dislike of Muslims. The marginalization of the Muslim community combined with the discrimination that penetrates police stations in India creates situations where the religious discrimination of the police is manifested and enforced by torture. meaning that many victims of torture are rightfully proved innocent of crimes. tactics considered time-consuming. and the idea of the police being above the law. Punishment or persecution of policemen for human rights violations Uttar Pradesh is unheard of. If the complaints are registered. Many wrongfully persecuted wait years to prove their innocence. they held suspects illegally and coerced them to confess. A few torture victims have waited for 10 . frequently using torture and ill-treatment. The problems of corruption and discrimination affecting a ruling of a judge in a court is not as widespread as within the police force. Within the police force. This is because of corruption. The biggest problem inhibiting Muslims to receive rightful treatment in judiciary bodies not corruption or discrimination. Police who use torture to get false confessions often get promoted and are indirectly or directly rewarded for torturing. leaving innocent victims to be prosecuted because it fills the pockets of the police and the judges. Courts can often just as corrupt as the police and even in a court of law. but the amount of time it takes for trials to take place.”1 Today the attitude of the police is one of the main enforces of torture. police torture or harassment is used to forcibly make people in the Muslim communities drop charges. In police stations around Uttar Pradesh norms of conduct seem to have been created that override the legal obligations of police men. policemen who try to help victims get justice are ostracized from the rest of police force.witness statements. Some policemen have even been killed for going against the unwritten rules in police stations. the process is extremely slow. The Mechanism of Justice Muslim victims are given selective treatment on their complaints to the police. In many of the torture cases. In many cases when Muslims want to file complaints they are completely ignored.
They are representative to what the Muslim community is subjected to daily and have been selected to show how the police torture happens and the extreme religious discrimination that exists within the police that creates a systematic pattern of torture. Lawyers will for example abuse illiterate Muslims clients to sign false papers. compared to 15 % of the population. some lawyers have been threatened by lawyer groups if they represent a Muslim client. when the worst forms of torture are being done at the hands of the police in order to extract false confessions. The cases have been written by Anup Srivastava with support of Vijay Prajapati. edited and translated by Sunil Kukshal for a People’s Tribunal PVCHR organized with partner organization Human Rights Law Network. but also because Muslim cases can be neglected. This unjust treatment by policemen. It is often within this timeframe. not only the victims of torture. In respect of victims. the names of the victims in the cases involving sexual abuse have been changed. This is partially because of the overload of cases. Many lawyers also extort clients for more money or work with the police. the most gruesome forms of torture that occur within the first days are enabled. New Delhi under EU-JMN-HRLN project “Reducing Police torture against Muslim Minority and strengthening and engaging human rights Institution at grass Root Level”. The system that today is supposed to enable justice today enforces discrimination and injustice. In India there exists a strict judiciary procedure that a suspect of a crime should be presented in front of a magistrate within 24 hours of their arrest. . and lawyers affects all Muslims seeking justice. It can therefore be argued that because this procedure is neglected both by the police and judiciary bodies. when a suspect has just been arrested.years and have yet to go to trial. or the lawyers are cannot fulfill their requirements properly because of corruption or lack of knowledge and resources. All the cases have received legal and/or psycho social help from PVCHR. This can be seen when statistics showing that 30 % of people in jails in India are Muslim. All cases have previously been submitted by the victims to various state authorities and institutions but have not received justice. Everyone has a right to be appointed a lawyer but often either no lawyer is given to Muslims. The system is not adapted to the amount of cases that need to be tried. judges. Cases of Police Discrimination and Torture These cases are personal accounts of the discrimination and torture that the Muslims face by the police. In later years. Today the suspects are often not presented by the police and there is no pressure from courts for this to be done because of the lack of responsibility and/or time. This means that the procedure is regularly completely disregarded.
d/o Mohd. Abid stated that there were no tests performed at the hospital. P. Mohd. the Station Officer kept on asking an uncomfortable question in different ways. Hamid H. In the end the Station Officer asked the family to come the next day. Hamid was returning back from her uncle Khalid’s house. Teliyana Bajardiha. Other two accused Kalam and Nasim were already present in the house and all of them raped her one after the other. It has to be noted that there were no female police present. they were taken to the Bajardiha outpost and were asked to identify the two accused. father of Abid went to Bhelpur Police Station and requested to lodge a FIR and for a medical examination. aged 12 years. with an intention to dilute the matter. As soon as the family members came to know about this incident. Meanwhile. At 11 PM. On the next day. 12/472. The Abid(Name changed) 12 Female Mohd. Abid’s family repeatedly requested to lodge a FIR and persisted with that. 2012 Habir Nagar Bhelpur . one female constable called and mentioned that the medical report was negative.S – Bhelpur Varanasi Rape 29th February. After this grave incidence of rape she was left unconscious and the three accused fled away from the place. Abid’s medical examination was conducted at the SSPG Hospital Varanasi and two constables from Bajardiha outpost went with her. while Abid and her father were on the way back from the hospital.Case of Rape and Police Inaction Victim Details Name Age Sex Father’s Name Address District Incidence Date of Incidence Place of Incidence Police Station Testimony On the 29th of February 2012. Abid. On the way back she was attacked by accused Firoz and dragged into Harun’s house. told Abid’s family not to lodge FIR and promised that he will arrest the accused under a fake narcotics case. The Station Officer of Bhelpur Police Station. Hamid. Habir Nagar. Despite repeatedly asserting and identifying the accused.No.
the police forcefully entered Ayesha’s home.hrw.pdf Case of Police Torture Victim Details Name Sex Husband Name Address Incidence Date of Incidence Place of Incidence Police Station Testimony: On 3 March 2011. without any search warrant.org/sites/default/files/reports/india0113ForUpload. W/o Late Mhd Saleem. They were taken to the police station forcefully and were physically tortured there. R/o Mukbra Hazari Mohalla. At night when her Ayesha Female Late Mhd. Present Status The matter is currently sub-judice. At the police station police used excessive force on them. Saleem Makbra Hazari Mohalla Death due to Police Torture 3 March. At that time Nadeem was not at the house so the police personal arrested her husband Mhd. suspecting her son Nadeem to have bought a lost mobile phone. Saleem and her other son Salim. Proceedings and Follow-Up Actions The FIR and medical examination were only undertaken after many attempts made by PVCHR. http://www. shouting that they have been screaming about medical examination from the morning. Muradabad Katghar .Station Officer started hurling abuses and slapped Abid’s father. 2011 Makbara Hazari. Muradabad. A case was registered with number 79/11 under Sec. 376 but according to Abid’s family the FIR was just an eye wash and the police joined hands with the accused and diluted the medical report and weaken the case.
husband’s condition deteriorated they handed over her husband to the local people of the community. UP. Mohd. Chef Secretary. 2012 Mohalla – Vairoon Sarai Sardhana . Sardhana police station. Sardhana police station. r/o Mohalla – Vairoon Sarai. They have been previously involved in many cases in the area and have a bad record in the police books. and Naved s/o Irshad. while police were questioning them about the names of their other partners Azhar aka Azzu 20 Male Ghulam Rasool Mohalla – Vairoon Sarai Meerut Case of Police Torture 7 February. Present Situation: National Human Rights transferred the case to State Human Rights Commission but till yet no action is taken. r/o Mohalla Uchapur. Police Headquarter. Meerut district. Proceeding and Follow up Action: The victim filed a complaint at State Human Rights. Azhar aka Azzu. UP with the help of PVCHR. I got into some dispute with Layeek Ahmad s/o Jameel. r/o Mohalla – Vairoon Sarai. Minority Commission. National Human rights Commission. Sardhana police station. So. belong to a simple family. s/o Ghulam Rasool. Meerut. During assembly elections.Saleem was beaten to death at the police station. Both of them were arrested in a robbery case by the Sardhana police. Case of Police Torture Victim Details Name Age Sex Father’s Name Address District Incidence Date of Incidence Place of Incidence Police Station Testimony I.
Further when my brother asked the ASI that how that can be possible as they picked me up from home. 3 of the Gangster Act. During this period I was brutally beaten by the ASI to confess to crimes that I never committed. Naved and me) were caught while being involved in planning a robbery. the ASI Vijay Kumar told him to keep quite otherwise he would also be put behind bars. the ASI Vijay Kumar said that all three (Layeek. 138/12 under section 2. Present Status The NHRC had instructed the Meerut police to take proper action in this matter but nothing has been done by them yet. 2012 Lichari. I was further tortured by giving electric shocks. out of enmity with me. I was illegally kept in Sardhana police station from February 7 to February 9. with the help of PVCHR. On February 7. presenting me to be involved and thus challan (start legal proceeding) in illegal and anti-social activities under this Act. When my brother asked the ASI as to why they have picked me up. 2012. and falsely booked in the case – FIR No. Meerut Maban . they.in crime. Sardhana police ASI Vijay Kumar picked me up from my home. 2012. Proceedings and Follow-Up Actions I have filed a written complaint to the NHRC. deliberately took my name as one of their associates as being involved in illegal activities with them. around 10:30pm in the night. UP and DIG. DGP. Meerut. Autora road Meerut Police Harassment 9 June. Case of Police Harassment Victims Details Name Age Sex Father’s Name Address District Incidence Date of Incidence Place of Incidence Police station Testimony: Amirrudin 22 Male Islammuddin Kalyan Singh.
Meerut. They entered the bus and named him as Imran.Ammiruddin. Instead of investigating the matter the Station Officer threatened him to charge a false case of possession of drugs and heroine against him. Moradabad .m. Autora Road. Case of Police Torture Victim Details Name Age Sex Father’s Name Address District Incidence Date of Incidence Place of Incidence Police Station Testimony Shadab 25 Male Tahir Hussain Sirsi Ginnauri Mohalla (Kasba) Moradabad Police Torture 22 October. he was travelling to Meerut by bus. R/o Kalyan Singh. When the bus reached Saket Chaupal PS. They demanded Rs 2000 for his release. Present Status: Till today no action is taken against the accused police officers. 2011 Moradabad Railway Police. When the victim disclosed his identity as Ammirruddin he was physically abused by the two police officers. S/o Islammuddin. UP State Commission with the help of PVCHR. PSMaban was a subject to police torture and harassment. The victim then informed the matter to Station Officer. age 22. On 9 June. Proceedings and follow up action: The victim reported the matter in written to PS headquater. 2012 at around 8 a. He was physical tortured in custody. Civil line. two police name Jitendra and Yogesh stopped the bus. He was then taken to civil line PS.
along with the nephew (bhanja) Md. to rescue me. In a mission to provide basic rights for all PVCHR works by eliminating situations which give rise to exploitation of vulnerable and marginalized groups such as the Muslim community. Hanif. No action has been taken against the accused yet. PVCHR decided from the beginning to focus of reducing police torture because the founders of PVCHR believe that the police system is still feudal. developing Testimonial Therapy in India as psycho social aid to victims of torture and abuse. Meena Nagar. colonial and caste dictated. they came to the Railway police station. Proceedings and Follow-Up Actions I have filed a written complaint to the NHRC with the help of PVCHR. two policemen (Jai Prakash and Rajendra Singh) stopped us along with one more person Yakoob Khan s/o Ayyub Khan. My family members paid the fine in the Upper Chief Judicial Magistrate (Railways) court and got me released. therefore it is essential to change the ways of the existing unjust and corrupt police to enable a political and social change. Moradabad.Sambhal. When my family members came to know about my detention by Railway Police. Moradabad. r/o. I was illegally handcuffed. Tehsil. Moradabad. Present Status The Chief Judicial Magistrate (Railways) released us after we paid the fine. The second project is in partnership with DIGNITY (Danish Institute Against Torture). . had gone to get medicine. Anas s/o Md. Then they forcefully kept us inside a stinking toilet for several hours. specifically developed to work towards reducing police torture by focusing on direct intervention and advocacy. Shadab s/o Tahir Hussain. Police Station – Majhola. While we were returning and crossing the railway phatak.I. The police system is how India is controlled. and started questioning us and asked our name address etc. Upon hearing our names they started abusing us with religious slurs.you are terrorists and you have troubled the police very much. But the police tortured and forcefully took money from us. r/o Jayantipur. r/o – Saraitarin. Tehsil – Sambhal. The truth is that we haven’t committed any crime. PVCHR’s work PVCHR has been working to police torture on Muslims since the organization started in 1996.Sirsi Ginnauri Mohalla (Kasba). The first is in partnership with the EU. PVCHR started working at the grass roots level by providing support to victims of torture and survivors of human rights violations and is today working on two main projects to reduce police torture. Moradabad. they said . Moradabad. When we asked the policemen as to why they have detained us illegally.
The main work of PVCHR in this project is documentation of torture cases. provisions and procedures. Around 200 police and civil administration officials will be made aware of and sensitized to respect and adhere to human rights laws. as well . following screening and factfinding. Moradabad and Varanasi Districts of Uttar Pradesh. 100 NGO’s compromising of 650 individuals from the 4 selected districts in India will be trained to work for the protection and promotion of human rights of the Muslim minority. research and publication. To create a political and legal basis for ending police torture. intervening in cases. This project approach reflects modern and international concerns of strengthening minority groups through a social intervention project. one of the focus point of the project is to strengthen the communities to lobby for administrative and legislative changes. Reflecting PVCHR’s motto of ‘giving a voice to the voiceless’. and counseling and psychosocial support to survivors. change domestic laws against torture. are being addressed for legal and institutional interventions. The targets are state legislatures and parliamentarians as well as academics and international human rights organizations. arrested and tortured in the targeted location.EU Project In 2010 PVCHR started a 3 year project with financial aid from the EU with the objective to reduce police torture at the grass roots level by engaging and strengthening human rights institutions in India. The human rights defenders in Muslim communities also receive guidance and guidelines of how to best legally and psychologically strengthen victims of torture and discrimination. providing psycho-legal aid and advocating for justice. 1000 survivors of torture and violence will also be provided psycho-social counseling through a method called Testimonial therapy. legislative advocacy. PVCHR is also working towards creating a firm legal and political basis for ending the torture against people belonging to the Muslim community through advocacy and lobbying by strengthening other human rights groups in how to document and advocate for survivors of torture. 300 members of state and central legislatures from Uttar Pradesh will be sensitized and lobbied for bringing in legal reforms for reducing impunity and. Meerut. The project targets locations in Aligarh. Around 1000 cases of persons belonging to the Muslim community that have been arbitrarily or illegally detained. This is being done increasing the Muslim communities’ understanding on issues related to torture and state bias and informing about the role human rights institutions should play to ensure justice. As a part of the project. By working by direct intervention PVCHR targets survivors of torture. training workshops.
In 2008 PVCHR introduced testimonial therapy in India with the help of the partner organization DIGNITY (Danish Institute against Torture) and Danish psychologist Inger Agger with close collaboration of Ayurvedic Physician and human Rights defender Lenin Raghuvanshi. a ceremony. Testimonial therapy is used by PVCHR for victims of human rights violations and is used in all their projects and for all victims of human rights violations. Testimonial Therapy is an easily implemented and efficient way to help victims of torture. which can be both subjective (political. Testimonial therapy is also a big part of PVCHR’s psycho legal aid that is given to victims of police torture. and political) or objective (spiritual. and a monitoring session. The testimonials of the survivors can be used as evidence or proof that can for example be used in a court case. The testimonies of victims of police torture have been used in various circumstances by PVCHR in their project to reduce police torture. The activities in PVCHR and community workers in other organizations can learn how to conduct testimonial therapy. PVCHR believes it is extremely important that the survivors know and trust their therapists. It has since been used in many different contexts for over 20 years in countries like Denmark. USA (for refugees) and in Mozambique (for survivors of civil war). When PVCHR uses testimonial therapy the organization also supports the victims in their fight for justice.as the anti-terror laws that are grossly abused and misused by the police. public. Bosnia. Germany. It is most often PVCHR activists who have regular contact with the people in the villages that conduct the testimonial therapy. . Testimonial Therapy Testimonial Therapy is a therapy intervention in psychosocial community work that originates from Chile during the military dictatorship in the late 21st century. helping the survivors understand and reframe their private pain as well as a political or public problem. enabling the survivor tell their story. The therapy is conducted in 4 sessions including the victim telling their story. The double connotation of the word ‘testimony’. the most import aspect of conducting testimonial therapy is that the emotional aspects are emphasized. The subjective effect of the therapy can be an open acknowledgement or expression of disapproval of the current political and social injustices. Even though the testimonies of torture victims can be used for political or social reform. PVCHR’s lobbying actions are also focused on working toward strengthening the mandate. emotional and private) This double connotation of the word ‘testimony’ also represents the two main aims of testimonia l therapy. powers. It is also the activities that help the victims make legal testimonies and supports them directly in ongoing cases. capacity and the functioning of the NHRC (National Human Rights Commission) and National Commission on Minorities (NCM) when lobbying for legal reforms.
discussing different methods to reduce police torture. A Police accountability mechanism should be developed and strengthened. and religions should also be recruited to promote a secular police force. making them aware of different cultures and religions. All cases have previously been submitted by the victims to various state authorities and institutions but have not received any support. Addressing the problem of unrealistic expectations people have of the police. Some of the methods the jury members discussed to reduce police torture where the following: Sensitizing the police. The Tribunal was an independent ‘trial’ where 40 cases of Police torture were presented in front of a jury consisting of academics. The public pressure or pressure from superiors that today can lead to policemen torturing and using illegal methods of interrogation or not conducting an investigation. The jury members of the tribunal reviewed each case individually and gave advice how to precede with the survivors cases. These ceremonies are not only a chance to celebrate the survivor. Also the culture of human rights should be immediately implemented should be a part of the training program all police men receive. This is seen as the most important aspect of Testimonial Therapy. The Tribunal ended with the judges. but can also act as inspiration to other community members to not accept human rights violations. aid. All the cases involving a victim of torture pressing charges against police should be dealt in a fast track courts to help ensure justice. This tribunal addressed the regional human rights violations and discussed how to better enable mechanisms of justice for torture victims. The aim of the tribunal was to show the systematic police torture that is happening in Uttar Pradesh and for the victims of injustices to get advice and acknowledgment of their cases. human rights defenders and lawyers. Policemen from all countries. former police officers. At these ceremonies policemen and media can be invited to attend.After the survivors of torture have given their testimony there is a public ceremony. after viewing all the cases. preferably with several survivors to pay tribute to the importance of the testimony. faiths. New Delhi and held a People’s Tribunal on Police Torture against Muslims in Uttar Pradesh. Solution On the 3rd and 4th of April 2013 PVCHR collaborated with Human Rights Law Network. The catchphrase PVCHR has developed is ‘restoring dignity’ to the victims of torture. or recognition from the governmental institutions. as well as how to further prevent the systematic torture on a state level. - - .
Outro There is a social. This also means that there is no functioning persecution mechanism for policemen. Because the torture of Muslims is enabled at a legislative level it is crucial to change or adapt existing police and terrorist laws so that there is no legal perpetuator of torture. The victims of police atrocities should receive rehabilitation and economic compensation. penetrating Indian society. The discrimination in India is so difficult to reduce because it is truly ingrained in Indian society. women. Police officers are seen as above the law. and act as an unchallengeable governmental body. The 9/11 attacks and a growing fear of terrorism have furthered the legislative freedom for the police to torture and deny the civil and human rights of Muslims. It is also important to ensure that human rights commissions are independent investigation agencies. Today there are many organizations working toward helping the Muslims out of situations which breed violence and discrimination. The issue of police torture is not confined to Uttar Pradesh. The police torture stems from an idea of rightful inequality.- - - Create a functioning mechanism for the judiciary procedure of a suspect appearing before a magistrate 24 h after their arrest. . Police torture is a portrayal or manifestation of the social discrimination and marginalization of the Muslims community. It is also vital that the laws and protocols that protect marginalized communities are enforced within the police force. and economic discrimination against Muslims daily. ensuring that police men’s actions reflect all the laws and regulations of India. Yet in India the Muslims are only one of the marginalized communities who are subdued and denied their human rights. The legal provisions with regard to police custody should be clearly defined. and social discrimination. Dalits. political. political. There also needs to be a proper mechanism of governmental body that oversees the police force. children and Tribals are other communities that face the same legal. Strengthen human rights commissions by allocating more funds and personal. economically and politically strengthening the Muslims. One of the reasons for police torture to be possible is that policemen still legislatively bound to the same or similar laws as colonial police officers. Judicial magistrates or judges should be held accountable for not following the due process of law or ignoring the legal process. therefore change is problematic. A compensatory mechanism should be developed. Therefore ending police torture goes hand in hand in socially.
india@gmail. Daualtpur.JMN published this booklet for EU-PVCHR-HRLN project ‘Reducing Police Torture against Muslim and strengthening and engaging human rights Institution at grass Root Level’.com Contact: +91-542-2586688 www.in/ .pvchr.blogspot. http://muslim-minority.asia. Contact: Peoples’ Vigilance Committee on human Rights (PVCHR) SA 4/2 A. Varanasi-221002. India Email:pvchr. European Union (EU) is not liable for any content in this booklet.
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