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Eight Resolutions adopted during conference on World Human Rights day in Chandigarh

December 10, 2015 | By

Chandigarh: Associating with the worldwide Human Rights fraternity, Sikhs for Human Rights, Lawyers for Human Rights, Punjab Human Rights Organisation and the Sikh Youth of Punjab hereby resolve as under:

1. This year’s Human Rights Day is devoted to the launch of a year-long campaign for the 50th anniversary of the two International Covenants on Human Rights: the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which were adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 16 December 1966. India has also not yet ratified the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. The international community has to play a bigger role to ensure that India ratifies the above covenants and incorporates provisions of the same into the local laws of India.

2. This conference strongly condemns the detention of farmers all over the state in the last 2-3 months. It is ironic that those who pioneered the state of Punjab to become the bread-basket of India are fighting for their very existence in the wake of wrong and misplaced farm and farm food pricing policies of the Central government and the government of Punjab.

3. This gathering seeks the immediate and unconditional release of all those detained under various preventive detention and sedition laws and total withdrawal of cases against each and every person so detained

4. Gurmeet Singh Pinki was the blue-eyed boy of senior police personnel who were all involved in a criminal conspiracy to eliminate hundreds of innocent Sikh youth in extrajudicial killings and who pocketed largesse from the state in lieu of their inhuman killings. All such police personnel, serving or retired, must be immediately arrested on the basis of the public confession made by Pinki and tried for the gross abuse of human rights.

5. Human Rights defenders gathered at the human rights conference in Chandigarh whole-heartedly appreciate and welcome the move of artists, writers, armed personnel, thinkers, storytellers and political activists, who while protesting the gross abuse of human rights and rising intolerance all over the country, have returned their medals, awards and other decorations to the government.

6. The BJP associated PDP government in J&K is only on paper. The state is governed by Union of India by proxy. The politics of intolerance, has been pushed to the limits. From imprisoning, harasssing and killings of Kashmiris in fake encounters, the state wants to decide what food people will eat. This dictatorial attitude and negative governance is unacceptable. International human rights groups and the UN must also wake up from their slumber and reopen the case of rights abuses of the people of Kashmir.

7. All anti-people legislation including AFSFA, PSA, UAPA (1967), sections of sedition, must be withdrawn and repealed from all states in India.

8. This meeting notes with concern the recent judgement of the Supreme Court of India in the case of Arivu Perarivalan, Santhan, Murugan and four others, whose life imprisonment has been interpreted to mean “life till death”. The judgement takes away the right of remission of states in life imprisonment and death penalty cases. This is a serious development in the annals of criminal jurisprudence in India. We appeal to anti-death penalty activists and human rights activists worldwide to raise a voice against this and seek a more humane interpretation of the punishment of life imprisonment.

Participants in the conference are Justice (retd) M Katju, justice A S Bains, Hurriyat conference (Geelani) spokesman Ayaz Akhbar, Kashmir eminent scholar A M Zargar, Harpal Singh Cheema, Kanwar pal Singh. Advocate Navkiran Singh. Advocate Amar Singh Chahal. DSL khalsa head H S Dhami, Lt gen Kartar Singh Gill, Adv R S Bains, SYP head Paramjit Singh Tanda, Gurtej Singh, Shashi Kant. Prof Jagmohan Singh.

Punjab is in the throes of a retributive backlash: Human Rights activists [Conference Report]

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