Sunday, February 04, 2007


____________________________________________________________________________________________________ e – Voice Of Human Rights Watch – e-news weekly Spreading the light of humanity & freedom ____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Editor : Nagaraj.M.R.........................vol.2…issue.47.....................03/02/2007 ____________________________________________________________________________________________________ editorial : NO TO BOOZE , ALCHOHOLIC DRINKS AT STATE BANQUETS , AT TAX PAYER’S EXPENSE - AN APPEAL TO HONOURABLE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA In ancient indian scriptures as well as scientific studies have stated that consumption of alchohol by humans is dangerous to health. Our father of nation – Bapuji preached prohibition of alchoholic drinks. In the directive principles of our constitution of india , prohibition of alchoholic drinks is one of the objectives. Inspite of all these, if one opts for booze it his private affair at his own expense. In india , hundreds of people are dying due to starvation , lakhs are suffering from mal-nutrition lack of potable drinking water, lakhs are barely sustaining on a single piece meal per day. However , the government of india , other state governments & autonomous bodies are hosting state banquets , parties freely flowing with liquor & non-vegetarian buffets , all at tax payer’s expense. HOW DARE ? WHAT THEY ARE DRINKING IS COMMONER’S SWEAT & POORMAN’S BLOOD. The public servants as in present society have a false notion that by arranging grand parties, by drinking alchohol , by smoking , a progressive image is portrayed. No visiting dignitary is a fool . A country’s positive image is portrayed if it is a peace loving society , technically , industrially , educationally advanced. By serving booze & non-veg to dignitaries you cann’t fool him about the realities in india. Even our own public servants consume liquor at tax payer’s expense for what purpose ? if they want to drink , to give parties let them give it at their personal expense , not at tax payer’s expense. On 29th January 2007 we are celebrating 100th year of the concept of SATYAGRAHA – peaceful , non-violent resistance to atrocities. This concept was conceived & practiced by bapuji - mahatma Gandhi in his struggle against british occupiers . on 30th January 2007 we are celebrating martyr's day , bapuji's death anniversary. On this occasion HRW urges all Indians to fight on the lines of bapuji's satyagraha against the corrupt , casteist forces , public servants in our present government as well as in our society and strive towards establishing bapuji's dream – RAM RAJYA. Bapuji preached vegetarianism & for prohibition ,abolition of alchohol consumption by human beings . however , in state banquets hosted by VVIPs , parties hosted by public servants alchohol drinks & non-vegetarian food are served all at the expense of state exchequer. The public servants in their travel bills , hotel stay bills , etc are including their expenses on alcoholic drinks & non-vegetarian foods and getting those expenses paid by government exchequer. While the public servants are boozing , having non-veg parties at the expense of public exchequer , lakhs of common people are not even getting potable drinking water & single piece meal per day. On this occasion , HRW appeals to honourable supreme court of India to consider this appeal as a PUBLIC INTEREST LITIGATION & to order government of India , all state governments , government granted autonomous bodies , PSUs , etc , not to give fund towards expenses of parties , travel expenses , banquet expenses involving alchoholic drinks & non-vegetarian foods. This way the government & we the commoners can pay a true tribute to bapuji. JAI HIND. VANDE MATARAM. Your's sincerely, Nagaraj.M.R. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________ NHRC recommends 2 Crore 80 Lakh rupees to 89 victims of atrocities by Joint Task Force in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu The National Human Rights Commission has recommended the interim relief of 2 crore, 80 lakh rupees to the 89 victims of atrocities committed by the Joint Special Task Force set up by the State of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to apprehend the forest brigand Veerappan. The Commission which has been pursuing a number of representations from non-government organizations and individuals, announced the interim relief at a Press Conference in New Delhi today. On December 7, 2006 the Chief Secretary, Government of Tamil Nadu and Additional Chief Secretary, Government of Karnataka appeared before the Commission and conveyed that both the governments are ready and willing to respect the decision/recommendations to be mad by the Commission with regard to the interim relief to the victims of atrocities alleged to have been committed by the Joint Special Task Force. It may be recalled that taking cognizance of the complaints, the Commission in its proceedings held on June 18, 1999 the Commission noted that it is essential to constitute a panel of two eminent persons, one drawn from the judiciary and the other having experienced at the highest level of police to look into all relevant aspects of the allegations made in the complaint. The complaints related to large scale harassment to the villagers and tribals in the border areas of the two States and gross violation of their human rights. Consequently, the Commission constituted the panel of inquiry with Hon'ble Mr. Justice A. J. Sadashiva, former Judge of Karnataka High Court as Chairman and Shri C.V. Narasimhan, former CBI Director as Member to enquire into the matter and make its recommendations to the Commission. The panel during its inquiry recorded the statements of 243 persons, including 193 alleged victims, 4 representatives of NGOs and 38 police officers. Many alleged victims of JSTF atrocities sought permission of depose before the panel. DGP, Karnataka and DGP, Tamil Nadu also raised objections before Justice Sadashiva panel in regard to the scope of inquiry to be held by the panel. Justice Sadashiva panel sought a clarification from the Commission whether the inquiry should be confined to the cases registered with NHRC. The Commission clarified that the task of the inquiry panel is akin to that of a local Commission appointed by a Court and the panel should examine all those who depose before it. The Commission said the question of scope would be decided later. The inquiry panel submitted its report on December 1, 2003. The Commission considered the report submitted by the panel and said that there is no reason why the report should not be accepted. The Commission also stressed that it is not inclined to accept the submission made on behalf of the two States that the inquiry panel should have confined its inquiry only to the cases referred by NHRC. The Commission said that its primary concern is to protect the human rights of the citizens and if the inquiry panel on the basis of reliable and acceptable material has found that the human rights of some other persons who could not approach the Commission were also violated then why should not the Commission take cognizance of such violations. The Commission said " if the inquiry was to be restricted only against 15-20 persons, if would be great travesty of justice and negation of human rights of the tribals and others living in the area of anti Veerappan operations by the Joint Special Task Force". As directed by the Commission, the report of Justice Sadashiv panel was sent to the two State Governments for their comments. The two governments submitted their response and raised some technical objections. When impressed upon by the Commission that the approach should be one of respect for precious human rights, compassion and not technical, the two governments paid heed to the advise of the Commission. The interim relief has been divided into different categories depending o n the atrocities. The atrocities by JSTF include rape, assault, application of electric current, outrage of modesty, illegal detention, torture-leading to permanent disability, detaining in camps and subjection to torture before former arrest and prosecution under TADA. The panel also found that one person was taken into custody by STF but did not return and 36 persons had been killed in suspicious encounters by the STF. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________ PRESS FREEDOM UNDERMINED – AN APPEAL TO GOVERNMENT OF BANGLADESH Sumi Khan, a 34-year-old journalist working with local and national magazines and based in the city of Chittagong, has been attacked and received death threats as a result of her investigative journalism for the past two years. She was stabbed in an attack in 2004, and her attackers remain at large. Sumi Khan has written investigative articles alleging the involvement of local politicians and religious groups in attacks on members of minority communities, and about kidnapping and land-grabbing by landlords. On 12 March 2005 Sumi Khan received a written death threat telling her to retract articles she had written on Islamist groups. Fellow journalists in Chittagong received similar death threats allegedly from local Islamist groups. In December 2005, Sumi Khan and a number of other journalists from Chittagong, as well as police, government officials and magistrates from across the country, received death threats. They were reportedly threatened in a letter to the Chittagong Press Club, an organization for journalists. The letter, allegedly from the banned Islamist group Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), was believed to be part of a campaign by some Islamist groups to destabilize democratic society in Bangladesh. The government ordered a police guard at the Chittagong Press Club and arrested suspected members of the JMB. However, the government’s failure to investigate the death threats or protection needs of those named in the letter has put Sumi Khan and other journalists, who write about the activities of Islamist groups, at risk of further attacks. Sumi Khan has received further threats from unidentified sources and attacks on journalists have continued nationwide. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________ DETENTION WITHOUT TRIAL – AN APPEAL TO GOVERNMENT OF CONGO Former army colonel Serge André Mpassi, aged 62, was arrested at his home in Pointe-Noire on 18 February 2005. His wife told AI delegates that as many as 20 members of the security forces, reportedly wearing balaclavas, searched his home, including digging up parts of the compound. The soldiers did not say what they were looking for. After the search, they took Serge Mpassi’s mobile phone, ordered him in to one of their vehicles and took him away. Later, Serge Mpassi’s wife learned that he was being held at the Directorate of Territory Surveillance regional headquarters where she was able to visit him regularly until he was transferred to the Military Academy in the capital, Brazzaville, in March 2005. She tried to visit him there but was stopped by the detaining authorities. When AI delegates met her in early April 2005 she was extremely concerned about her husband’s health since he required regular medication and a good diet following an earlier illness. Being unable to see or talk to him, she was not sure whether the detaining authorities had given him the medication she had handed to officials at the Military Academy. Serge Mpassi was transferred to the Brazzaville central civilian prison in mid-May 2005. He was still held there at the end of November 2006. It is thought that his arrest, along with several members of the security forces and more than 15 civilians, is connected to a government investigation into a theft of firearms from Bifouiti Gendarmerie, Brazzaville, and an alleged plot against the government in January 2005. Some of the detainees were given provisional release in late 2005 but Mpassi and 11 others had been held without trial for over 18 months. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________ HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST RECEIVES DEATH THREATS – AN APPEAL TO GOVERNMENT OF EL-SALVADOR The director of Asociación Entre Amigos, William Hernández, and other members of the organization have received death threats and are apparently under surveillance. It is feared that this intimidation is an attempt to stop the organization’s work on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in El Salvador. The threats follow approval by the Legislative Assembly of an amendment to the Constitution that would make it illegal for same-sex couples to marry and adopt children. The Asociación Entre Amigos has been campaigning against this amendment. On 1 June 2006 William Hernández was threatened at gunpoint outside the Asociación Entre Amigos office in the capital, San Salvador, soon after the police officer assigned to protect him had left him for the day. An unidentified man approached William Hernández from behind and put a gun to his neck threatening to kill him unless he stopped campaigning against the amendment. The office had been raided two days earlier. Windows were broken, files searched and threatening notes left. A number of documents were taken, including plans for a demonstration in front of the Legislative Assembly opposing the ratification of the constitutional reform banning the marriage of same-sex couples and the adoption of children by lesbians and gay people. LGBT people in El Salvador regularly face attacks and intimidation. The Asociación Entre Amigos has reported seven raids on their offices during the last five years. Despite reporting the incidents to the authorities, investigations into them have proved superficial, and nobody has been brought to justice. Please write, calling for the authorities to promptly and fully investigate the threats against William Hernández and the raids on the offices of the Asociación Entre Amigos, and to ensure appropriate protection for the activists to enable them to continue their legitimate campaigns on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in El Salvador. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________ FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION DENIED TO JOURNALIST -AN APPEAL TO GOVERNMENT OF SYRIA Lawyer and human rights defender Anwar al-Bunni, journalist Michel Kilo, and Mahmoud ‘Issa were arrested in May 2006 after signing the Beirut-Damascus Declaration. The Declaration called on the Syrian and Lebanese governments to normalize relations by exchanging ambassadors and defining their shared borders. The men are held in ‘Adra prison near Damascus. AI believes all three are prisoners of conscience, held solely for their work in support of democratic rights. They were among a group of at least 10 activists arrested by State Security service officers following the signing of the Declaration by hundreds of Syrian and Lebanese nationals. They are reportedly held on various charges including “weakening nationalist feeling and inciting racial or sectarian strife”, “insulting official institutions and public officials” and with joining a political or international group without government permission. Two others, Khalil Hussein and Suleyman Shummar, who were released in September 2006, are believed to be in danger of re-arrest having been charged with the same or similar offences. The other five men were released on bail after reportedly withdrawing their names from the Declaration. It is feared that they may have been coerced into withdrawing their names. Mahmoud ‘Issa was released on 25 September 2006 but re-arrested a month later. Anwar al-Bunni and Michel Kilo have been detained for almost nine months. Anwar al-Bunni is said to have been beaten during his initial interrogation while held in incommunicado detention. On 31 December, he was reportedly beaten by another prison inmate who pushed him down the stairs. The beating was reportedly witnessed by prison guards who failed to intervene and followed a statement he made to the press concerning the execution of Saddam Hussein in Iraq. All three men have been persistently harassed by the Syrian authorities over the years because of their support for democratic rights. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Edited , printed , published owned by NAGARAJ.M.R. @ # LIG-2 / 761,HUDCO FIRST STAGE , OPP WATER WORKS , LAXMIKANTANAGAR , HEBBAL , MYSORE – 570017 INDIA………cell : 9341820313 home page : , ,, contact : , A member of AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL INDIA ____________________________________________________________________________________________________

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