Imphal: Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights in Manipur and the United Nations (CSCHR) in a press release extends heartfelt solidarity to the thousands of torture survivors who are reeling in various corners of Manipur on the occasion of International Day in support of victims of torture.
The release jointly issued by Convenor Phulindro Konsam and Co-convenor Joy Chingakham stated that the 26 of June is the day the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, lnhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT) entered into force in the year 1987 and it is observed as a day to highlight the sufferings of the victims of torture worldwide.
The release stated that even though the Government of India signed UNCAT in 1997 and subsequently the Law Commission of lndia as well as the Supreme Court of lndia had recommended its ratification, the Government has not done so till date.
Government of lndia has always accepted the recommendations from several countries to ratify UNCAT in all the three cycles of the Universal Periodic Reviews (UPR). The latest Mid-Term report of the National Human Rights Commission to UPR-lll submitted in May 2O2O reiterates the government’s commitment to ratifying the same the release added.
The release also stated that one of the stated reasons for the delay in ratification is the lack of concurrence of views of the various state governments, “Law and Order” as well as “Public Order” being a state subject under the constitution of lndia.
CSCHR had therefore petitioned Manipur Human Rights commission to (1) Ascertain the position of the Government of Manipur on the issue of ratification of UNCAT, (2) Recommend the Government of Manipur to take a firm stand on the urgent need to ratify the UNCAT and promptly communicate the same to the Union Home Ministry, (3) Recommend to the Government of lndia to ratify the UNCAT without any further delay, the release added.
The release further stated that the commission has registered the petition as case no. 8s of 2020 and proceedings were taken up on 25 June 2020. MHRC has asked the Special Secretary (Home), Government of Manipur to report on the steps taken by the State Government of Manipur regarding the ratification of the UNCAT on or before 13 July 2020.
CSCHR will also be submitting a communication to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture on this undue delay in ratification of UNCAT. lt will also highlight the current practices of widespread prolonged and unnecessary confinements; curbing of liberty, torture, inhumane and degrading treatment of people in the context of the coVlD-19 lock down and mismanagement of quarantine centres of Manipur, the release states.