Human Rights Watch has released its annual report examining human rights developments in more than 70 countries during 2005.
According to the report, the human rights situation has worsened across South Asia, as Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal all violated human rights while attempting to put down rebellions.
Although the report commented that the Indian government set up a committee to review the broad powers granted to army and paramilitary forces, it criticized the government for creating legislation to protect police and security forces from prosecution. This legal protection allows the torture of suspects.
"Indian military, paramilitary and police forces have engaged in serious human rights abuses in conflict zones, and yet there have been no attempts at transparent investigations or prosecutions of those responsible," the report says.The impunity of Indian security forces is apparent in the Punjab mass illegal cremations case. Although the Central Bureau of Investigation reported thousands of illegal creamtions, and the Supreme Court designated the National Human Rights Commission as its body to investigate this crime, the Punjab government has neither admitted wrongdoing, nor prosecuted any security officers for their role in the disapperances and extrajudicial executions leading to the illegal creamtions.
Security forces in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh were also criticized for serious human rights violations such as extrajudicial executions, arbitrary detentions, limited access to prisoners, and custodial torture.
[This entry is cross-posted on ENSAAF's Blog.]
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