martedì 18 dicembre 2012

INDIA URGENT ACTION - Human rights defender at risk of torture: Aparna Marandi.

UA: 359/12 Index: ASA 20/043/2012 India Date: 17 December 2012
Aparna Marandi, a long-time human rights defender who has been repeatedly targeted by the state government for her activities, was arrested on 8 December. She is being detained in Jharkhand, India and is at imminent risk of torture or other ill-treatment.
Aparna Marandi, accompanied by her four year-old son Alok Marandi and three others, was approached by plain clothes policemen after boarding a train from Jharkhand to Hyderabad on 8 December. Aparna Marandi has, for nearly four years, sought to free her activist husband from detention. She was arrested for her alleged involvement in two protests, one which occurred six years ago, and another which took place on 30 November. All were taken into custody at Ranchi women’s police station where they remained until 10 December. They were not presented before a magistrate within 24 hours - in violation of Indian law - and were allegedly subjected to ill-treatment while in custody.
The three other individuals, one a child of 16, were released on 10 December after being forced to sign statements stating they had been arrested on 9 December, instead of 8.
Aparna Marandi and her son were reportedly brought before a magistrate in Ranchi on 10 December and then remanded to police custody and taken to Dumka jail. There are concerns that she may be held incommunicado. Her friends and fellow activists have attempted to contact the police station at Dumka to determine her whereabouts and condition, but as of 14 December police have refused to disclose any information. Authorities have also not responded to a request for details of the charges brought against Marandi.
Please write immediately in English, Hindi or your own language:
Urging the authorities to grant Aparna Marandi and her son immediate access to a lawyer of her choice;
Urging the authorities to protect Aparna Marandi and her son from torture and other ill-treatment;
Urging the authorities to initiate an independent and impartial investigation into the police behaviour and allegations of ill-treatment during Aparna Marandi and her companions’ detention between 8-10 December at Ranchi women’s police station, and hold those responsible for such ill-treatment accountable;
Urging the authorities to desist the practice of arbitrary arrest and detention of individuals in Jharkhand;
Urging the authorities to investigate the detention of two children - 16-year-old Satish and four-year-old Alok - in violation of both the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act (2000) and the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which India is a state party and thus obligated to uphold.
Chief Minister, Jharkhand
3, Kanke Road, Ranchi,
Jharkhand – 834008, India
Fax: 91-651-2280717
Salutation: Dear Chief Minister
Director General of Police, Jharkhand
G.S. Rath
Police Headquarters, DPRD Building,
HEC Dhurwa, Ranchi,
Jharkhand – 834004, India
Fax: 91-651-2400738
Salutation: Dear Mr Rath
Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.

ADditional Information

The arrest of Aparna Marandi is not an isolated event. The authorities in Jharkhand have used tactics of intimidation to silence many activists from marginalized groups such as the Adivasis (indigenous peoples) and the Dalits who advocate for Adivasi and Dalit rights. Activists in Jharkhand, India are under constant threat of arbitrary detention, torture and other ill-treatment by law enforcement officials for protesting and demonstrating against land grabs and discrimination against Adivasis and Dalits. Many are accused of links to armed opposition groups including the Maoists. 

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