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Perpetrators continue to enjoy impunity in Kashmir: AI

Srinagar, May 28, 2008:

The state and non-state actors in Indian administered Kashmir continue to enjoy impunity for torture, deaths in custody, abductions and unlawful killings, international rights group, Amnesty International (AI) said in a report released on Wednesday.

Launching the AI Report 2008: State of the World's Human Rights, the watchdog also challenged world leaders to apologize for six decades of human rights failure and re-commit themselves to deliver concrete improvements.

The report shows that sixty years after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the United Nations, people are still tortured or ill-treated in at least 81 countries, face unfair trials in at least 54 countries and are not allowed to speak freely in at least 77 countries.

"Injustice, inequality and impunity are the hallmarks of our world today. Governments must act now to close the yawning gap between promise and performance."

The AI in its annual report on human rights abuses across the world quoted a human rights organisation as saying that in the past 18 years 1,051 people had been victims of enforced disappearance in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district alone.

The AI report said that human rights organizations challenged official claims that there had been no disappearances until November 10, 2007, saying that 60 people had disappeared since 2006, including nine in 2007.

The Amnesty report said that five people, who had allegedly been detained illegally, were traced. In a few cases criminal action was initiated for human rights violations committed years earlier.

In May, the Jammu Kashmir High Court directed the state police to file murder charges against 11 officials of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police in connection with the disappearance of Ashraf Ahmad Koka, a resident of Gond, in October 2001.

The report documents human rights issues in 150 countries in 2007.



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