Amnesty slams JK Government over Danish’s detention

‘State Authorities Must Halt Practice Of Arbitrary Arrests Particularly Of Children’

IMRAN MUZAFFAR

Srinagar, Nov 30: Global rights watchdog, Amnesty International (AI) Friday condemned what it calls the arbitrary detention of a minor Danish Farooq in Jammu and Kashmir, noting that J&K Government was arresting minors in violation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and other international human rights laws.
 “AI is deeply concerned that authorities in Jammu and Kashmir have arbitrarily detained 16-year-old Danish Farooq, and are treating him as an adult rather than a child,” a spokesperson of the international human rights watchdog said in a statement. The spokesperson said, Danish was first arrested on 19 November 2012 under sections 152, 138, 148, and 147 of the Ranbir Penal Code (RPC)—all charges relate to incidents of “stone-pelting”.
 “After three days of arbitrary detention in police custody without any legal grounds, he was produced in court, which ordered his release on bail,” AI spokesman said.
 The spokesperson said before any release, Danish was re-arrested on 23 November under sections 307, 285, 336 of the RPC for “attempt to murder” for his alleged involvement in a petrol bomb attack. “According to latest reports, he remains in police custody and it is unclear when he will appear before the local court in Srinagar. In fact Danish’s family has been denied the right to communicate with him or see him,” the statement stated.
 “A police representative has told Danish’s family that the minor will not be presented in court within the required time period set by law, but will keep him in custody for two months. He has not been given access to a lawyer during this time,” the AI spokesperson said.
 The spokesperson said India is legally obliged to define minors as all individuals younger than 18. “It has to establish laws and procedures specifically applicable to children under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which it ratified in 1992,” he said.
 “India must ensure no individual younger than 18 years of age is arrested, detained, or tried under ordinary criminal law without the safeguards meant to protect children.”
 The J&K Juvenile Justice Act, 1997, treats boys over the age of 16 as adults, in violation of the UNCRC and international human rights law, the spokespersons said. “Amendments to the Juvenile Justice Act are currently being discussed by the J&K Legislative Assembly. If these amendments are successful, all children below 18 years of age will be treated as juveniles,” he said.
 The spokesperson said Danish is a child under an international treaty that is binding on India, and so the manner of his arrest and detention must be compatible with this treaty.
 “Furthermore the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which India has also ratified, prohibits the arbitrary deprivation of liberty and among other things provides that states– including India – must ensure that any person being arrested is brought promptly before a judge or other officer authorized by law to exercise judicial power,” the AI spokesperson said.
 “Amnesty International calls on the J&K police to end Danish’s arbitrary and unlawful detention; and either release him or produce him immediately before a magistrate. If a court decides that he has to remain in detention, he must be moved to a juvenile detention home and be granted all the safeguards and protections guaranteed to children by the UNCRC and for judicial proceedings to go forward in accordance with international human rights law,” the spokesperson said.
 “Danish should also be granted, without delay, access to his family, and they should be kept informed of his whereabouts and condition, as well as access to a lawyer of his or his family’s choice,” he said.
 Amnesty International urges the J&K authorities to halt the practice of arbitrary detentions in the state particularly of children, the spokesperson said, adding that the Amnesty International reiterates its call to the J&K government to amend the Juvenile Justice Act to bring it into line with the CRC.

Lastupdate on : Fri, 30 Nov 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 30 Nov 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 1 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST




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