UN HRC recommends AFSPA repeal

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Guwahati: United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) has recommended repeal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and suggested that forces should be “clearly” instructed to respect the works, rights and fundamental freedom of human rights defenders.
UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders Margaret Sekaggya’s latest report on India said Manipur, where AFSPA is still in force along with Jammu and Kashmir, is the worst-hit by “militarization” with more than “half a dozen” human rights groups having been branded as “terrorists” due to their “self-determination” advocacy work.
A newspaper report said HRC made an observation that the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in 10 years did not visit Irom Sharmila, who has been on hunger strike for repeal of AFSPA since 2000, despite repeated requests by human rights defenders. On the other hand, an international symposium will discuss the 11-year hunger strike by Sharmila, various aspects of AFSPA in northeastern states and Jammu and Kashmir, the Act’s impact on India’s democratic, constitutional and judicial practices in USA on February 21.

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