Stop Slapping PSA

October 20, 2016 0 Comments EDITORIAL 142 Views
Stop Slapping PSA

With the Police arresting over 100 persons from different parts of Kashmir in 24 hours as part of its crackdown to quell protests only resulting in more protests against the night raids and arbitrary detentions, the is a sudden increase in the protests in these areas. Stop slapping draconian Pubic Safety Act. This should go straight into the minds of the policy makers and most importantly the PDP-BJP coalition government, which are increasing disconnect among the youngsters who are hitting already tense streets. The noted human rights groups including Amnesty International, the International Commission of Jurists and Human Rights Watch have been propagating that this draconian law should do away with. The organizations have asked the State government to stop using the Public Safety Act (PSA) for detaining people without trial in the valley. Hundreds of youth have been held under the controversial law that allows detention without charge or trial for up to two years in some cases. It has been criticized for violating range of human rights and rights groups have been demanding its repeal. In the recent weeks, PSA has been increasingly used to crush the uprising in the valley. In many instances, kids have been detained under PSA irrespective of the fact that the law could not be invoked against them because of age. Detaining children under PSA can have long-term repercussions. Detaining people indefinitely without charge will only compound the already charged situation in the valley. The United Nations Human Rights Committee, which monitors the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights – to which India is a state party, has stated that administrative detention in the name of security ‘presents severe risks of arbitrary deprivation of liberty’ and ‘would normally amount to arbitrary detention’, as other effective measures addressing the threat, including the criminal justice system, would be available.” According to the joint statement of Amnesty International, the International Commission of Jurists and Human Rights Watch, PSA contains vague and over broad terms, such as ‘security of the state’ and ‘public order’ that are not precisely defined, and therefore, do not meet the requirement of legality under international law. The PSA does not provide for judicial review of detentions. It also protects officials from legal proceedings for anything ‘done or intended to be done in good faith’. This, as the rights groups point out, is inconsistent with the right to remedy for arbitrary detention or other human rights violations. Under international law, anyone under the age of 18 is a child, and should be tried in accordance with the internationally-accepted juvenile justice standards.

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