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Thursday, July 28, 2011

UNSC Overview, India

Here is a country that is growing exponentially and has several democratic systems in place. It seems that India is changing, slowly, from a caste system to one in which people are to be viewed as equal. This is not a change that is going smoothly, not at all.

Amnesty International reports
Tighter anti-terror and security legislation in the wake of the 2008 Mumbai attacks was linked to reports of arbitrary detention and torture. Maoist violence in central India spread to West Bengal, with local communities being targeted and at least 300 civilians killed. Extrajudicial executions took place in a number of states and human rights defenders were threatened and detained arbitrarily. Judicial processes continued to fail to ensure justice for many victims of past human rights violations, violence against religious minorities and corporate abuses. Adivasis (Indigenous communities), small farmers and city dwellers living in poverty across India whose livelihoods were threatened by fast-tracked development and mining projects continued to resist moves to acquire their lands and natural resources. At least 50 people were sentenced to death but, for the fifth successive year, there were no executions.

The prisons and the police are in disrepair, are defunct, decrepit, and violent. The court systems are, most undoubtedly, corrupt and discriminatory. Among the abuses that the police are accused and by video evidence guilty, of are discriminatory arrests, arbitrary beatings, and torture. With those points playing out, I would assert that enforced disappearance is also a regularly practiced activity from the Bangladeshi border to the Nepalese border to Kashmir and down through the Thar Desert.  Reports are that police will question a suspect of a crime by tying their hands and feet then beating them to the point of unconsciousness. The water torture that one suspect underwent was being hung by the feet and having water poured into his nose and mouth until he passed out. This one individual who was tied, beaten, and tortured was a fruit vendor who might have had some information about a local street gang.

There is a decades old internal conflict between police, militias, and external extremist groups. The muslims in Bangladesh infiltrate into border regions for sabotage, kidnappings, and the like. Police and militias often move to protect against this. The two also fight each other in so doing. Kashmir is a region rife with conflict of both sectarian and secular roots. No amount of government presence has been able to prevent violence and atrocities from happening with frightening regularity.

Children are regularly sold into slavery for sex inside India and also transported to other regions as well. The sex trade runs rampant. Human trafficking goes with it. There also is an inability by the system to protect girls from being kidnapped by muslims, raped, and then put into forced marriages and forced religious conversions. These forced conversions occur more frequently in areas outside of the major metropolitan areas. There is little to no law enforcement presence and the locals, as well as missionaries, are left to their own devices of protection.

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