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AIHRA PRESIDENT IN AIHRA W.B. ROAD RALLY FOR COMMUNAL HARMONY AND PRESS MEET

Posted on 23 September 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Saturday 23rd September 2017

West Bengal committee 0365 had organised a road rally (padyatra ) on 21st of September  starts from Hazinagar chai gada maidan  which ends at k Halisahar Assam Bangia Saraswath Math.The Moto of the rally (padyatra) was Communal Harmony . Our rally was inaugurated jointly  by our International president Dr.M.U.Dua and the Patron of West Bengal Committee – 0365 Dr.Swami Jnanananda Saraswati Maharaj.

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India: Key UN Rights Recommendations Ignored

Posted on 22 September 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Friday 22nd September 2017

Act on Concerns Raised at Universal Periodic Review

(Geneva, September 22, 2017) – The Indian government did not accept a number of key human rights recommendations on September 21, 2017, at its United Nations review in Geneva, Human Rights Watch said today. The government should promptly act on the recommendations raised by UN member countries during the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process.

India’s government responded on September 21 to the recommendations made by other UN member countries on May 4 during India’s third periodic review. The Indian government was unwilling to accept important recommendations for greater accountability of its security forces, ensuring freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, repealing the law criminalizing consensual adult same-sex relations, and abolishing the death penalty.

“In the face of countless attacks on free speech and threats to marginalized communities, the Indian government has chosen to be in denial,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “India should show leadership on the world stage by taking the human rights concerns of other countries seriously and adopting concrete steps to address them.”

At the May 4 session, 112 countries made a total of 250 recommendations. On September 21, the government accepted 152, including commitments made toward sustainable development goals aimed at alleviating poverty, improving access to safe drinking water and sanitation, and strengthening protections for children and women.

In the face of countless attacks on free speech and threats to marginalized communities, the Indian government has chosen to be in denial.

Meenakshi Ganguly

South Asia Director

Thirty countries called on India to ratify the UN Convention Against Torture, a treaty it signed two decades ago but never ratified. Even as the Indian government denied the existence of torture at the May meeting, saying “the concept of torture is completely alien to our culture and it has no place in the governance of the nation,” it said it remained committed to ratifying the treaty. However, India made a similar commitment at the last UPR cycle in 2012 when the recommendation was made by 17 countries, and yet failed to take any steps to fulfill it. In a recent report on deaths in police custody, Human Rights Watch found that torture is frequently used to gather information or coerce confessions.

At the UPR outcome meeting, India’s National Human Rights Commission pointed to the country’s failure to implement several recommendations adopted in the previous UPR cycle.

Regarding several pressing human rights concerns, the government’s outcome report merely “noted” the recommendations, drawing criticism from several countries and domestic and international rights groups. In the past, the Indian government has consistently ignored recommendations that it only noted. For instance, concerns over the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), a law that provides soldiers who commit abuses effective immunity from prosecution, was also “noted” in previous UPR sessions. But the government has refused to repeal the law despite recommendations from numerous independent commissions in India.

Similarly, at the 2012 review, the government said it noted the concerns raised over the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), a law regulating foreign funding to nongovernmental organizations, but failed to take any action to address it. Instead, since 2014, the Indian government has increasingly used the law to harass, intimidate, and shut down foreign funding for nongovernmental organizations that criticize the government, its actions, or policies. During this UPR, at least 10 countries raised concerns over restrictions to freedom of assembly and association, including the FCRA, but the Indian government merely “noted” the recommendations.

Mob attacks by extremist Hindu groups affiliated with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) against minority communities, especially Muslims and Dalits, have become a serious threat. In the first seven months of 2017, there were 26 attacks, and seven people were killed over rumors that they sold, bought, or killed cows for beef. The government has failed to prosecute those responsible for such attacks, and at the same time several BJP leaders have made incendiary remarks against minorities, and in support of Hindu nationalism. Fifteen countries raised concerns over such increasing violence, recommending that India should better protect these vulnerable populations and freedom of religion, and prosecute attacks against them. However, the Indian government was unwilling to make any commitments.

More than 30 countries raised concerns over violence and discrimination against women, and 10 asked India to criminalize marital rape. The Indian government accepted recommendations to protect women from violence, but did not accept recommendations regarding marital rape.

Several countries also called on India to repeal section 377 of the penal code, which criminalizes consensual same-sex relations, and to end discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, a recommendation made and only noted in 2012 and again during the 2017 review. This is despite an Indian Supreme Court ruling in August saying the law had a chilling effect on “the unhindered fulfilment of one’s sexual orientation, as an element of privacy and dignity.”

“The Indian government’s claims of respect for the UPR process mean nothing if it simply brushes aside important recommendations at a time when the country’s long cherished freedoms and its poor and vulnerable are at great risk,” Ganguly said.

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AIHRA BENGAL UTSAV BEGINS

Posted on 21 September 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Thursday 21st September 2017

AIHRA PRESIDENT M.U. DUA REACHED AT KOLKATA IN AIHRA BENGAL UTSAV.

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Treaty banning nuclear weapons opens for signature at UN

Posted on 21 September 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Thursday 21st September 2017

20 September 2017 – The world’s first legally-binding treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons opened for signature today at United Nations Headquarters in New York at a ceremony at which speakers from international organizations, governments and civil society hailed this milestone in achieving a world free of such arsenals as well as the work that remains to be done.

“The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is the product of increasing concerns over the risk posed by the continued existence of nuclear weapons, including the catastrophic humanitarian and environmental consequences of their use,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said at the ceremony, held on the margins of the General Assembly’s high-level debate.

“The Treaty is an important step towards the universally-held goal of a world free of nuclear weapons. It is my hope that it will reinvigorate global efforts to achieve it,” he added, acknowledging the contributions made by civil society and the hibakusha – the atomic bomb survivors.

At the same time, Mr. Guterres, highlighted the difficult road ahead by recalling that there remain some 15,000 nuclear weapons in existence. “We cannot allow these doomsday weapons to endanger our world and our children’s future,” he said.

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2 Pakistani intruders shot dead by BSF

Posted on 21 September 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Wednesday 20th September 2017

Amritsar, Sep 20 (PTI) The Border Security Force shot dead two Pakistani intruders along the Indo-Pak border today when they refused to surrender while crossing over to Indian territory.

DIG BSF J S Oberio said the BSF shot dead two Pakistani intruders when they ignored warnings and kept marching towards BSF troops aggressively.

The incident took place along the Indo-Pak border in Ajnala sector of Amritsar at BOP Shahpur where BSF troops spotted two Pakistani nationals who crossed over to India and refused to surrender.

The border guarding force said it has recovered the bodies of the two. An AK-47 assault rifle, a pistol and over two dozen bullet rounds were recovered from them.

A Border Security Force (BSF) spokesperson said that a Pakistani SIM card, four kgs of heroin and Pakistani currency worth Rs 20,000 were recovered from the two.

“When challenged by BSF troops, infiltrators fired on ambush line with automatic weapons. Taking cover, the fire was appropriately retaliated and infiltrators were neutralised near the border fence,” the spokesperson said.

The force foiled the infiltration bid, he added.

“The area has been cordoned off and the search is on at the IB,” the spokesperson added.

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Aung San Suu Kyi condemns ‘all human rights violations’

Posted on 19 September 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Tuesday 19th September 2017

In her first comments on Rohingya crisis, Myanmar’s leader says she is ‘concerned’ over Muslims fleeing to Bangladesh.

Aung San Suu Kyi said she “feels deeply” for the suffering of “all people” caught up in conflict scorching Rakhine state in her first comments on the crisis since the latest violence began last month.  “We are concerned to hear the number of Muslims fleeing areas to Bangladesh,” she said in a televised address on Tuesday, adding that Myanmar condemns any “human rights violations” that may have exacerbated the crisis. Suu Kyi also said she was “concerned” over Muslims and others who have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate has come under increased criticism over the past month as more than 410,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar to Bangladesh, escaping what the UN has described as “ethnic cleansing”.

Those who have fled have told stories of indiscriminate killings, rape, torture and arson by Myanmar security forces in Rakhine State, where the majority of Rohingya live.On Monday, leaders from the UK,

US, France, Canada and Australia had urged Aung San Suu Kyi to push for an end to violence against the Rohingya.In her address, Aung San Suu Kyi said “it is not the intention of the Myanmar government to apportion blame or to abnegate responsibility”, adding that Myanmar does not fear “international scrutiny” over the Rohingya crisis.She invited outside observers to visit Rakhine and see the problems in person.”The security forces have been instructed to adhere strictly to the code of conduct in carrying out security operations, to exercise all due restraint and to full measures to avoid collateral damages and the harming of innocent civilians,” she said.

While Aung San Suu Kyi does not have control over the military, she had been criticised over her silence about the violence in Rakhine.

“Human rights violations and all other acts that impair stability and harmony and undermine the rule of law will be addressed with strict norms of justice,” she said.

Verification process

Aung San Suu Kyi said that her country stood ready “at any time” to verify the status of the Rohingya who have fled violence in the last month to aid the return of those eligible for resettlement.

“We are prepared to start the verification process at any time,” she said referring to those who have fled in the unprecedented exodus to Bangladesh, without guaranteeing a return for all of the refugees.

It is not immediately clear how many of the estimated 410,000 Rohingya who have fled Myanmar would qualify to return.

Al Jazeera’s Scott Heidler, who attended the speech at Naypyidaw, said Suu Kyi “expressed good faith” in vowing to repatriate citizens of Myanmar from Bangladesh.

But he added that “the majority of the Rohingya are not treated as citizens in Myanmar and lack the proper documentation to begin with”.

“To prove they were from a certain village is going to be a monumental task.”

Al Jazeera’s Tanvir Chowdury, reporting from Cox’s Bazar, said Bangladesh has started a biometric registration process for Rohingya refugees.

But the repatriation process will be based on “trust and confidence in what Bangladesh’s government says”.

‘Shielding the military’

Speaking to Al Jazeera from Bangkok, James Gomez, Amnesty International’s regional director for Southeast Asia, condemned what he called Aung San Suu Kyi’s “silence on the suffering and plight of the Rohingya”.

“It almost came across that she was shielding the military,” Gomez said, adding: “What is the role of the military if she says there have been no attacks since September 5 in Rakhine state; then why is the burning going on?

“The issues of landmines on the border, incidences of disappearances of boys and men. Can we hold the military accountable? Is there going to be impunity?”

Gomez, however, said Aung San Suu Kyi’s invitation to diplomats and observers to enter Myanmar was a positive step, and called on her government to provide “unfettered and independent” access to UN investigators and others.

The latest round of violence in Myanmar began on August 25 after Rohingya fighters attacked more than 30 police and army posts, prompting a security crackdown on the Rohingya.

The mostly Muslim minority is not recognised as an ethnic group in Myanmar, despite having lived there for generations. Rohingya have been denied citizenship, which has effectively rendered them stateless.

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Nelson Mandela’s Human Rights Legacy

Posted on 18 September 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Monday 18th September 2017

Who is Nelson Mandela?

Nelson Mandela was an anti-apartheid revolutionary and the first President of South Africa.

Mandela was born on 18 July 1918. He was given the forename ‘Rolihlahla’, meaning troublemaker, and in later years became known by his clan name, ‘Madiba’. At school, Mandela was given the English forename ‘Nelson’ by his teacher. When he was 12 years old, his father died and Mandela was entrusted to the guardianship of the regent of the Thembu people. Mandela learned about his ancestors’ resistance of imperialism and apartheid.

What was apartheid?

Apartheid was a system of racial segregation in South Africa. It was enforced through legislation. Under apartheid, the rights and freedoms of the majority black inhabitants and other ethnic groups in South Africa were restricted, and white minority rule was perpetuated.

From 1960 to 1983, 3.5 million non-white South Africans were removed from their homes and forced into segregated neighbourhoods. Non-white political representation was abolished in 1970 and black people were deprived of their citizenship. The government segregated education, medical care and other public services, and provided black people with services inferior to those reserved for white people.

How did Mandela fight apartheid?

At university in the 1940s, Mandela became increasingly involved in politics. He joined the African National Congress (‘ANC’), a political party opposed to the prevailing South African government during apartheid. Mandela helped to form the ANC Youth League and served on its executive committee.

After the South African general election 1948, in which only white people were permitted to vote, the National Party came to power. Mandela and others in the ANC began advocating direct action against apartheid, such as boycotts and strikes. At a rally on 22 June 1952, initiating protests for the ANC’s Defiance Campaign Against Unjust Laws, Mandela addressed a crowd of 10,000 people. He was subsequently arrested, but the campaign established Mandela as a prominent political figure in South Africa.

At this point, the South African government and many in the international community (including US President Ronald Reagan and UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher) considered Mandela’s ANC a terrorist organisation. In July 1963, Mandela and others were charged with sabotage and conspiracy to violently overthrow the government.

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Nation pays final tributes to Marshal Arjan Singh

Posted on 18 September 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Sunday 17th September 2017

New Delhi, Sep 17 (PTI) President Ram Nath Kovind led the nation today in paying final tributes to Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh, hero of 1965 India-Pakistan war and the only Air Force officer to be promoted to five-star rank.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman laid a wreath on behalf of herself and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is in Gujarat for the inauguration of Sardar Sarovar Dam.

The three service chiefs –Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa, Naval chief Admiral Sunil Lanba, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat — as well as Minister of State Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardeep Puri were also present.

Among other dignitaries who were seen streaming in were Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, MoS for External Affairs and former Army chief V K Singh, former defence minister A K Antony and Congress MP Karan Singh.

Former Indian Air Force (IAF) chiefs S P Tyagi, N C Suri and Anil Y Tipnis as well as several decorated officers who served under Arjan Singh during the 1965 war were also present.

Army Chief General Bipin Rawat described the five-star ranking officer as “a legend, an icon, a pilot-chief who led from the front and a philanthropist to the core”.

He recalled Singh’s immense contribution as the Air Chief during the 1965 India-Pakistan war, the first major air battle of the IAF after independence.

“It was to his credit that despite initial setbacks, we were able to ‘overcome and overwhelm’ the enemy and spoil their design to annex Jammu and Kashmir,” Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa told reporters.

Arjan Singh’s daughter, Asha Singh, and other members of the family, including his niece and actor Mandira Bedi, were present at the officer’s residence, where his mortal remains lie in state. His son Arvind Singh is expected to arrive later this evening from Arizona, US.

The tricolour will fly at half mast at all government buildings in the national capital tomorrow in the honour of the military legend.

The IAF patriarch will be given a state funeral at 9.30 am tomorrow at Brar Square, Sitharamnan told reporters.

The cortege will leave on a gun carriage from Arjan Singh’s 7-A Kautilya Marg residence at 8.30 am. A gun salute will be given, and if weather permits, a fly past will also take place, the defence minister said.

Arjan Singh’s family has also planned a ritual for the funeral.

An icon of India’s military history, 98-year-old Singh breathed his last at an Army hospital here yesterday.

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UK human rights ‘put at risk’ by Brexit bill, warns senior academic

Posted on 16 September 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Saturday 16th September 2017

Leaving the EU puts the human rights of people in the UK “at risk” because the Government’s Brexit bill allows ministers to change or scrap legislation whenever they choose, a senior academic has warned.

Dr Tobias Lock, a senior lecturer in EU law at Edinburgh University, said the threat Brexit poses to individual rights goes far deeper than the fact the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights will cease to apply in the UK.

He said the main threat instead comes from the wording of the Government’s controversial EU Withdrawal Bill, which the House of Commons voted this week to pass to committee stage.

The bill is particularly contentious because it contains clauses that would allow ministers to use “Henry VIII” powers to amend legislation without parliamentary scrutiny. Other parties accused ministers of staging a “power grab”.

Because many of the rights enshrined in EU law, such as maternity leave, limits on working hours and the right to a weekend, will soon be transferred to UK law, they will be liable to be altered or scrapped entirely by UK governments.

The EU Withdrawal Bill explicitly prevents UK ministers from amending the Human Rights Act, but other legislation that guarantee rights and equality protections, such as the Equality Act, could be changed or repealed. Protections that are currently guaranteed under EU law “will become part of normal politics after Brexit”, Dr Lock said, leaving them in a more “precarious” position.

The academic, who is also co-director of the Europa Institute and an adviser to the Scottish Human Rights Commission on the implications of Brexit, told CommonSpace that the bill gives ministers “far-reaching” powers to make or change laws without approval from Parliament.

“All sorts of EU law is transformed into UK law by the bill, and the powers of government to amend those laws is then very far reaching,” he said.

The EU Withdrawal Bill also makes clear that the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights will not be adopted automatically into UK law.

One consequence of the change is that people will lose the right to mount a legal challenge against a law on the basis that it breaches human rights.

“The EU rules we are currently applying will be UK rules, and [the Government] won’t have to comply with the charter when applying those rules,” Dr Lock said.

He highlighted one recent case where two women working in a foreign embassy had claimed their employment rights were not being met. While UK law means a foreign embassy cannot be sued, the women were able to rely on the Charter of Fundamental Rights to prove that they were being treated unfairly, because EU protections currently trump national laws.

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Burma: Military Torches Homes Near Border

Posted on 16 September 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Friday 15th September 2017

The Burmese military is deliberately burning ethnic Rohingya villages near the Bangladesh border, Human Rights Watch said today. Such acts of arson, after forcing residents to leave their villages, appear central to the Burmese military’s ethnic cleansing campaign against the Rohingya Muslim population in Burma’s Rakhine State.

Human Rights Watch released new satellite imagery and sensory data showing that 62 villages in northern Rakhine State were targeted by arson attacks between August 25 and September 14, 2017. Human Rights Watch identified 35 of these villages with extensive building destruction from very high resolution satellite imagery, and an additional 26 villages that had active fires detected in near-real time with environmental satellite sensors.

“Our field research backs what the satellite imagery has indicated – that the Burmese military is directly responsible for the mass burning of Rohingya villages in northern Rakhine State,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director. “The United Nations and member countries should urgently impose measures on the Burmese government to stop these atrocities and end the forced flight of Rohingya from Burma.”

Human Rights Watch conducted a detailed building damage assessment in 6 of the 35 affected villages and identified nearly complete destruction in each case. The total number of destroyed buildings was 948.

On the morning of September 13, Human Rights Watch observed from Bangladesh large plumes of thick, black smoke from the Rohingya border village of Taung Pyo Let Yar in Maungdaw township. A video confirmed to have been taken from a hill overlooking the village shows several buildings burning in the unoccupied village and two large, dark-colored trucks several hundred meters away. Village residents stranded at the border described the vehicles as “military trucks” that had previously entered the village. Three villagers who observed the fires from the hill said that the smoke came from fires set in village buildings.

Fatima, 50, who had fled Taung Pyo Let Yar, told Human Rights Watch that after she saw smoke rise from the village, she climbed a hill to see if her home was on fire. When she reached the top, she saw her home engulfed by a column of smoke. Other nearby homes were also burning. She said that she had fled on August 31 when trucks carrying Burmese soldiers arrived in the village. The soldiers jumped out of the trucks carrying guns, frightening her, so she ran several hundred meters into the “no-man’s land” at the Bangladeshi border. “When we see the army we just ran away from the village – hundreds ran,” Fatima said. “We just brought our children.”

Mohamed Sahed, 50, climbed the same hill and said that he saw his two trucks and a car burning in front of his house, which was also consumed by fire. He said he saw at least four soldiers in the village. His son, Mohamed Shufi, 24, said that earlier that morning he and two other villagers had re-entered Burma and were heading back to their homes to get wood for cooking at their temporary camp at the border. But when they were still hundreds of meters from the village, a half-dozen Burmese soldiers spotted them and hurled rocks at them using slingshots. The three villagers ran back across the border and hid.

Earlier in the week, Human Rights Watch directly observed a Burmese military patrol operating within 600 meters of Taung Pyo Let Yar. Rohingya refugees also said that they saw patrols of at least 40 Burmese soldiers operating within meters of the border fence and several hundred meters of the village nearly every day. Several people at the border said that a Burmese border guard police post was located within 200 meters of Taung Pyo Let Yar, and that since August 31, the Burmese military had routinely occupied houses in the village and used the border guard outpost.

Satellite detection of multiple active fires on September 11 and 13 suggest that villages in new areas of Maungdaw township are now being targeted for destruction. Because of heavy cloud cover, it is almost certain that the actual number of fire-affected villages in the townships of Maungdaw, Buthidaung, and Rathedaung is considerably higher. UN Secretary-General António Guterres and human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein have indicated that the Burmese military’s actions amount to ethnic cleansing. Burmese government statements seemingly support these conclusions. Zaw Htay, a Burmese government spokesman, told the media that of 471 villages targeted in “clearance operations” by the military, 176 are now empty and at least 34 others partially abandoned.

The Burmese military’s operations in northern Rakhine State followed a series of coordinated armed attacks by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) on August 25 against more than 30 Burmese government police stations and checkpoints, government offices, and an army base. The Burmese government alleges that Rohingya militants and villagers are responsible for burning buildings in villages across Rakhine State, but has so far failed to provide evidence of this claim.

Although “ethnic cleansing” is not formally defined under international law, a UN Commission of Experts has described ethnic cleansing as a “purposeful policy designed by one ethnic or religious group to remove by violent and terror-inspiring means the civilian population of another ethnic or religious group from certain geographic areas.… This purpose appears to be the occupation of territory to the exclusion of the purged group or groups.”

“The sightings of Burmese military vehicles and soldiers in a Rohingya village as it goes up in flames fills in some blank spaces of the overwhelming satellite imagery of destruction,” Robertson said. “Concerned governments need to convey the message to Burma’s Sr. Gen. Min Aung Hlaing and other senior commanders that they could be implicated in grave crimes unless they act swiftly to stop the atrocities and hold those responsible to account.”

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