Machil fake encounter: Military courts decision reveals flaws of military justice system, says Amnesty

Srinagar

Reacting to reports of an appellate military court suspending the life sentences of five Army personnel convicted of the extrajudicial executions of three men in Machil, Amnesty International India said the development reveals flaws of military justice system and the need for an independent probe by civilian authorities.

Asmita Basu, Programmes Director at Amnesty International India, said, in a statement: “The developments in the Machil fake encounter case once again highlight the need for allegations of human rights violations to be investigated and prosecuted by independent civilian authorities, instead of the secretive military justice system.

“Civilian investigations and trials offer a degree of transparency and independence that is missing from the military justice system. The families of those killed in Machil were not informed about the conviction in 2010, and weren’t told about today’s decision to suspend the sentence.

“The Army says that it has zero tolerance for human rights violations, but the working of the military justice system repeatedly belies that claim.”

Earlier, reports said that a military court has suspended the life sentences of five army men accused of killing three unemployed Kashmiri youths and then trying to pass them off as Pakistani militants in a stage-managed gunfight in Machhil sector along the Line of Control in April 2010.

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