PSA Violates India’s International Human Rights Law Obligations: Amnesty

KL Report

Amnesty International has called upon the Jammu and Kashmir authorities to end the administrative detention of 18 year old Mubarak Bhat, who was detained under the Public Safety Act (PSA) despite local court, has found the charges against him “unworthy of further investigation”, and ordered his release on bail on October 1.

Arrested on September 18, Bhat was booked on the charges of several offences including causing disruption to the maintenance of public order, rioting and causing injury to a public servant. Bhat’s parents deny all charges that he was involved in stone pelting and rioting, reads the document released by Amnesty International.

A local court found the charges against him “unworthy of further investigation”, and ordered his release on bail on October 1 and informed that 18 year old boy was “not required for custodial interrogation.”

“We want the government of J&K to know that we are watching them, and we are listening to the people who need us to support the defense of their rights,” said Shashikumar Velath, Amnesty International India’s Director of Programs. Velath was recently in Kashmir with his team and they presented a briefing on the PSA to government and other officials.

The document further reads, instead of releasing Bhat on bail, he was detained for further three days, and on October 4, the authorities issued an administrative detention order under the PSA to detain him, and transferred him from the jail where he was being held to the Kotbalwal Jail in Jammu, far from his home in Srinagar.

The PSA detention order claims that Bhat was heavily involved in stone-pelting incidents, rioting, and activities which were “prejudicial to the security of state” and lists grounds for detention similar to those under which he remains charged under criminal law.

This case is just one of many examples that show how the authorities in J&K use the PSA as ‘informal punishment’ and subvert the criminal justice system,” said Velath,

The statement further reads, “Security forces in J&K often use laws such as the PSA for a process of “revolving door detentions” – repeatedly detaining a person on ‘new’ grounds, despite courts ordering their release”.

Amnesty International’s reports says the PSA violates India’s international human rights law obligations, including the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, to which India acceded to on  April 10,  1979. The Government of J&K should repeal the Public Safety Act and end the system of administrative detention.


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