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INDIA SHOULD SCRAP AFSPA IN KASHMIR: UN

Inside India

After a 12-day visit to India, the U.N.’s Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns, urged New Delhi to repeal the law, saying it was “a symbol of excessive state power” that “clearly violates international law.” “A law such as AFSPA has no role to play in a democracy and should be scrapped,” Heyns said.

Heyns, who will submit a report of his findings to the U.N. Human Rights Council next year, said he heard numerous testimonies from families of victims who had reportedly been killed in arbitrary executions carried out by security forces. Among other powers, the AFSPA allows security forces to fire upon, or use force against, an assembly of five or more people, or anyone in possession of a deadly weapon. It gives legal immunity to the officials, so they can be neither sued nor prosecuted. In 2010, over 100 people were killed by government forces in protests against AFSPA in Kashmir. Local authorities in some areas have said they will stop using the law, but this has been blocked by the Indian army.



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