Re: Minor tribal boy tortured to confess a crime he never committed.True face of Orissa Police
just wanted to add a couple of points;
Torture: it is a common everyday practice; it happens all the time in India, it happens in every police station. I am not talking about the odd slap or even the frightening beating but deep violence that leaves people crippled in m1ind and body. India has signed the international UN convention against cruel and degrading treatment; its commonly called the CAT. This signals a country's desire to conform to it and pass legislation and prepare against ever using torture and ensuring it is prevented. But they have not ratified it which means it is merely at intention stage and not at the stage where the country is obliged to ensure that there is no torture and where citizens can take complaints to the committees abroad which monitor human rights. Treaties have additional bits called protocols. These are not compulsory but optional. Signature on to the CAT optional protocol means that individuals can complain against a country for harm to them without a remedy if they have exhausted all domestic remedies [ In India's case of course getting the remedies will exhaust the person ;) ]. Anyway, it is my view that even without the signature to the CAT which is important in its own right to get India legitimacy in its international relations, no person can be tortured hurt harmed or in anyway be treated unjustly at the hands of law enforcement or other agency of state. Most people in the country and certainly the police believe they can beat and torture they are also not taught that this is wrong; they are not given any alternative means of crime solving or skills for it; they are also most importantly, not brought to account. So education of public and police and accountability [ zero tolerance for violence in custody] are the keys to changing this. About doctors and lawyers or any other professional or ordinary person: they are no better in this or that country than they are in ours. There will be good ones bad ones and ones who go with the flow. the last lot are probably in the majority and form the mainstream. But it is the System and the systems response to incentives and disincentives. Systems create sloths and self motivation. Lawyers and doctors have a clear duty which comes with their professions; it is no part of that duty to be collusive in illegalities. They cannot say that they are ' just doing their job' or 'just following orders' as an excuse for not keeping within ethical and legal bounds. In jails, custodial homes, detention centers and borstals neither lawyers nor doctors are doing the overseeing job that they need to do. Too many are absenting themselves for long periods or turning a blind eye to bad conditions and to the consequences of violence,drug abuse and stress and trauma which are common in these institutions. In other cases you have whole associations of professionals declaring that they will not treat this or that person or that they will not defend this or that person and even intimidating those who volunteer. It is true that sometimes the people we are asked to treat or defend are terrible and wicked and certainly unpopular but it is a complete negation of our constitutional dictates and the value system we chose to live by in India when legal rights cannot be accessed. It is hard to take sometimes but nevertheless necessary that each person be afforded all they are entitled to otherwise we cannot say we live in a country that is governed by the rule of law.
sincerely, Maja Daruwala
-- Maja Daruwala Director Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative B-117, First Floor, Sarvodaya Enclave New Delhi, INDIA __._,_.___
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