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Unformatted text preview: IN JAMMU AND KASHMIR: The procrastinated armed conflict in Jammu & Kashmir has affected the entire Society. There has been no let up in the situation. The engagement of more than half a million Indian Security personnel has resulted in unprecedented massive human right violations which are continuing unabatedly. Before the onset of conflict in Kashmir, the term Human Rights was not popularly known but, when the conflict started in the early 90ʹs, human rights became a major issue in Kashmir and all sections of the Kashmiri society got involved in issues related to human rights. They sent memorandums to the United Nations for humanitarian intervention in Kashmir. Overnight, groups like Amnesty International became a household name. Professionals like doctors, lawyers, social activists, bureaucrats and retired judges constituted District and local level committees. Physicians for Human Rights, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and other international human rights groups began reporting on human rights in Kashmir. A number of reports have been published expressing deep concern at human rights abuses committed by all sides, particularly a systematic pattern of human rights abuses and impunity by the Indian government. But the Indian government has banned international human rights groups like Amnesty International from visiting. Even the ICRC was banned for a number of years and was only permitted limited access to officially listed prisons and Joint Interrogation centers to ensure fair and humane treatment of the thousands of imprisoned Kashmiris. ICRC operations in Kashmir are severely curtailed by a very restrictive Memorandum of Understanding with the Indian government which does not permit unfettered access, unannounced visits to detention centers, or access to the “unofficial” prisons and detention centers. MEDIA: FREEDOM OF PRESS AND SPEECH: According to the estimates of “Reporters Without Borders”, India ranks 120th worldwide in press freedom index. The Indian Constitution provides for freedom of speech and of the press, and the Government generally respected these rights in practice, but with some limitations. Under the Official Secrets 7 Act, the Government may restrict publication of sensitive stories or suppress criticism of its policies The ‘Newspapers Incitements to Offences Act’ remains in effect in Jammu and Kashmir. Under the Act, a District Magistrate may prohibit the publication of material likely to incite murder or any act of violence; however, newspapers in Srinagar regularly report in detail on alleged human rights abuses by the Government publish press releases of separatist Kashmiri groups on regular basis. Mostly, ethnic or religious groups carry out attacks on members of the media. In June 2004, radical elements of the BJP attacked the Mumbai office of the newspaper Aapla Mahanagar, assaulted the editorial staff and damaged office equipment in response to an article written against a Hindu religious se...
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- Winter '11