March 29, 2007 | Comments Off on U.S. State Dept. Releases 2006 India Country Report on Human Rights Practices
On March 6, 2007, the U.S. State Department released its annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. According to the State Department, India “generally respected the rights of its citizens; however, numerous serious problems remained.”
Among those serious problems, the State Department cited the lack of progress in holding police and security officials accountable for abuses committed in Punjab during the counterinsurgency campaign from 1984 to 1994. The report noted the limited compensation amounts given to a relatively few individuals, in contrast to the thousands of disappearance cases reported to the Indian National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and estimated by Ensaaf. The report referenced the NHRC case: “The government has made little progress holding hundreds of police and security officials accountable for serious human rights abuses committed during the Punjab counterinsurgency of 1984-94, despite the presence of a special investigation commission.”
The report also highlights the legal petition calling for the investigation and prosecution of former Punjab police chief KPS Gill for the abduction, illegal detention, torture, and murder of human rights activist Jaswant Singh Khalra, citing Ensaaf in describing the petition. Ensaaf drafted the petition’s international law arguments on the doctrine of superior responsibility, and continues to provide litigation support.
The full country report can be found here.