The Amnesty International on Wednesday (June 12) highlighted another face of Indian brutalities in Occupied Kashmir and said that Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act (PSA) circumvents the criminal justice system in the Indian-occupied Kashmir to undermine accountability, transparency and respect for human rights.
The briefing, “Tyranny of A ‘Lawless Law’: Detention without Charge or Trial under the J&K PSA”, analyses the case studies of 210 detainees who were booked under the PSA, a legislation that allows for administrative detention for up to two years in Jammu and Kashmir, between 2012 and 2018.
“The briefing revisits the PSA in the 42nd year of its existence and studies how it continues to facilitate administrative detentions and violate Indian and international human rights laws. This Act is contributing to inflaming tensions between the state authorities and local populace and must be immediately repealed,” said Aakar Patel, Head of Amnesty International India.
The text of the PSA violates several of India’s obligations under international human rights law, including respecting detainees’ fair trial rights. Examining several government and legal documents of the detainees, the briefing provides a pattern of abuse by J&K authorities. This includes detaining children, passing PSA orders without due diligence and on vague and general grounds, ignoring the limited safeguards under the Act, subjecting individuals to “revolving-door detentions”, and using the PSA to prevent release on bail and undermine the criminal justice system.
Amnesty International India found 71 cases of revolving-door detentions, where authorities had either issued a new detention order, or implicated a detainee in a new FIR, to ensure that they remain in detention. In 90% of the cases analysed, detainees faced both PSA detentions and criminal proceedings in parallel, on the basis of the same or similar allegations.
The Government of Jammu and Kashmir should also initiate a prompt, independent and impartial investigations into all allegations of unlawful detention and torture or other ill-treatment in custody, and bring to justice those responsible.