India's human rights record comes under attack
New Delhi, Dec 7 (IANS) India has failed to implement the concrete recommendations made by a UN human rights mechanism, enacting only 67 out of its 168 recommendations, which paints a grim picture of human rights in the country, a prominent rights activist said Friday.
"Most of the concrete recommendations of the UPR have been rejected by the the government and it has only accepted the generic ones," Working Group on Human Rights (WGHR) convenor Miloon Kothari said at a press conference here.
The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a mechanism established by the Human Rights Council (HRC), which aims to improve the human rights situation on the ground in each of the 193 UN member states and address human rights violations wherever they occur.
Other activists were also present on the occasion and criticised the government's record.
"UPR I and II made recommendation that Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) be restricted and revoked but India has not accepted any of these," said Supreme Court lawyer and human rights activist Vrinda Grover.
She said it is ironical that Prevention of Torture Bill had been lying with the home ministry since 2010 and the government has not got it ratified by the United Nations.
"This represents the priorities of the government," she said.
The issue of death penalty was also raised by activists which opined that no civilised society should approve of of it.
"There is a lack of data on how many number of death penalties have been given," said Suhas Chakma, director of the Asian Centre for Human Rights.
Another activist Prasad Srivella highlighted the atrocities perpetuated on people belonging to scheduled cases and tribes.
He said that out of nine recommendations related to rights of these sections, only two have been accepted by India.
Kothari also lamented that the United Progressive Alliance government has rejected the UPR recommendations of allocating six percent of the GDP to health and three percent to education which the government had itself promised in its common minimum programme.