Amnesty International Report 1984, published by Amnesty International, 1 Easton Street, London, U.K., dealing with the violation of human rights in 118 countries of the world makes a very sad reading.

Amnesty International believes that human rights are an international responsibility; hence, in this area governments are accountable not only to their own citizens but to the world community as a whole.

Some governments because of arrogance which comes due to the unchallenged power infringe on the basic rights of its citizens.

For example, in South Asian countries such as Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka the following cruelty is inflicted by man on man.

India — In India, under the National Security Act, thousands of political opponents of Congress (I) were detained and tortured by the police without trial for two years. The police torture included beatings while hanging prisoners upside down, denying prisoners food and sleep; rolling heavy iron rods over upper legs and knees and an occasional use of electric shock. “‘Police encounters’” are arranged to get rid of political opponents. Areas are declared ‘‘disturbed areas,” where police and paramilitary are given shoot at sight orders. Lastly some individuals sentenced to death have been awaiting execution for the period of nine to eleven years.

Sri Lanka — People with opposing views are held under Prevention of Terrorism Act and tortured by applying chili powder to the sensitive areas of the body. Most of the prisoners were Tamils seeking autonomy from the Sri Lankan Government.

Bangladesh — Chief Marshal Law administrator, Gen. Ershad, has unlimited powers. Trial of prisoners by military courts applying summary procedures still takes place. People can be detained under Special Powers Act and_ tortured using various methods.

Article extracted from this publication >>  April 26, 1985