Condemning the 'wrongful detentions' by security forces in Jammu and Kashmir under the garb of the Public Safety Act (PSA), Amnesty International India, Human Rights Watch and the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) said on 14 October that the PSA violates international due process standards and should be repealed.
Quoting media reports, the groups said that the authorities have detained over 400 people, including children, under the Public Safety Act (PSA) between 9 July and 6 October. Unrest was sparked in the Valley after the death of militant commander Burhan Wani.
The PSA is an administrative detention law that allows detention without charge or trial for up to two years in some cases. Following an amendment in 2012, the PSA expressly prohibits the detention of anyone under 18.
"The use of the PSA to detain people, particularly children, violates a range of human rights, and its increasing use in recent weeks undermines the rule of law and further entrenches impunity in Kashmir," said Sam Zarifi, ICJ Asia Director said in a joint statement.
Here are a few excerpts from the joint statement:
"Police should end the use of the PSA; if people are suspected of committing offences, they should be properly charged and given fair trial".
"The government has a responsibility to address violence during protests, but indefinitely detaining people without charge only adds to the lawlessness.
"Detaining children under the PSA is not only unlawful, but could have negative repercussions for years."
"The United Nations Human Rights Committee, which monitors the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights - to which India is a state party, has stated that administrative detention in the name of security `presents severe risks of arbitrary deprivation of liberty` and `would normally amount to arbitrary detention`, as other effective measures addressing the threat, including the criminal justice system, would be available."