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India: Memorandum to the National Human Rights Commission of India in Support of Banglar Manabadhikar Surakksha Mancha (MASUM)

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The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) co-signed with 93 human rights organisations and individuals a memorandum to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of India. The memorandum expresses concern over the violent repression unleashed by the State Government of West Bengal against Banglar Manabadhikar Surakksha Mancha (MASUM), a FORUM-ASIA member organisation from India.

The memorandum is addressed to the Chairperson, Secretary General and National Focal Point of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of India.

In the memorandum, the human rights organisations and individuals urge the NHRC to:

– Take urgent and special notice of MASUM’s series of cases and send a special high-level team of NHRC’s Special Rapporteurs, along with selected members of the NHRC’s National Core Group on NGOs, to West Bengal to meet all the affected women human rights defenders (WHRDs) and human rights defenders (HRDs) associated with MASUM, and look into all cases of harassment, ill-treatment, intimidation, illegal detention, abuse of power by police and torture of WHRDs and HRDs associated with MASUM, and present a detailed report to the NHRC;

– Implore the NHRC to hold the perpetrators of the recorded violations against the WHRDs and HRDs accountable;

– Immediately appoint through the West Bengal State Legal Service Authority a few competent senior lawyers practicing on the criminal side in the state and relevant districts to defend the WHRDs and HRDs in all the criminal cases registered against them at state cost, provide effective remedies to MASUM and its WHRDs and HRDs;

– Direct that the State of West Bengal and the BSF is made to provide remedies to MASUM and its WHRDs and HRDs, such as an apology, re-assurance of non-repetition and sufficient compensation to make up for all the loss of reputation and other losses suffered over all these past years;

– In view of the consistent work that MASUM has been engaged in all these years, to direct the Ministry of Home Affairs of the Government of India to reconsider the refusal of the FCRA registration to MASUM.

Click here to download the memorandum (PDF)