by editor | March 1, 2012 3:41 pm
1. Annual report of UNHRC’s (170 pages) “Report of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances“by HRC was published 0n 6 Feb 2012. The Working Group was the first United Nations human rights thematic mechanism to be established with a universal mandate. The primary task of the Working Group is to assist families in determining the fate or whereabouts of their family members who are reportedly disappeared. In this humanitarian capacity, the Working Group serves as a channel of communication between family members of victims of disappearance and Governments. This report reflects communications and cases examined by the Working Group during its three sessions in 2011, covering the period 13 November 2010 to 11 November 2011. The total number of cases transmitted by the Working Group to Governments since its inception is 53,778. The number of cases under active consideration that have not yet been clarified, closed or discontinued stands at 42,759 in a total of 82 States. The Working Group has been able to clarify 448 cases over the past five years. This year, the Working Group is still following up the individual cases of almost 43, 000 persons in 82 States
2. Salient points of report of concern to Pakistan are as under:-
· INDIA. It was reported that between 1989 and 2009 the actions of military and paramilitary forces in Kashmir have resulted in more than 8,000 enforced and involuntary disappearances…. In HRC/19/58 , 65 certain instances, non-combatant persons were extra-judicially executed following detention, and labeled afterwards by the government of India, and the authorities in Jammu and Kashmir as militants who emigrated to Azad Kashmir in Pakistan to seek arms training. It was reported that acts of oppression and violence towards presumed insurgents were deemed as acts of service, which were rewarded and compensated. It was alleged that security forces personnel selected local male residents or professional gravediggers, usually those respected within the local community, and asked that graves be prepared to bury the dead. The graveyards were constructed on local religious or community owned or used land and dug by local residents at the coercion of security personnel. In instances where the number of bodies brought by security personnel exceeded the initial count given by security personnel, more than one body was buried in each grave. The bodies examined were routinely delivered at night, and some of them were bearing marks of torture and burns. Photographs of the dead were reportedly documented by local police stations, while identification occurred through clothing and distinguishing features or numbering.
According to the source, between April 2008 and November 2009, a total of 2,700 graves were examined by civil society organisations in three provinces, encompassing a total of 55 villages. It was documented that in the Baramulla province 1,321 bodies were found; in the Kupwara province 1,487 bodies were found; and in the Bandipora province 135 bodies were found. In 177 cases, a grave contained more then one body, resulting in the discovery of more than 420 bodies. It was alleged that approximately 99 percent of those buried were men. There are allegations that some people were killed in the state of Gujarat in India, outside of Kashmir. It was alleged that security forces manufactured the identities of victims and their records of weapons possession.
The source further alleges that the persons who were forced to bury the dead in unmarked and unknown graves suffered psychological health impact as a consequence. Also, it is reported that, in some cases, these graveyards are placed next to schools and homes, impacting on women and children. The Government has not responded to the general allegation during the reporting period. The Working Group has transmitted 433 cases to the Government; of those, 12 cases have been clarified on the basis of information provided by the source, 68 cases have been clarified on the basis of information provided by the Government, and 353 remain outstanding
· Pakistan: .The source informed that many activists, teachers, journalists, and lawyers disappeared in Balochistan, Pakistan. The disappearances were attributed to the security forces of the Government of Pakistan, in particular to the frontier corps and intelligence agencies. It was alleged that the Judicial Commission, created by the government of Pakistan in March 2010 to investigate cases of enforced disappearances across Pakistan, including Balochistan, had a narrow mandate and was failing to record statements of released individuals to gain information about the circumstances of their disappearances. It was reported that the Commission had been able to trace 134 missing persons, of whom 23 detainees had so far been released. The Government also noted that there are no political prisoners in Pakistan of any political party, including those based in Baluchistan and Sindh. The Working Group has transmitted 143 cases to the Government; of those, seven cases have been clarified on the basis of information provided by the source, 28 cases have been clarified on the basis of information provided by the Government, one has been deleted, and 107 remain outstanding.
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