Inspite of the fact that the violations of human rights in
A study done by Medecins Sans Frontieres in mid 2005 reveals that Kashmiri women are among the worst sufferers of sexual violence in the world. It further mentions that since the beginning of the armed struggle in
In Kunan Poshpora, a small village in
Due to immunity of troops from prosecution and their own court martial proceedings, which are far from being unbiased, they are left free to do as they please. Dr Maiti, a professor of political science at
The Geneva Convention related to The Protection of Civilian Persons In Times Of War, 1949 and Additional Protocols of 1977 provide that women shall especially be protected against humiliating and degrading treatment; rape, enforced prostitution or any form of indecent assault. The Vienna Declaration and Programme Of Action adopted by the World Conference on Human Rights in Situations of Armed Conflict states that violations of human rights of women in situations of armed conflict are violations of the fundamental principles of international human rights and humanitarian law. Even though states are under an obligation to make grave breaches of Geneva Conventions and protocols additional thereto subject to the jurisdiction of their own courts and punishable by severe penalties. The domestic courts do not peruse the law laid down under the said convention for rape trials in conflict areas like
The fact that rape has been systematically committed against Kashmiri women and that justice has not been delivered in these cases makes rape in
The prosecution of individuals alleged to have committed rape should be done by the international criminal tribunal on the precedent of
The International tribunals are unique in that, they can be established during the continuation of the conflict and therefore they are untainted by the notions of ‘victor’s justice’. Prosecutions must be brought against the alleged perpetrators and those higher up in the chain of command.
Rape is a grave crime as its consequences extend beyond the actual commission, often lasting for the rest of the life of a woman. The social stigma associated with rape renders a raped woman unmarriageable, deprived of respect in the society and traumatised for the rest of her life. In some cases women become unacceptable even to their own families. The necessity to bring the perpetrators of rapes in
Half-widows of the Valley
Enforced disappearances are one of the most harrowing consequences of the armed conflict in
Fahmeeda Bano, 37, lives in a remote Kashmir
The Indian government does not provide any relief to half-widows before the expiry of seven years from the date of disappearance. And even after the completion of seven years from the date of disappearance, they get either a one-time grant ranging from US$1,000 and US$2,000 or a monthly pension of US$10.Further, a half-widow cannot remarry until the expiration of seven years from the date of disappearance of her husband whose whereabouts must not be known in these seven years. In the meantime, the right to her husband’s property are often threatened. Some widows, who intend to remarry, largely do not find men who are willing to marry them. A study titled, ‘Women and Children under the Armed Conflict in Kashmir’ done by Prof A G Madhosh, a Kashmiri educationist and activist, reveals that the migration of widows with their children resulted in a sudden break in normal family life. Women had to assume the roles of breadwinners for their families and the future of their children became insecure.
Every month the members of APDP gather for a sit-in-protest at Central Park in
With killings, torture, rapes, molestations, disappearances and detentions becoming the order of the day in
A woman from Batmaloo,
Nearly every person, particularly women, suffer from general anxiety and the uncertainty pertaining to the security of their family members. These always keep them in a state of unrest and anxiety. Even in their houses people are harassed, beaten up or taken into custody by the troops. The fact that the situation doesn’t seem to get any better, doesn’t promise a better mental state of the civilian population, especially women, in
In past few years, murders, rapes, torture, custodial deaths, and enforced disappearances have witnessed an upsurge, but the response of the state in addressing these atrocities doesn’t promise hope for justice. The official figures of these atrocities are far too less than the reported ones. The factual human rights situation in
It is being constantly projected in the mainstream media that the situation in Kashmir has improved, but the ever-increasing rate of human rights violations in the valley tell us a different story. People continue to suffer while the much-hyped slogan of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh proclaiming ‘Zero Tolerance’ towards human rights abuse stares him hard in the face!