Saturday, September 26, 2009
Gambia's President has apparently made an extremely alarming public statement.
Furthermore, I quote the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights
"a campaign by a coalition of pressure groups wants the African Union to remove the headquarters of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights from the Gambian capital, Banjul. A statement from the petition reads: “Mr. Jammeh’s declaration leads us to fear for the safety, security, and lives of ourselves and our colleagues.
This statement last year led up to this years political fallout:
" Gambia’s leader said he will “cut off the head” of any homosexual caught in his country claiming the Gambia was a country of believers while indicating that no sinful and immoral act as homosexual would be tolerated in the country. He warned all homosexuals in the country to leave, noting that a legislation “stricter than those in Iran ” concerning the vice would be introduced soon."
In addition here recently, Gambia's President made a bold statement on TV to invoke the previous statement above:
"If you are affiliated with any human rights group, be rest assured that your security is not guaranteed... we are ready to kill saboteurs. I will kill anyone who wants to destabilize this country. If you think that you can collaborate with so-called human rights defenders, and get away with it, you must be living in a dream world. I will kill you, and nothing will come out of it."
President Jammeh's comment has made the headline in Afrik.com. He has held a strong hand since his coup take over in 1994. His country is poor and depends on the peanut industry for its survival. Lets just hope that the President does not continue to liken his country to Iran's government like he announces publicly in this article. Definitely worth a post and a read!
Thank you for endorsing the petition that we are facilitating calling for the unconditional release of the arrested activists in Manipur,India.
We now have 220 signatories in the petition. The deadline for signing this petition is today, September 26. We would like to request for everyone’s support by signing the petition directly on this link http://www.ipetitio ns.com/petition/ aipp-001/ index.html or by sending your name, email address, country and name of your organization to the following email addresses: robie@aippnet. org or aippmail@aippnet. org.
The content of the petition is provided below for your information. We will be sending the petition along with the collected signatures through fax and email to the concerned government officials of India and the State of Manipur on Monday.
As for the situation of those who were arrested, the 15 days police custody is yet to be over on September 30 and we hope that by then they will be released unconditionally. Protests are still continuing in Manipur though more difficult now because of the brutal repression of the State by arresting protest leaders and charging them under the National Security Act. Concerned groups in Delhi joined in the protest yesterday, September 24, calling for justice for the victims of fake encounters and repeal of the AFSPA. The groups in Manipur are hoping that the mobilization in Delhi will add to the increasing pressure to the concerned officials of Manipur to stop the human rights violations in the said State.
All for now. We will keep you posted on the updates of the situation in Manipur.
The escalating political repression and reign of fear in Manipur, India needs urgent international support. Seven known activists of United Manipur Club Organisation (AMUCO) and an eco-activist Mr. Jiten Yumnam were arrested on 14th September by the combined team of Imphal west police commandos and the Singjamei police. Their crime is nothing else but exercising their fundamental rights and freedoms by drawing national and international attention to the murder with impunity of Mr. Chungkham Sanjit and Ms. Thockchom Rebina (who was pregnant) by state forces and the public outcry in the state following this gruesome incident that took place last month.
The government, instead of acting on the murder cases have decided to use its iron fist to quell legitimate public outrage resulting in further violations of the fundamental rights of its citizens by arresting local leaders and activists. As India claims to be the biggest democracy in the world, it is ironical that its citizens are now cowering in fear in the face of a brutal armed force that has no regard to democratic processes and human rights.
The public outcry over the killings itself is not because they are shocked by the incident but because they have been reeling under such circumstances for so long that they have no choice but to come out as though they no longer fear death. If it was not for Tehelka, a national news magazine, that was able to capture the entire sequence of the murder, it would have been just another ordinary incident (http://www.tehelka. com/story_ main42.asp? filename= Ne080809murder_ in.asp).
The combined forces of Singjamei Police and Imphal West Police Commandos arrested Mr. Jiten Yumnan from the Imphal Airport just before his departure to Delhi in September 14, 2009. After few hours later, the leaders of AMUCO were also arrested from their office. Mr. Olnam Bikramjit and Ms. Ms. Mutum Ongbi Ebemhal were arrested last September 1 by elements of the Imphal West Police Commandoes. Due to this crackdown, many of the community leaders and activists are now in hiding since they are being hunted down by the state agencies.
It has been reported that those arrested are facing charges of waging war against the government of India under Section 447/436/427/ 34; unlawful association and other related offences and Section O of the Official Secret Act- leaking information to others. There are fears being expressed that they may also be charged under the notorious National Security Act (NSA).
Below is a sign on petition for the government of India to take necessary actions in line with its international obligations in upholding the fundamental rights of its citizens. The Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) is thereby requesting your support by signing this petition. http://www.ipetitio ns.com/petition/ aipp-001/ index.html.
PETITION FOR THE RELEASE OF ARRESTED ACTIVISTS IN MANIPUR, INDIA
MR. Manmohan Singh
Prime Minister of India
Raisina Hill, New Delhi
Fax: +91-11-23019545/ 23016857
Mr. Okram Ibobi,
Chief Minister & Home Minister of Manipur,
Chief Minister's secretariat Babupara,
Imphal 795001 Manipur INDIA, Tel: +91 385 2221833, 2220137 (O);
2220136, 2222683 (R) Fax: + 91 385 2221817,
Email: email@example.com. in
Pratibha Patil Devi,
President, Office of the President, Rashtrapati Bhawan,
New Delhi, 110004 INDIA Tel: +91 11 3016767 (Joint Secretary),
3014507 (Personal Secretary), Fax: +91 11 3017290,
Chairperson, National Human Rights Commission of India
Faridkot House, Copernicus Marg
New Delhi-110001 INDIA
Tel: +91 11 23074448, Fax: +91 11 2334
0016E-mail: mailto: chairnhrc@nic. in
Mr. Chidambaram, Hon’ble Ministry of Home Affairs,
Griha Mantralaya Room
No. 104, North Block Central Secretariat, New Delhi 110001
INDIA Fax: +91 11 2301 5750, 2309 3750, 2309 2763
Email: websitemhaweb@ mha.nic.in
Chairperson Manipur State Human Rights
Commission Room No. VIP-II, State Guest House
Sanjenthong, Imphal-795001 Manipur
INDIA Tel: +91 385 2410473 (O) / 2447438
(R), Telefax: +91 385
2410472E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. in
It has come to our knowledge that seven known activists of United Manipur Club Organisation (AMUCO) and an eco-activist Jiten Yumnam were arrested on 14th September by the combined team of Imphal West Police Commandos and the Singjamei Police. Adding to that is the earlier arrest and detention of 2 Apunba Lup Leaders, Mr. Oinam Bikramjit and Ms. Mutum Ongbi Ebemhal. We are deeply concerned by arrests and detention taking place in the state of Manipur following the anger and protest by mass-based organizations over the broad daylight killing with impunity of Mr. Chungkham Sanjit (27), S/o, Chungkham Khellen of Khurai Kongba Sajor Leikai and a pregnant woman Ms. Thockchom Rebina (23), W/o Thockchom Chinglensana of Lamsang, Imphal West.
This gruesome murder done with impunity, as you are aware, has been covered visually by the well-reputed national newsmagazine, TEHELKA that generated serious concerns from the larger society in India as well as from the international community including the human rights mechanisms of the United Nations.
The outcry and actions of the local people were in line with the exercise of the people’s fundamental rights and freedoms, guaranteed by international human rights instruments. Being a democratic country, we expect the authorities of India to deal with such cases in a fair and just manner, and to ensure that such actions done with impunity will not happen again. However, we are deeply saddened by consequent response by the Indian government to resort to political repression through arbitrary arrests and detention of activists.
We strongly believe that the arbitrary arrests and detention of activists named below and the charges hurled against them are in violation to the international human rights obligation of the government of India, particularly relating to the Covenant of Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) that the government of India has ratified.
1. Likmabam Tompok (50) s/o late Gouramani of Maklang Mayai Leikai,
2. Th Dinesh (39) s/o Gambhir of Sega Road Takhellambam Leikai,
3. Irom Brojen (40) s/o Gouramani of Haorang Khunou,
4. Samjetshabam Nando (48) s/o Gouragopal of Pangei Awang Leikai,
5. Chung- shel Koireng (39) s/o Chungshel Mongsho of Thang- meiband Koireng Khul,
6. Amom Soken (41) s/o Kanhai of Wangoo Tera,
7. Taorem Ramananda (50) s/o Dhananjoy of Patsoi Part II, and
8. Yumnam Jiten (32) s/o late Achou of Kwakeithel Mayai Koibi
9. Mr. Oinam Bikramjit from Oinam Mamang Leikai, Bishnupur District. Mr. Bikramjit is also the president of the United Peoples Front (UPF), Manipur
10. Ms. Mutum Ongbi Ebemhal, 70 of Uripok Sorbon Thingel, Imphal West District Manipur
This is a matter of serious concern as more leaders and activists are being targeted and being hunted down. This will further enrage the general public and intensify the conflict and the government is clearly responsible for the situation in this case.
We the undersigned civil society organizations and concerned individuals appeal to your good office to intervene and uphold the fundamental rights and freedoms of your citizens based on the state's human rights obligations under international laws, and safeguarding democratic principles and values. We highly value your position and capacity to address the situation in Manipur in facilitating justice, peace and security, consistent with human rights principles. With great sense of urgency, we urge your intervention and address our following demands:
· To drop the charges made to those arrested as these are in violation to the human rights obligations of the government of India to the international community and facilitate their immediate and unconditional release from detention.
· To facilitate their medical check-up to determine if they were subjected to torture. If this is the case, those involved shall be dealt with accordingly in the interest of justice for the victims.
· To ensure the safety of those arrested, their families, and also their colleagues; and that those detained be allowed to seek medical and legal services.
· To confine the barracks and immediately prosecute those involved in the extra judicial killings of Chungkham Khellen and Thockchom Rebina on the 23rd of July 2009 by the Manipur Police Commandos
· For the government of Manipur to put a stop to fake encounters to justify killings and to refrain from arresting leaders and activists.
· To guarantee in all circumstances the protection of the rights of activists and human rights defenders to carry out their legitimate activities without fear of reprisals and free from restriction including judicial harassment. Along these line, armed forces of the state should be made aware and respect the fundamental rights of the citizens, and to stop acts of intimidations, threats and the like especially to the protesters.
· To repeal repressive laws including the National Security Act and the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 that are not consistent with international human rights instruments
Thank you for your attention.
This is a forwarded message from contacts of mine in Manipur, India. If you choose click on the link and sign your name. Its that simple.
I wanted to draw your attention to this important petition that I recently signed:
"RELEASE OF ARRESTED ACTIVISTS IN MANIPUR, INDIA"
I really think this is an important cause, and I'd like to encourage you to add your signature, too. It's free and takes less than a minute of your time.
Once again, thanks for signing the petition!
Sincerely, -iPetitions Campaigns Team
p.s. If you would like to start your own free petition, you can do so here:
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Marianne's Brother in Florida
Mr. William Manosh