Tag Archives: human rights watch

(Latest Media Coverage Round-Up) Human Rights Watch Letter and International Women’s Day Re: Soni Sori

On Human Rights Watch Letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

From The Hindu: Soni Sori case: HRW wants PM to order impartial probe on torture

HRW Executive Director of Women’s Rights Division Liesl Gerntholtz, in a letter to Dr. Singh, said the Soni Sori case raised serious questions about the commitment of the Indian government to prevent torture, investigate the torture allegations, hold accountable those responsible for the torture, and ensure that detainees and prisoners have adequate access to health care.

Besides being subjected to sexual assaults at the hands of the Chhattisgarh police, the woman was also given electric shocks in the name of interrogation, the letter said quoting various reports.

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From Salem-News: INDIA: Soni Sori’s Case Reflects Broader Problems

In this letter, William Gomes urges Dr. Manmohan Singh, Honorable Prime Minister of India in New Delhi, to independently investigate the conduct of Chhattisgarh law enforcement officials in the Soni Sori case, ensure that she receives health care, and also review the condition of women detainees and prisoners, to determine whether other women may have been subjected to torture and other ill-treatment.

This, as India prepares to present its human rights record as part of the second Universal Periodic Review before the United Nations Human Rights Council.

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On International Women’s Day Show of Solidarity to Soni Sori

From TwoCircles.net: Activists reads Soni Sori lettre to mark International Women’s Day

Participants in this video project joined hands to draw attention to Sori’s case by reading from Sori’s letters on camera, supplementing the video with additional materials including photographs, news footage and Sori’s medical reports. As Sori said in one of her letters, she is only one of dozens of women in her prison who say they have suffered torture and sexual assault in police custody.

Sori’s lawyers have filed an appeal in the Supreme Court of India to transfer Sori to Delhi or another state where she would not be under the control of the Chhattisgarh police. Despite the severity of the torture, the hearing on the final decision on her appeal has been repeatedly delayed. Today marks the completion of five months since Sori was tortured.

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From UnBoxed Writers: Letters from Prison on International Women’s Day

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FeministIndia writes about Soni Sori

The Soni Sori Case: A Travesty of Justice

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Human Rights Watch writes to the Prime Minister re Soni Sori’s Custodial Torture

Via Kractivist

[…] We urge your government to establish an independent and impartial investigation into Soni Sori’s torture allegations, and ensure her immediate access to health care without police interference. Because we are concerned that her treatment reflects broader problems facing incarcerated women in India, we also ask that you initiate a review of conditions for women detainees and prisoners generally, including torture allegations and access to health care.

The Chhattisgarh state police charged Soni Sori, a 35-year-old mother
and former teacher, with crimes related to being a Naxalite supporter. Her defense lawyer told Human Rights Watch that they have accused her in a spate of cases, alleging she was evading arrest when she was actually present and working in a residential school for tribal children. […]

Read the full letter here [pdf download].

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[Human Rights Watch] India: Prosecute Security Forces for Torture

The failure of the Indian government to prosecute authorities responsible for torture extends to all of the security forces, Human Rights Watch said. In another recent disturbing incident, Soni Sori, a schoolteacher in Chhattisgarh state, alleged that she was tortured and sexually assaulted by Chhattisgarh state police while in custody in October 2011. After her arrest as a suspected Maoist supporter, a criminal court in Chhattisgarh state handed her over to police custody for interrogation despite her pleas that she feared for her safety and life. Sori alleges that Ankit Garg, then-superintendent of police for Dantewada district, ordered the torture and sexual assault. The Indian Supreme Court ordered Sori’s transfer to the Kolkata medical college hospital for an independent medical examination. In November 2011, the examination report corroborated Sori’s allegations of physical abuse.

To date, the Indian authorities have not initiated any inquiry or criminal action against the police officers implicated. Instead of investigating the case, on Republic Day, January 26, 2012, the president of India, Pratibha Patil, presented Ankit Garg with a police medal for gallantry. The medal drew widespread condemnation.

Read the whole report here.

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