India: Repeal Armed Forces Special Powers Act

Prime Minister Should Overrule Army’s Objections

Human Rights Watch, October 19, 2011
  • Women hold placards during a protest against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in New Delhi January 25, 2008. © 2008 Reuters

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(New York) – Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India should override the objections of the army and keep his 2004 promise to repeal the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), Human Rights Watch said today. The Indian defense establishment has opposed even minor amendments to the law, despite the findings of independent bodies in India and abroad that the law has resulted in numerous serious human rights violations over many years, Human Rights Watch said.

India’s Home Ministry has proposed amendments, but the army insists that it needs the law to operate in what it calls “disturbed areas.” News reports suggest that the army is blocking an effort to present the amendments for a vote during the upcoming winter session of parliament. . .

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