Rights Activist Demeans NHRC

IMPHAL, Apr 23: Lamenting that National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has not said any-thing with regard to the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958 nor its officials ever visited Irom Chanu Sharmila who has been fasting for more than 10 years demanding re-peal of the Act, executive director of Human Rights Alert Babloo Loitongbam has remarked that the only thing that is impressive about the Commission to-day is its office building.

Speaking at the occasion of releasing the Manipuri version of the report of All India Network of NGOs and individuals working with National Human Rights Institutions (AiNNI) on the working of NHRC in India at Manipur Press Club today, Babloo pointed out that NHRC has not taken its position on the controversial AFSPA till date.

Former MHRC Members Kh Chonjon and Yambem Laba were also present during the function organized under the aegis of HRA.

The report of the AiNNI had also been reportedly submitted to the Sub-Committee on Accreditation of the International Co-ordinating Committee of National Human Rights Institutions on January 22, 2011. Evaluation of the report is expected on May 23, after which grading of NHRC is to be discussed and decided.

Tracing the genesis of establishing NHRC in 1993 following the Paris Principal adopted by the UNHRC in 1992 and the subsequent re-solution of the General Assembly of UN in 1993 in this regard, the report, however, alleged that till date NHRC has not adhered to provision of Section 12 (1) which makes it obligation to support the NGOs and other institutions working for the protection of human rights.

The composition of the NHRC also does not indicate representation of different communities in India and posts of the Commission are being held by retired Govt officials while individuals who do not possess the quality of a true human rights defender are being appointed as members, the report said, and pointed out that there is also no women member in it.

Alleging corruption in the activities of the Commission, the report pointed out that the Commission which has just five members claimed that around 400 cases are being looked into every day. The Commission is supposed to venture out of Delhi to establish communication and interact with victims to give them reassurance. However, it has been acting to the contrary, it alleged, adding that none of NHRC staff members have been properly trained on human rights issues nor have experience in the field.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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