As Sharmila ends fast, Amnesty wants AFSPA to go

New Delhi, Aug 9 (IANS) Amnesty International on Tuesday urged India to take steps to repeal the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA), which gives sweeping powers to the military in troubled areas.

The Amnesty made the appeal as Iron Sharmila ended her 16-year-long hunger strike against the AFSPA. It also urged Indian authorities to drop all charges against her.

“Irom Sharmila’s hunger strike over the last 16 years has been a testament to her passion for human rights and her belief that a draconian law like the AFSPA has no place in any society,” an Amnesty statement said.

“The government arrested her, confined her to a hospital room and force fed her for 16 years, seemingly to break her will. There was zero dialogue. A peaceful protest was criminalized,” said Amnesty campaigner Abhirr V.P.

“Irom Sharmila’s decision to break her hunger strike gives India another chance to start a dialogue and recognize how the AFSPA has alienated Manipur for over 35 years,” Amnesty said.

Amnesty said the AFSPA in Manipur had provided impunity for perpetrators of human rights violations, including extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances, rape, torture and other ill-treatment, and excessive use of force.

–IANS

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