Extension of Public Safety Act (PSA)To Detain Former Chief Ministers in Jammu & Kashmir is a Blatant Abuse of the Law
Amnesty International India
Bengaluru/ New Delhi: 7 February 2020 11:57 am
Responding to India’s extended detention of former chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti along with NC General Secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar and senior PDP functionary Sartaj Madani, the Executive DIrector of Amnesty International India, Avinash Kumar said:
“The latest use of the repressive Public Safety Act (PSA) to extend the unlawful detention of former chief ministers and other leading politicians in Jammu & Kashmir is a blatant abuse of the law by the Indian government. It quells all credible opposition voices that can bring any kind of national or international attention to the real on-ground situation in Kashmir.”
“The detention of the leaders under the PSA is also characteristic of a larger problem of “revolving-door detentions”, i.e., passing repeat detention orders to keep people in detention for prolonged periods. This is a way to circumvent the fair trial safeguards of the criminal justice system and undermine accountability, transparency, and respect for human rights. The continued use of draconian laws against political dissidents, despite promises of change, signals the dishonest intent of the Indian government. The government must know that an end to the abuses in Jammu & Kashmir cannot come without the involvement of its people.”
Amnesty International India in its 2019 briefing, “Tyranny of A ‘Lawless Law’: Detention without Charge or Trial under the J&K Public Safety Act” has documented how the PSA violates several of India’s obligations under international human rights law, including respecting detainees’ fair trial rights.