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ACHR Press Release
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ACHR Index: PR/IND/REF/01/11/03
14 November 2003

NHRC urged to intervene against torture and arrest of Burmese refugees

The Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) in a complaint to the National Human Rights Commission urged intervene against the re-arrest of over 100 Burmese refugees today morning from the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in New Delhi, torture of 80 Burmese refugees on the night of 12 November 2003 and continued detention of 24 Burmese refugees.

About 500 Burmese asylum seekers comprising of approximately 50 children and 200 women have been holding peaceful demonstration in front of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in New Delhi for the last 25 days. They have been protesting against maltreatment by UNHCR, inadequate subsistence allowance, lack of guarantees against refoulement and denial of basic health care assistance. The UNHCR recently cut subsistence allowance of Rs 1400 by 30 to 60%.

In its complaint ACHR alleged that the Delhi Police used disproportionate force. The legs and hands of many refugees including three girls were broken in the unprovoked lathicharge. The Delhi Police personnel arrested 24 refugees who were seriously injured on the charges of rioting.

The ACHR stated that between 20 July 2003 and 19 August 2003, about 5210 Myanmarese asylum seekers including women and children were forcibly repatriated to Myanmar by the Young Mizo Association in acquiescence of the Mizoram government.

ACHR urged the NHRC to order an inquiry by the investigation wing of the NHRC and prosecute the police personnel who were responsible for torture of the refugees including children, direct the government of India to immediately release all the refugees who are being detained at Lodhi Road Police station, to drop all the charges of rioting against 24 refugees and release them unconditionally and not to repatriate any Burmese asylum seeker without determining the threat to their life and security by the NHRC. The ACHR also made similar complaint to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Burma and Special Rapporteur Against Torture.[END]


For more information please call Director of Asian Centre for Human Rights in New Delhi, India at +91-11-25503624 or 25620583

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