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Cashing in on prejudice: Police torture of Muslims in UP

Researched & written by Claudia Wikse Barrow

Foreword

This publication is made by an outsider; an observer of PVCHR and aspects of Indian society I have experienced living in Varanasi and travelling around Uttar Pradesh. Before I came to India the issue of police torture was completely unknown to me, like so many other human rights violations I now see and hear about daily. I am not the most experienced or educated person in this area but what pushed me to write this was simply to spread the word. To simplify this complex issue and to provide an overview of the human rights violations Muslims face today. I also want to highlight PVCHR and the work of other organizations to provide basic rights. PVCHR has a lot of documentation on police torture and their projects, but most of the information is in Hindi. I want ed to write a piece, a cheat sheet for other outsiders who want more information. I have therefore focused on three aspects of the situation of police torture today, factors than enable or perpetuate police torture, the situation Muslims face today, and how police torture against Muslims can be ended. I wouldnt have been able to write this piece without help from many people working for PVCHR and other policemen, academics and human rights defenders who have given me insight in this complex issue. All the information I have gathered have been from firsthand accounts of the people mentioned below or from publications and text written by members of PVCHR. A special thank you to: Lenin Raghuvanshi Co-founder of the organization PVCHR. He developed the idea of this project and has helped me from beginning to end. Anup Srivastava Who has provided me with PVCHR publications and information PVCHRs work reducing police torture. Sunil Kuksal - Who is currently write a book for PVCHR on police torture and has provided me with chapters of his book, explaining his work to me, and has acted as a translator for important occasions. S.R. Darapuri A former police officer who is now involved with a number of human rights organizations and a member of the Peoples Tribunal Jury who gave insight and information about the political and social discrimination Muslims face today and an insight of the mindset of policemen working in Uttar Pradesh. Shaheen Nazar A professor and a jury member of the Peoples Tribunal who informed about the political and social discrimination Muslims face today as well as the lack of a mechanism for justice. Irshad Ahmed For providing insight and information to the political and social situation Muslims are in today.

Claudia Wikse Barrow 24 April 2013

Introduction Today there is an open or undercurrent prejudice against Muslims in various parts of the world. India is no exception. In a country where the caste system still dictates the lives of Indias citizens, the Muslim, Tribal, lower caste, or untouchable communities are marginalized and discriminated. The Muslim community does not only face discrimination because of the caste system, but there are other historical, religious, and social factors which have added to the marginalization and dislike of the Muslim community. The religious biased against Muslims prevalent in Indian society is also reflected in governmental bodies. Muslims are therefore denied the right to be treated equally and the rights to have equal protection before the law. One of the most gruesome human rights violations the Muslims face from governmental bodies is the widespread use of torture by the police. The police torture of Muslims in Uttar Pradesh will therefore be highlighted and discussed. The torture is used for intimidating the victim to speak the truth, or to push Muslim torture victims to admit to false crimes. The majority of the Muslims are targeted because of their marginalization and religious prejudice. Because of these factors, the Muslim community is an easy target for torture, the policemen who torture do not get sentenced for crimes, and the mechanism of justice for the common man is lost. To try to give an overview of the situation today three main aspects of police torture against Muslims will be discussed. First, the historical, social and political factors that enable or perpetuate police torture. Second, the condition the majority of the Muslim community lives in today and in what circumstances the torture is executed. As a part of this, 5 cases of police torture and discrimination are presented for detailed accounts of how police torture is carried out and the discrimination Muslims face. Third, how PVCHR is working to reduce police torture and what needs to be changed for ending police torture against Muslims. Historical Causes of Torture There are two main developments of modern history that have lead to the growing marginalization as well as legislative and social discrimination of the Muslim community. These historical events are the partition of India in 1947 and the 9/11 attack in 2001. These aspects are also crucial to discuss when writing about police torture against Muslims. After the partition of India there were huge clashes between Hindu and Muslim communities migrating across the newly created borders. There was widespread violence and bloodshed throughout India and Pakistan. This event bred a lot of animosity among Hindus, who today do not trust and dislike the Muslim minority; many Hindus believe that the Muslims belong in Pakistan, not India. Because of this Muslims

face growing systematic violence and discrimination from Hindu communities. Riots between Muslims and Hindus are still frequent in some places of Uttar Pradesh. After Independence India rewrote the constitution, making discrimination of caste and religion illegal to cast away the suppressive years of Colonialism. Yet today current laws and legislations that are in place still reflect the British use of the police as an authoritarian agent of the state rather than an agent of law. This is one of the factors for the widespread existence of police torture today. As in colonial times, the laws for policemen were not made to protect the majority of the citizens of India, but to create fear by violence and discrimination to subdue the masses. As a part of this system, the powerful and wealthy were not affected by police atrocity, creating a mutually beneficial arrangement between the powerful and wealthy Indians, the police, and the British, who all sustained power through corruption. It can be argued that the same system exists today, only Indian politicians have replaced the British. Because of this system, which police laws today still reflect, the police are seen to be above the law. There are extremely few cases of the police getting persecuted for their crimes. This has resulted in corrupt police forces that continuously violate human rights. This means that the marginalized communities fear the police force. Many people working for independent organizations related to police torture even argue that as is colonial times, the government of India uses the police to continue to socially, economically, and politically subdue the voices of the marginalized. The 9/11 attacks shocked the world and changed the face of modern day terrorism. To counter this new threat, India was one of many countries to create, or change, laws to combat terrorism more effectively. In India these newly enacted laws have been used and abused by the police to diminish the civil rights of Muslims. These laws have also given the police more legislative freedom to torture. The Uttar Pradesh police have also abused this stigma and use crimes of terror or having terrorist affiliations as a common way to arrest and torture Muslims by picking up innocent Muslims on suspicions of terrorist affiliations. Young Muslim men are targeted and constantly dread being arrested. After the 9/11 attacks many Muslims lives have been extremely negatively affected because of the terrorist stigma that is now associated with Muslims. Many Muslims in Uttar Pradesh are now alienated and find it harder to be employed or have certain jobs and are exposed to name calling in public. Many young Muslims men have starting using Hindu names in fear of the police. The terrorist stigma the Muslim community has today has added to the marginalization.

Situation today Muslims society

Uttar Pradesh constitutes more than 30 % of the total population in India. Muslims are the biggest minority constituting 18.5 % of the total population in this state. The Muslim communities are discriminated daily because they are considered untouchables in India where the caste system still dictates the lives of the population. The caste system also leaves the Muslim, as well as Dalits and Tribal communities marginalized living on the outskirts of society. Because of the caste system and other forms of discrimination the majority of the Muslims in Uttar Pradesh live on the brink of poverty. The children are not receiving proper, if any, education and the income of families are from menial, low income jobs such as glass making, lock making and weaving, often in the cottage industry. Most Muslims communities are highly congested areas without proper drainage and electrical facilities. As in the Hindu communities, the gap between rich and poor Muslims is extreme and the wealthier Muslims distance themselves from the problems of the majority of Muslims face. Muslim communities have little to no representation in the government or governmental bodies and lack strong leadership in the communities. This often leads to the voices of these people unheard and their suffering from human rights violations unspoken for. This makes them an easy target for the police to abuse and subdue through torture and discrimination, perpetuating and enforcing marginalization. When election time comes in Uttar Pradesh one party usually adopts more Muslim friendly politics while another party wants to enforce communal riots. This creates polarization between Muslims and other marginalized communities, leading to a whole Muslim community voting for the same party. The polarization is created by the political parties to gain votes and increase their power in different communities and areas. This also polarizes the Muslim and Hindu communities socially and can lead to further animosity and discrimination as well as riots. The promises of development made by political parties are empty and little has been done to improve the economic and social standards of Muslims. The money allocated to Muslim communities is instead filling the pockets of corrupt politicians. With no education or proper leadership the communities often fall for the same traps election after election. How the torture happens

Indias National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) released figures recoded from 2008-2011, showing that within the 4 years there were 4,034 custodial deaths and 1,836 cases of custodial torture registered in India. The worst affected state was Uttar Pradesh, with 999 registered deaths and 1,552 registered cases of torture. It is estimated that

there are many more cases of torture, but most cases go unregistered. The huge amount of the victims in these cases was Muslims. Police torture is so widespread in Uttar Pradesh, it is believed among many aid organizations like PVCHR and the NHRC that all policeman have directly, or indirectly, been involved in police brutality and torture. By definition, torture involves the dehumanization of the victim which is made easier if the victim is from a marginalized social, political, ethnic of religious group. To enable torture, the lack of human sympathy is considered necessary for the torturer. The torture by police officers often occurs in undisclosed locations or unofficial rooms in police stations. When suspects and witnesses are picked up illegally by the police and tortured for a number of days or weeks, it is often not recorded until the victims of torture admit to criminal activity. Methods for torture include assault, physical abuse, custodial death, threats, psychological humiliation, and deprivation of food, water, sleep and medical attention. For women, torture also includes practices such as custodial rape, molestation and other forms of sexual harassment. The most gruesome forms of torture usually occur in the course of the investigation and interrogation of the alleged suspects. Uttar Pradesh is one of the states that have experienced the most mob violence and large-scale riots. When the riots occur, only Muslim rioters or bystanders are picked up by the police and in connection to this, many Muslim youths are accused of terror or criminal activity. Torture victims can also often be randomly picked up on the street simply for having a Muslim name, accused of having terrorist affiliations or are used as scapegoats for a crime. In these cases torture is used to extract false confessions. Torture is also used to intimidate or coerce a victim of a crime, or a family member of a victim, to drop charges or to not file complaints against the perpetrators of crimes such as rape, beating, or killing. In connection to police torture, the victims are held under illegal or prolonged arrest or detention and are subjected to biased and unfair investigation. In 2009, the Human Rights Watch analyzed the effectiveness of the Indian police forces and documented human rights abuses committed by police officers. For the report more than 80 officers and 60 victims of police officer abuse were interviewed from 19 police stations in Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, and Delhi. In the report many officers acknowledged the illegality of their actions, and according to the report, many believed that unlawful methods, including illegal detention and torture, [are] necessary tactics of crime investigation and law enforcement. Furthermore, police officers interviewed also admitted that instead of collecting forensic evidence and

witness statements, tactics considered time-consuming, they held suspects illegally and coerced them to confess, frequently using torture and ill-treatment.1 Today the attitude of the police is one of the main enforces of torture. The marginalization of the Muslim community combined with the discrimination that penetrates police stations in India creates situations where the religious discrimination of the police is manifested and enforced by torture. The Mechanism of Justice Muslim victims are given selective treatment on their complaints to the police. In many of the torture cases, police torture or harassment is used to forcibly make people in the Muslim communities drop charges. In many cases when Muslims want to file complaints they are completely ignored, or the police use stalling tactics with no intent of actually filing cases for Muslims. Muslims are therefore denied the right to be treated equally and equal protection before the law. Punishment or persecution of policemen for human rights violations Uttar Pradesh is unheard of. This is because of corruption, a general distrust and dislike of Muslims, and the idea of the police being above the law. In most cases complaints against police officers are not even registered because other police refuse to do this. If the complaints are registered, the process is extremely slow. Within the police force, policemen who try to help victims get justice are ostracized from the rest of police force. Some policemen have even been killed for going against the unwritten rules in police stations. Police who use torture to get false confessions often get promoted and are indirectly or directly rewarded for torturing. The practice is even promoted within certain police forces as means of gathering information. In police stations around Uttar Pradesh norms of conduct seem to have been created that override the legal obligations of police men. As in the police force, there is a religious-based prejudice penetrating the judicial institutions. This prejudice leads to biased and wrongful sentences of victims of torture who are innocent of any crime. Courts can often just as corrupt as the police and even in a court of law, leaving innocent victims to be prosecuted because it fills the pockets of the police and the judges. The problems of corruption and discrimination affecting a ruling of a judge in a court is not as widespread as within the police force, meaning that many victims of torture are rightfully proved innocent of crimes. The biggest problem inhibiting Muslims to receive rightful treatment in judiciary bodies not corruption or discrimination, but the amount of time it takes for trials to take place. Many wrongfully persecuted wait years to prove their innocence. A few torture victims have waited for 10

years and have yet to go to trial. This is partially because of the overload of cases, but also because Muslim cases can be neglected. The system is not adapted to the amount of cases that need to be tried. In India there exists a strict judiciary procedure that a suspect of a crime should be presented in front of a magistrate within 24 hours of their arrest. Today the suspects are often not presented by the police and there is no pressure from courts for this to be done because of the lack of responsibility and/or time. This means that the procedure is regularly completely disregarded. It is often within this timeframe, when a suspect has just been arrested, when the worst forms of torture are being done at the hands of the police in order to extract false confessions. It can therefore be argued that because this procedure is neglected both by the police and judiciary bodies, the most gruesome forms of torture that occur within the first days are enabled. Everyone has a right to be appointed a lawyer but often either no lawyer is given to Muslims, or the lawyers are cannot fulfill their requirements properly because of corruption or lack of knowledge and resources. Many lawyers also extort clients for more money or work with the police. Lawyers will for example abuse illiterate Muslims clients to sign false papers. In later years, some lawyers have been threatened by lawyer groups if they represent a Muslim client. This unjust treatment by policemen, judges, and lawyers affects all Muslims seeking justice, not only the victims of torture. The system that today is supposed to enable justice today enforces discrimination and injustice. This can be seen when statistics showing that 30 % of people in jails in India are Muslim, compared to 15 % of the population. Cases of Police Discrimination and Torture These cases are personal accounts of the discrimination and torture that the Muslims face by the police. They are representative to what the Muslim community is subjected to daily and have been selected to show how the police torture happens and the extreme religious discrimination that exists within the police that creates a systematic pattern of torture. All cases have previously been submitted by the victims to various state authorities and institutions but have not received justice. All the cases have received legal and/or psycho social help from PVCHR. In respect of victims, the names of the victims in the cases involving sexual abuse have been changed. The cases have been written by Anup Srivastava with support of Vijay Prajapati, edited and translated by Sunil Kukshal for a Peoples Tribunal PVCHR organized with partner organization Human Rights Law Network, New Delhi under EU-JMN-HRLN project Reducing Police torture against Muslim Minority and strengthening and engaging human rights Institution at grass Root Level.

Case of Rape and Police Inaction Victim Details Name Age Sex Fathers Name Address District Incidence Date of Incidence Place of Incidence Police Station Testimony On the 29th of February 2012, Abid, aged 12 years, d/o Mohd. Hamid was returning back from her uncle Khalids house. On the way back she was attacked by accused Firoz and dragged into Haruns house. Other two accused Kalam and Nasim were already present in the house and all of them raped her one after the other. After this grave incidence of rape she was left unconscious and the three accused fled away from the place. As soon as the family members came to know about this incident, Mohd. Hamid, father of Abid went to Bhelpur Police Station and requested to lodge a FIR and for a medical examination. The Station Officer of Bhelpur Police Station, with an intention to dilute the matter, told Abids family not to lodge FIR and promised that he will arrest the accused under a fake narcotics case. Abids family repeatedly requested to lodge a FIR and persisted with that. In the end the Station Officer asked the family to come the next day. On the next day, Abids medical examination was conducted at the SSPG Hospital Varanasi and two constables from Bajardiha outpost went with her. Abid stated that there were no tests performed at the hospital. At 11 PM, while Abid and her father were on the way back from the hospital, they were taken to the Bajardiha outpost and were asked to identify the two accused. Despite repeatedly asserting and identifying the accused, the Station Officer kept on asking an uncomfortable question in different ways. It has to be noted that there were no female police present. Meanwhile, one female constable called and mentioned that the medical report was negative. The

Abid(Name changed) 12 Female Mohd. Hamid H.No. 12/472, Habir Nagar, Teliyana Bajardiha, P.S Bhelpur Varanasi Rape 29th February, 2012 Habir Nagar Bhelpur

Station Officer started hurling abuses and slapped Abids father, shouting that they have been screaming about medical examination from the morning. A case was registered with number 79/11 under Sec. 376 but according to Abids family the FIR was just an eye wash and the police joined hands with the accused and diluted the medical report and weaken the case. Proceedings and Follow-Up Actions The FIR and medical examination were only undertaken after many attempts made by PVCHR. Present Status The matter is currently sub-judice. http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/india0113ForUpload.pdf

Case of Police Torture Victim Details Name Sex Husband Name Address Incidence Date of Incidence Place of Incidence Police Station Testimony: On 3 March 2011, the police forcefully entered Ayeshas home, W/o Late Mhd Saleem, R/o Mukbra Hazari Mohalla, Muradabad, without any search warrant, suspecting her son Nadeem to have bought a lost mobile phone. At that time Nadeem was not at the house so the police personal arrested her husband Mhd. Saleem and her other son Salim. They were taken to the police station forcefully and were physically tortured there. At the police station police used excessive force on them. At night when her Ayesha Female Late Mhd. Saleem Makbra Hazari Mohalla Death due to Police Torture 3 March, 2011 Makbara Hazari, Muradabad Katghar

husbands condition deteriorated they handed over her husband to the local people of the community. Mohd.Saleem was beaten to death at the police station.

Proceeding and Follow up Action: The victim filed a complaint at State Human Rights, UP, National Human rights Commission, Chef Secretary, Minority Commission, Police Headquarter, UP with the help of PVCHR. Present Situation: National Human Rights transferred the case to State Human Rights Commission but till yet no action is taken. Case of Police Torture Victim Details Name Age Sex Fathers Name Address District Incidence Date of Incidence Place of Incidence Police Station Testimony I, Azhar aka Azzu, s/o Ghulam Rasool, r/o Mohalla Vairoon Sarai, Sardhana police station, Meerut, belong to a simple family. During assembly elections, I got into some dispute with Layeek Ahmad s/o Jameel, r/o Mohalla Vairoon Sarai, Sardhana police station, and Naved s/o Irshad, r/o Mohalla Uchapur, Sardhana police station. They have been previously involved in many cases in the area and have a bad record in the police books. Both of them were arrested in a robbery case by the Sardhana police, Meerut district. So, while police were questioning them about the names of their other partners Azhar aka Azzu 20 Male Ghulam Rasool Mohalla Vairoon Sarai Meerut Case of Police Torture 7 February, 2012 Mohalla Vairoon Sarai Sardhana

in crime, they, out of enmity with me, deliberately took my name as one of their associates as being involved in illegal activities with them. On February 7, 2012, around 10:30pm in the night, Sardhana police ASI Vijay Kumar picked me up from my home. When my brother asked the ASI as to why they have picked me up, the ASI Vijay Kumar said that all three (Layeek, Naved and me) were caught while being involved in planning a robbery. Further when my brother asked the ASI that how that can be possible as they picked me up from home, the ASI Vijay Kumar told him to keep quite otherwise he would also be put behind bars. I was illegally kept in Sardhana police station from February 7 to February 9, 2012. During this period I was brutally beaten by the ASI to confess to crimes that I never committed. I was further tortured by giving electric shocks, and falsely booked in the case FIR No. 138/12 under section 2, 3 of the Gangster Act, presenting me to be involved and thus challan (start legal proceeding) in illegal and anti-social activities under this Act. Proceedings and Follow-Up Actions I have filed a written complaint to the NHRC, DGP, UP and DIG, Meerut, with the help of PVCHR. Present Status The NHRC had instructed the Meerut police to take proper action in this matter but nothing has been done by them yet. Case of Police Harassment Victims Details Name Age Sex Fathers Name Address District Incidence Date of Incidence Place of Incidence Police station Testimony: Amirrudin 22 Male Islammuddin Kalyan Singh, Autora road Meerut Police Harassment 9 June, 2012 Lichari. Meerut Maban

Ammiruddin, age 22, S/o Islammuddin, R/o Kalyan Singh, Autora Road, Meerut, PSMaban was a subject to police torture and harassment. On 9 June, 2012 at around 8 a.m. he was travelling to Meerut by bus. When the bus reached Saket Chaupal PS, Civil line, two police name Jitendra and Yogesh stopped the bus. They entered the bus and named him as Imran. When the victim disclosed his identity as Ammirruddin he was physically abused by the two police officers. He was then taken to civil line PS. They demanded Rs 2000 for his release. The victim then informed the matter to Station Officer. Instead of investigating the matter the Station Officer threatened him to charge a false case of possession of drugs and heroine against him. He was physical tortured in custody. Proceedings and follow up action: The victim reported the matter in written to PS headquater, UP State Commission with the help of PVCHR. Present Status: Till today no action is taken against the accused police officers.

Case of Police Torture Victim Details Name Age Sex Fathers Name Address District Incidence Date of Incidence Place of Incidence Police Station Testimony Shadab 25 Male Tahir Hussain Sirsi Ginnauri Mohalla (Kasba) Moradabad Police Torture 22 October, 2011 Moradabad Railway Police, Moradabad

I, Shadab s/o Tahir Hussain, r/o- Sirsi Ginnauri Mohalla (Kasba), Tehsil Sambhal, Moradabad, along with the nephew (bhanja) Md. Anas s/o Md. Hanif, r/o Saraitarin, Tehsil- Sambhal, Moradabad, had gone to get medicine. While we were returning and crossing the railway phatak, two policemen (Jai Prakash and Rajendra Singh) stopped us along with one more person Yakoob Khan s/o Ayyub Khan, r/o Jayantipur, Meena Nagar, Police Station Majhola, Moradabad, and started questioning us and asked our name address etc. Upon hearing our names they started abusing us with religious slurs. Then they forcefully kept us inside a stinking toilet for several hours. When we asked the policemen as to why they have detained us illegally, they said - you are terrorists and you have troubled the police very much. The truth is that we havent committed any crime. When my family members came to know about my detention by Railway Police, Moradabad, they came to the Railway police station, Moradabad, to rescue me. I was illegally handcuffed. My family members paid the fine in the Upper Chief Judicial Magistrate (Railways) court and got me released. Proceedings and Follow-Up Actions I have filed a written complaint to the NHRC with the help of PVCHR. Present Status The Chief Judicial Magistrate (Railways) released us after we paid the fine. But the police tortured and forcefully took money from us. No action has been taken against the accused yet. PVCHRs work PVCHR has been working to police torture on Muslims since the organization started in 1996. In a mission to provide basic rights for all PVCHR works by eliminating situations which give rise to exploitation of vulnerable and marginalized groups such as the Muslim community. PVCHR decided from the beginning to focus of reducing police torture because the founders of PVCHR believe that the police system is still feudal, colonial and caste dictated. The police system is how India is controlled, therefore it is essential to change the ways of the existing unjust and corrupt police to enable a political and social change. PVCHR started working at the grass roots level by providing support to victims of torture and survivors of human rights violations and is today working on two main projects to reduce police torture. The first is in partnership with the EU, specifically developed to work towards reducing police torture by focusing on direct intervention and advocacy. The second project is in partnership with DIGNITY (Danish Institute Against Torture), developing Testimonial Therapy in India as psycho social aid to victims of torture and abuse.

EU Project In 2010 PVCHR started a 3 year project with financial aid from the EU with the objective to reduce police torture at the grass roots level by engaging and strengthening human rights institutions in India. The project targets locations in Aligarh, Meerut, Moradabad and Varanasi Districts of Uttar Pradesh. The main work of PVCHR in this project is documentation of torture cases, training workshops, research and publication, legislative advocacy, and counseling and psychosocial support to survivors. This project approach reflects modern and international concerns of strengthening minority groups through a social intervention project. Reflecting PVCHRs motto of giving a voice to the voiceless, one of the focus point of the project is to strengthen the communities to lobby for administrative and legislative changes. This is being done increasing the Muslim communities understanding on issues related to torture and state bias and informing about the role human rights institutions should play to ensure justice. The human rights defenders in Muslim communities also receive guidance and guidelines of how to best legally and psychologically strengthen victims of torture and discrimination. As a part of the project, PVCHR is also working towards creating a firm legal and political basis for ending the torture against people belonging to the Muslim community through advocacy and lobbying by strengthening other human rights groups in how to document and advocate for survivors of torture. The targets are state legislatures and parliamentarians as well as academics and international human rights organizations. By working by direct intervention PVCHR targets survivors of torture, intervening in cases, providing psycho-legal aid and advocating for justice. Around 1000 cases of persons belonging to the Muslim community that have been arbitrarily or illegally detained, arrested and tortured in the targeted location, following screening and factfinding, are being addressed for legal and institutional interventions. 1000 survivors of torture and violence will also be provided psycho-social counseling through a method called Testimonial therapy. To create a political and legal basis for ending police torture, 100 NGOs compromising of 650 individuals from the 4 selected districts in India will be trained to work for the protection and promotion of human rights of the Muslim minority. Around 200 police and civil administration officials will be made aware of and sensitized to respect and adhere to human rights laws, provisions and procedures. 300 members of state and central legislatures from Uttar Pradesh will be sensitized and lobbied for bringing in legal reforms for reducing impunity and, change domestic laws against torture, as well

as the anti-terror laws that are grossly abused and misused by the police. PVCHRs lobbying actions are also focused on working toward strengthening the mandate, powers, capacity and the functioning of the NHRC (National Human Rights Commission) and National Commission on Minorities (NCM) when lobbying for legal reforms. Testimonial Therapy Testimonial Therapy is a therapy intervention in psychosocial community work that originates from Chile during the military dictatorship in the late 21st century. It has since been used in many different contexts for over 20 years in countries like Denmark, Germany, Bosnia, USA (for refugees) and in Mozambique (for survivors of civil war). In 2008 PVCHR introduced testimonial therapy in India with the help of the partner organization DIGNITY (Danish Institute against Torture) and Danish psychologist Inger Agger with close collaboration of Ayurvedic Physician and human Rights defender Lenin Raghuvanshi. The double connotation of the word testimony, which can be both subjective (political, public, and political) or objective (spiritual, emotional and private) This double connotation of the word testimony also represents the two main aims of testimonia l therapy; helping the survivors understand and reframe their private pain as well as a political or public problem. The testimonials of the survivors can be used as evidence or proof that can for example be used in a court case. The subjective effect of the therapy can be an open acknowledgement or expression of disapproval of the current political and social injustices. Even though the testimonies of torture victims can be used for political or social reform, the most import aspect of conducting testimonial therapy is that the emotional aspects are emphasized, enabling the survivor tell their story. Testimonial therapy is used by PVCHR for victims of human rights violations and is used in all their projects and for all victims of human rights violations. Testimonial therapy is also a big part of PVCHRs psycho legal aid that is given to victims of police torture. The testimonies of victims of police torture have been used in various circumstances by PVCHR in their project to reduce police torture. Testimonial Therapy is an easily implemented and efficient way to help victims of torture. The therapy is conducted in 4 sessions including the victim telling their story, a ceremony, and a monitoring session. PVCHR believes it is extremely important that the survivors know and trust their therapists. When PVCHR uses testimonial therapy the organization also supports the victims in their fight for justice. It is most often PVCHR activists who have regular contact with the people in the villages that conduct the testimonial therapy. It is also the activities that help the victims make legal testimonies and supports them directly in ongoing cases. The activities in PVCHR and community workers in other organizations can learn how to conduct testimonial therapy.

After the survivors of torture have given their testimony there is a public ceremony, preferably with several survivors to pay tribute to the importance of the testimony. At these ceremonies policemen and media can be invited to attend. These ceremonies are not only a chance to celebrate the survivor, but can also act as inspiration to other community members to not accept human rights violations. The catchphrase PVCHR has developed is restoring dignity to the victims of torture. This is seen as the most important aspect of Testimonial Therapy. Solution On the 3rd and 4th of April 2013 PVCHR collaborated with Human Rights Law Network, New Delhi and held a Peoples Tribunal on Police Torture against Muslims in Uttar Pradesh. The Tribunal was an independent trial where 40 cases of Police torture were presented in front of a jury consisting of academics, former police officers, human rights defenders and lawyers. All cases have previously been submitted by the victims to various state authorities and institutions but have not received any support, aid, or recognition from the governmental institutions. The jury members of the tribunal reviewed each case individually and gave advice how to precede with the survivors cases. The Tribunal ended with the judges, after viewing all the cases, discussing different methods to reduce police torture. The aim of the tribunal was to show the systematic police torture that is happening in Uttar Pradesh and for the victims of injustices to get advice and acknowledgment of their cases. This tribunal addressed the regional human rights violations and discussed how to better enable mechanisms of justice for torture victims, as well as how to further prevent the systematic torture on a state level. Some of the methods the jury members discussed to reduce police torture where the following: Sensitizing the police, making them aware of different cultures and religions. Also the culture of human rights should be immediately implemented should be a part of the training program all police men receive. Policemen from all countries, faiths, and religions should also be recruited to promote a secular police force. Addressing the problem of unrealistic expectations people have of the police. The public pressure or pressure from superiors that today can lead to policemen torturing and using illegal methods of interrogation or not conducting an investigation. All the cases involving a victim of torture pressing charges against police should be dealt in a fast track courts to help ensure justice. A Police accountability mechanism should be developed and strengthened.

Create a functioning mechanism for the judiciary procedure of a suspect appearing before a magistrate 24 h after their arrest. The legal provisions with regard to police custody should be clearly defined. Judicial magistrates or judges should be held accountable for not following the due process of law or ignoring the legal process. Strengthen human rights commissions by allocating more funds and personal. It is also important to ensure that human rights commissions are independent investigation agencies. A compensatory mechanism should be developed. The victims of police atrocities should receive rehabilitation and economic compensation.

The issue of police torture is not confined to Uttar Pradesh. One of the reasons for police torture to be possible is that policemen still legislatively bound to the same or similar laws as colonial police officers. Police officers are seen as above the law, and act as an unchallengeable governmental body. This also means that there is no functioning persecution mechanism for policemen. The 9/11 attacks and a growing fear of terrorism have furthered the legislative freedom for the police to torture and deny the civil and human rights of Muslims. Because the torture of Muslims is enabled at a legislative level it is crucial to change or adapt existing police and terrorist laws so that there is no legal perpetuator of torture. It is also vital that the laws and protocols that protect marginalized communities are enforced within the police force. There also needs to be a proper mechanism of governmental body that oversees the police force, ensuring that police mens actions reflect all the laws and regulations of India. Outro There is a social, political, and economic discrimination against Muslims daily. Police torture is a portrayal or manifestation of the social discrimination and marginalization of the Muslims community. Therefore ending police torture goes hand in hand in socially, economically and politically strengthening the Muslims. Today there are many organizations working toward helping the Muslims out of situations which breed violence and discrimination. Yet in India the Muslims are only one of the marginalized communities who are subdued and denied their human rights. Dalits, women, children and Tribals are other communities that face the same legal, political, and social discrimination. The discrimination in India is so difficult to reduce because it is truly ingrained in Indian society. The police torture stems from an idea of rightful inequality, penetrating Indian society; therefore change is problematic.

JMN published this booklet for EU-PVCHR-HRLN project Reducing Police Torture against Muslim and strengthening and engaging human rights Institution at grass Root Level. European Union (EU) is not liable for any content in this booklet.

Contact: Peoples Vigilance Committee on human Rights (PVCHR) SA 4/2 A, Daualtpur, Varanasi-221002, India Email:pvchr.india@gmail.com Contact: +91-542-2586688 www.pvchr.asia, http://muslim-minority.blogspot.in/