Seeking Government of India to Ratify Convention Against Torture sign now

Dr. Manmohan Singh
Honourable Prime Minister of India
South Block, Raisina Hill,
New Delhi,
India-110 001

Dear Prime Minister,

In spite of repeated efforts including those by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), India has not ratified the Convention Against Torture (and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment), although it has been a signatory since October 1997. Ratification is necessary for appropriate changes to be made in the prevailing laws, and to enable institutions and executing authorities in India to be committed and accountable in reality to address the practice of torture.

Torture encompasses all acts of ill-treatment, cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment by police, security forces and jail authorities of the state, that result in severe physical or mental pain or suffering. This includes targeted killings, fake encounters, custodial violence and extrajudicial punishments in the form of rape and even death.

Fighting torture has been a long standing campaign of many human rights organizations in India, be it in the case of Jammu and Kashmir, the North East or as recently in the case from Gujarat. In the state of Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh for example, the naxalite and anti-naxalite activity has killed hundreds of innocent people by use of brute force by the state and non-state actors irreparably destroying the social fabric. Thousands have been forcefully removed from their villages to camps set-up by the government or other private armed groups.

Torture involves dehumanizing the victim and this dehumanization is made easier if the victims come from a disadvantaged social, political or ethnic group like the dalits, women and adivasis. Different forms of torture is used to threaten, coerce and physically displace people from their lands and livelihoods to pave way for unchecked economic development. This, of late, is seen in Kashipur, Gujarat, Singur, Kalinganangar, Nandigram and other places.

Torture or any other forms of ill-treatment that is cruel, inhuman and degrading are repugnant, immoral, illegal and always wrong.

Torture does not stop terror. Torture is terror. States seek to argue that they 'need' to use ill-treatment or torture in interrogation and invoke highly improbable and hypothetical scenarios to justify this. Torture and ill-treatment do not provide reliable evidence -- people will say anything to make the pain stop.

We have witnessed a simple truth: torture is never limited to "just once" -- the methods escalate in severity, the range of people to whom they are applied grows. And such treatment alienates and provokes fear in communities. States that resort to ill-treatment or torture are brutalizing and degrading their whole society by acting immorally and illegally and undermining the very values they claim the "war on terror" seeks to protect.

We need to stop torture and ill-treatment in the 'war on terror'. It is cruel, inhuman and degrades us all. We must resist all efforts to water down the absolute ban on torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. Torture is unlawful and morally reprehensible. It dehumanises the victim and the perpetrator. It is the ultimate corruption of humanity. Once the door is opened to torture, its use quickly becomes institutionalised. And once that happens, no one is safe.

In the light of all the above, we call upon the government to fulfill the following urgent demands for a right to life with dignity and a world without torture for a right to life with dignity and a world free of torture.

>> Ratify the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment (Convention against Torture);
>> Permit UN Special Rapporteur on Torture to visit India and report on the cases of torture;
>> Enact a National Domestic Legislation that makes torture a punishable offence and simultaneously provides for the protection and care for the victims and witnesses;
>> Repeal security / anti-terror legislations that promotes the culture of torture and impunity in situations of armed conflict;
>> End Impunity - institute enquiries into abuses by security forces, corporations, non-state actors, and prosecute those responsible.

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Latest Signatures

  • 08 February 20161000. Kanaya A
    I support this petition
  • 27 January 2016999. Gaurav J
    india must comply Place / State Delhi
  • 21 January 2016998. Bani Lyons
    I support this petition
  • 16 January 2016997. Kinney B
    I support this petition
  • 14 January 2016996. Surender Ali
    I support this petition
  • 13 January 2016995. Subash M
    В Place / State В
  • 10 January 2016994. Feroze M
    The entire climate being created by the State itself is making it easier for the Police and Military apparatus to torture ordinary Indians.The Indian people need to organize themselves and be vigilant and united to stem this onslaught. Place / State Mumba
  • 08 January 2016993. Vrushali Cameron
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  • 07 January 2016992. Sonali P
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  • 04 January 2016991. Maja D
    this is long overdue and it does not behove India which sits on the Human Rigths Council not to have ratified this convention years ago Place / State New Delhi India
  • 04 January 2016990. Vijay T
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  • 20 November 2015978. Soma M
    Ratify the Convention immediately otherwise the Rights in our Constitution become sham Place / State Kolkata
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Leila McbrideBy:
School and EducationIn:
Petition target:
Prime Minister of India

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