Amnesty International on Tuesday urged the Indian Government to take practical and immediate steps to address unlawful killings and excessive use of force by security forces.

Welcoming the final report of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Amnesty called upon India to implement the recommendations to establish a “credible commission of inquiry” into extrajudicial executions. “The Indian authorities should constructively engage with the Special Rapporteur’s findings … and pay … heed to his … recommendations intended to help India uphold its international human rights commitments,” said G. Ananthapadmanabhan, Executive Director of Amnesty International in India.

In his report, the Special Rapporteur put most of the unlawful killings in India down to the excessive use of force by security forces, attacks by armed groups, and killings of vulnerable persons. He also expressed concern at “fake encounters” or extrajudicial killings and said he had received several submissions accusing the Central armed police forces of engaging in such a practice. He said a commission of inquiry should also facilitate transitional justice to guarantee justice for victims, accountability and punishment for perpetrators.

Calling for repeal, or at least radical amendment to, the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, the Special Rapporteur urged the government to revisit the legislation on the use of force by armed forces so that they respected the principles of proportionality and necessity in all instances as stipulated under international human rights law.

He wanted the government to sign the two optional protocols to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; the optional protocol to the Convention to Eliminate all forms of Discrimination Against Women; the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court; and the two optional protocols to the Geneva Conventions. He urged the government to swiftly enact the Prevention of Torture Bill and ensure that it complied with the Convention against Torture.

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