Fw: Protest custodial torture and sexual assault of Soni Sori: 24th March 6 pm Town Hall

by apushpa on Mar 24, 2012      Category: Others Tags: npsbm


----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Sichrem <contact@sichrem.org>
Sent: Wednesday, 21 March 2012 5:47 PM



Dear friends,
In the case of Soni Sori, an adivasi teacher from Chhattisgarh
who has been brutally tortured and sexually assaulted in jail, we are planning
a protest in Bangalore on 24th March the coming Saturday in front of Town Hall at
6 pm. Please do look over the leaflet below. Many of your groups had endorsed a
press release we had made earlier, and we hope you will also endorse and join
the protest in big numbers. 
 
We see the issue of Soni Sori as being part of a larger issue of
custodial torture of prisoners, sexual assault of women, and imprisonment of
oppressed minorities such as dalits, adivasis, religious, and gender
minorities. Please join us, please advise us on how we can be effective in
making our voice heard, and bring your politics and ideas to this
protest. 
 

Stop Custodial Violence on Women

"Giving me electric shocks, stripping me naked, shoving
stones inside me..Was the abuse
on me not enough?...This is a plea from a helpless daughter...This is a
mother’s plea for her children
”,- Soni Sori in a
letter to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
Soni Sori, a 35-year-old Adivasi school teacher in
Chhattisgarh, has been languishing in  Raipur Jail since October 2011, she
has written letters from jail asking the Nation to help her. Soni has been
tortured by the Chhattisgarh police - she complained that she was stripped
naked and given electric shocks
. A recent medical examination ordered by
the Supreme Court at NRS Medical College and Hospital in Kolkatta found stones
inserted in her vagina and rectum
. Medical reports submitted to the court
three days after her arrest show she sustained a head injury caused by a
“hard and blunt object”, that she had tenderness in her back, and
blackened fingers –a classic sign of electrocution.
The torture was under the supervision of Ankit Garg,
Superintendent of Police. In a terrible twist of events he was given the
President's Award on Republic Day. Soni lives in Dantewada. a Naxalite stronghold.
Last year, Soni fought with the Naxalites when they tried to stop her form
hoisting the national flag on Independence Day.  Naxalites shot her father
in the leg saying he was a police informer.  Yet the police first arrested
her husband, and now Soni, for being Naxalite supporters! Because she has
constantly fought for her people’s rights - for minimum wages. She has
taken on powerful companies that want the Adivasis’ land, and the
Chhattisgarh government that supports these companies. She has taken on the
police for their illegal activities. Her nephew Lingaram Kodopi who has been
arrested on the same charges is a trained journalist who has reported on the
abysmal human rights record of the Chhattisgarh government from the ground.
Now, fed up of being in jail, far from her three young children, Sori has gone
on hunger strike. In a letter to her lawyer she writes:  “We
Adivasis are only fated to suffer atrocities and die. We Adivasis are a
business for the government.
’’
Due process has been violated in the case of Soni Sori
repeatedly. When these injuries prevented Soni from being produced before a
magistrate, an order converting her police custody into extended judicial
custody was still signed by Additional District Judge Yogita Wasik without her presence
– which is completely illegal. She was outside the court in a vehicle and
never left it. She was chained to the bed while undergoing treatment for her
injuries in a Raipur hospital, explicitly against Supreme Court orders. She was
also incarcerated in police lockup for 24 hours against Supreme Court orders
when taken to Kolkata for a medical re-examination. Soni has now testified on
video that she has been threatened by the police to not reveal her custodial
torture for fear that they will arrest her brother, the sole caretaker of her
children.
The undersigned groups from Karnataka State strongly
condemn the custodial sexual assault and torture of Soni Sori, an Adivasi
school teacher from the Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh.
Our
demands
  • Immediately
    transfer Soni Sori out of the custody of Chhattisgarh police and ensure
    the provision of appropriate health care to Soni Sori without police
    interference.
  • Set up an
    independent investigation into the conduct of Chhattisgarh law enforcement
    officials in the custodial sexual assault and torture of Soni Sori, and
    the immediate suspension of the responsible officers and prosecution under
    the PoA Act pending this inquiry
  • Ensure the speedy
    completion of trial of Soni Sori and Lingaram Kodopi so that they do not
    languish for years in custody when their guilt has not been proven.
  • Show public proof
    of the good health and safety of Lingaram Kodopi and other prisoners in
    Chhattisgarh police custody.
  • Set up a high-level
    independent investigation team to look at the condition of prisoners,
    especially women, including in the state of Chhattisgarh, to determine
    whether other women may have been subjected to torture and other
    ill-treatment, and investigate the reality of prisoners’ access to
    health care.
  • Enact the
    Prevention of Torture Bill and remove the need for prior state
    authorization to initiate criminal action against the officials implicated
    in custodial torture. Ratify the Convention on Torture and Other Cruel,
    Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
  • Ensure that the
    latest central government grants to states to set up police stations in
    Maoist areas include support for independent monitoring of detention
    facilities including station lockups and jails by human rights commissions
    and civil society groups. Consider requiring police to videotape
    interrogations, especially in police stations in Naxalite areas.
  • Work with civil
    society groups to train police on proper conduct toward women in custody.
  • End the use of
    custodial torture, lengthy custodial holding on false charges, and
    constant police harassment as tools of repression against the adivasi and
    other residents of Chhattisgarh.
Come join us for a
protest against the custodual torture and sexual assault of Soni Sori and many
such women on 24th March 2012, Saturday, at Town Hall Steps, at 6.PM
 
LesBiT,
SICHREM, Vimochana, Women against Sexual Violence and State
Repression: WSS -Karnataka and WSS-National, People's Union for Civil
Liberties: PUCL-Bangalore, Alternative Law Forum (ALF)
--

R.MANOHAR.

Head of Programs

South India Cell for Human
Rights Education & Monitoring(SICHREM)


35,1st Floor,Anjanappa
Complex, Hennur Main Road,Lingarajapuram,


St.Thomas Town Post,

Bangalore - 560084, Karnataka

Ph: 080-25473922 /
25804072-73


Fax: 080-25492856

Email:manorights@gmail.com,
manoharr@sichrem.org


Website: www.sichrem.org

Blog:http://sichrem.wordpress.com

Mobile:9535037596



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