India: Two children detained, another at risk in Jammu and Kashmir
Two teenage boys have been detained without charge under the Public Safety Act (PSA) in Jammu and Kashmir. A third boy detained without charge at the same time has been released for health reasons but may be returned to custody within days. It is illegal for anyone under 18 to be detained under the PSA.
Asif Shaksaz and Sajad Mir, both of Srinagar, and Aadil Khan of Sopore were arrested and detained without charge on 25 March, 8 March and 14 March respectively under the Public Safety Act for "stone-pelting" and "disruption of peace". The police took Sajad and Aadil, without telling their families, to Kotbalwal Jail in Jammu, about 300km away.
Asif Shaksaz was arrested for criminal offences on 18 March and released on bail on 25 March, but police issued a detention order for him the same day, amounting to "revolving door detention," or repeated detention on the same or similar charges designed to keep people in detention without charge. He was held in different police stations in Srinagar until 7 April, when he was released for an emergency appendectomy. He is recuperating at home, but the police have said they will take him into custody again on 22 April.
The police claim that all three boys are 19 years old. However, copies of Asif Shaksaz and Aadil Khan's school records show they are 15 and 17 respectively. Sajad Mir's family do not have any proof of his age, as they did not register his birth or send him to school, but they claim that he is 16 years old. An amendment to the PSA made it illegal for anyone less than 18 years of age to be detained under the Act.
Sajad Mir and Aadil Khan's families have been unable to contact their children and are unaware of the conditions in which they are detained. Their lawyers have filed petitions challenging the PSA detention orders.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 29 MAY 2013 TO:
Government of Jammu and Kashmir
Fax: 0091 194 245 2224
Salutation: Dear Chief Minister
Minister of Home Affairs
North Block, Central Secretariat New Delhi 110001, India
Fax: 0091 11230 94221
Salutation: Dear Minister
PLEASE SEND COPIES OF YOUR APPEAL TO
His Excellency Dr Jaimini Bhagwati, Office of the High Commissioner for India, India House, Aldwych, London, WC2B 4NA.
Fax: 020 7836 4331
Dear Chief Minister / Minister
I am writing to express my concern at the treatment of Sajad Mir, Aadil Khan and Asif Shaksaz, who were detained under the Public Safety Act (PSA) on 8 March, 14 March and 25 March respectively.
I am concerned that they are being treated as adults before the law and not in accordance with international standards of juvenile justice. This is despite the fact that their families have declared them to be minors and school records clearly illustrate that they are under the age of 18.
I therefore urge you to immediately end the administrative detention of Sajad Mir and Aadil Khan under the PSA, and ensure that Asif Shaksaz is not unlawfully detained again;
I further urge you to either release Sajad Mir and Aadil Khan or charge them with recognizably criminal offences, and guarantee them a fair trial, as set out in the Jammu and Kashmir Juvenile Justice Act and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
I implore you to order an investigation of the detention of all three children, as well as the broader practice of detaining children in Jammu and Kashmir, and bring those responsible to justice;
Finally, I urge you to end all administrative detentions and repeal the Public Safety Act and any other legislation that facilitates the use of administrative detentions
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