India: mob who dragged rape suspect from cell and lynched him should face justice

Members of a mob who lynched a man being held in custody suspected of rape in the state of Nagaland, in Northeast India, must be brought to justice, Amnesty International said today.

Syed Farid Khan had been arrested for allegedly raping a woman in the city of Dimapur in Nagaland last week, on Tuesday 24 February. According to local police, he was dragged from the Dimapur central jail – where he was being held in pre-trial detention - by a mob of around 4000 people. He was then stripped, beaten, pelted with stones, and made to walk naked towards the centre of Dimapur town, seven kilometres away. Syed Farid Khan succumbed to his injuries along the way. The mob then dragged his body to a clock tower and displayed it.

Shemeer Babu, Amnesty India’s Programmes Director, said:

“The Nagaland government, which is probing this gruesome incident, must ensure that every person who was part of the mob is brought to justice.

“Failure to do so will send the message that anyone can commit outrageous abuses and attempt to justify them as an expression of public anger.

“Nagaland authorities must uphold the rule of law. Violence against women needs to be tackled with swift and effective responses from the state, not with barbarism by self-appointed vigilantes.”

 

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