Urgent Action Appeal on the case of attack on Dr. Lenin Raghuvanshi

April 27, 2013
 
Mrs. Margaret Sekaggya 
Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, 
c/o Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights – Palais Wilson 
United Nations Office at Geneva 
CH 1211 Geneva 10 

Dear Ma’am,

Sub: Urgent Appeal for Action – India/Uttar Pradesh – Case of attempt on life by miscreants and police in-action against a Human Rights Defender Dr. Lenin Raghuvanshi of Varanasi-Reg

Greetings from SICHREM!

The South India Cell for Human Rights Education and Monitoring (SICHREM) requests your URGENT intervention in the following situation in Uttar Pradesh, India.

We are now writing to express our grave concern regarding the attempt on the life of Lenin Raghuvanshi is the Secretary General and Executive Director of the Peoples’ Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR). He is also the Core Team Member of the Core Group of NGO’s in the NHRC. His human rights work focuses on advocating for the basic rights of marginalized groups in Indian society.

Incident

According to the information received, On April 24, 2013 at around 8 pm three unidentified assailants knocked at the house of Dr Lenin and entered the house forcibly, and fired upon him and gave life threats. Dr Lenin fortunately bent down and the bullet missed him but then suddenly the other assailant took out a knife and attacked him on his foot. After this all three assailants ran away taking advantage of the darkness in the lane outside the house. Dr Lenin has tried to resist the assailants and to catch them and even chased them on his scooty but could not since there was construction on the main road and a JCB was parked in the middle of the road. The driver of the JCB came down attacked Dr Lenin and then fled. The Cops from Paharia police-out-post also came but no FIR was registered neither any step was taken for security.

Harassment of activists on flimsy pretexts and on grounds that they exercised their constitutionally guaranteed democratic rights is a dangerous trend and will be resisted robustly by human rights activists everywhere.

SICHREM is gravely concerned about the intimidation tactics employed by the state and non state forces, and the alleged afore mentioned facts and recalls that the authorities have to fulfill their obligations under international human rights law to protect the right to life and to protect the rights of a human rights defender to perform his duties without any hindrance. The State authorities must ensure that the forces comply with international human rights standards on law enforcement, in particular those relating to the defenders rights.

SICHREM, deeply concerned by the developments, Accordingly, calls on the competent authorities to ensure that the investigation is carried out promptly, effectively, thoroughly, independently and impartially, the result of which must be made public, in order to bring those responsible for the act, before a competent, independent and impartial tribunal and apply penal, civil and/or administrative sanctions as provided by law.

Appeal

We, therefore, urge you to immediately take necessary steps to

1. Ensure an immediate intervention of the police administration and that necessary legal action is taken and all the perpetrators are brought to book;

2. Carry out an immediate, thorough and impartial investigation into the incident with a view to bring those responsible to justice in accordance with international standards;

3. Take all necessary measures to guarantee the physical and psychological security and integrity to the victims’ in order to carry out their legitimate human rights work peacefully;

4. Protection and security be provided to the Dr. Lenin Raghuvanshi and his family members.

5. Guarantee in all circumstances that all Human right defenders in India are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions including judicial harassment.

6. Conform to the provisions of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 9, 1998, especially:

– Its Article 1, which states that “everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to promote and to strive for the protection and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels”;

– its Article 6(a), which provides that “everyone has the right, individually and in associations with others, to know, seek, obtain, receive and hold information about all human rights and fundamental freedoms”;

– and its Article 12.2, which states that “the State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration”.

Looking forward to your immediate action in this regard,

Yours sincerely,

Mathews Philip
Executive Director