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'Will you decriminalise homosexuality?' among the 16 questions posed by Amnesty International to India's Prime Minister hopefuls

Thursday, 27 March 2014 - 9:45pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna webdesk

As part of '14 for 2014' campaign, the international human rights organisations, has put forth a list of questions to the prime ministerial candidates and hopefuls from across national parties contesting the Lok Sabha elections 2014
  • Amnesty-International

Even as the parties ready themselves to battle it out in a fortnight to consolidate their power at India's center, stakeholders are floating rightful demands.

Among many such ongoing campaigns that even includes an appeal for public political debates between prime ministerial candidates, is one by Amnesty International (AI) India that poses them with key questions pertaining to some of the nation's burning issues.

“We reached out to various national and regional political parties, both at the organisational level and at the decision making levels to promote Amnesty International India’s 14 point Human Rights Charter and ensure that all the Charter points or some points are incorporated in the various election manifestos ahead of the 2014 General Elections,” explains Durga Nandini, senior media officer at Amnesty International (AI) India.

From homosexuality to crimes against women to even their flagship campaign against death penalty, AI India has raised some pertinent questions to the those wishing to lead the country in the next term.

The questions are tailored not just for the Indian polity, but also derives inspirations from the ongoing reforms and movements that are currently underway. It ask very specific legal and policy moves from the candidates on social issues that plague the nation.

Here's a look at Prime Ministerial Questionnaire:
Will you ensure the passage of an anti-torture bill in Parliament?

Will you reduce excessive under-trial detention and overcrowding in prisons by implementing section 436A of the Code of Criminal Procedure?

Will you make the police more accountable and effective by implementing the Supreme Court directives on police reforms?

Will you adopt the Justice Verma Committee’s recommendations on filing and registration of police complaints for crimes involving violence against women?

Will you enact a law making marital rape a crime?

Will you decriminalise homosexuality by repealing section 377 of the IPC?

Will you remove immunity for public servants by repealing Section 197 of the Code of Criminal Procedure?

Will you make enforced disappearances a crime under law?

Will you hold armed forces accountable for human rights violations by repealing the AFSPA?

Will you enact a law to abolish the death penalty?

Will you prevent trafficking and forced labour of Indian migrant workers employed abroad by strengthening regulation of recruitment agencies and brokers? 

Will you ensure investigation of human rights abuses in corporate mining projects?

Will you extend the provisions of the new land acquisition, rehabilitation and resettlement law to all people affected by any project?

Will you sign and ratify the UN Convention on the Protection of the Rights of all Migrant Workers and Members of their Families and the ILO Domestic Workers Convention?

Will you repeal Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code that deals with the offence of sedition and is inconsistent with international standards on freedom of expression?

Will you disclose the details of the Central Monitoring System—including its permitted grounds of surveillance and the safeguards on its misuse—and ensure that it proceeds only after due consultation with the public and deliberation in Parliament? 

Next steps?
AI India has already approached political leaders of various parties including Congress, BJP, CPI, JDU, AIADMK, DMK, Shiv Sena, MNS, AAP and others. 

They also intend to review the manifestos of all the parties. “We are pushing for human rights commitment in the common minimum programme of the new government and evaluate the government on its promises after 100 days of its formation. “Prime Minsterial candidates have been mailed and emailed the questionnaire including Rahul Gandhi, Narendra Modi, J Jayalalitha, Mamata Banerjee, Mayawati, Nitish Kumar, Naveen Patnaik, Arvind Kejriwal and Mulayam Singh Yadav,” informs Nandini.

AI India is still awaiting for their response.

If you wish to participate in urging your candidates, click here.

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