UN envoy briefed on human rights scenario in Manipur
Source: The Sangai Express

Guwahati, January 14, 2011: Special Rapporteur on Situation of Human Rights Defenders, United Nations, Margaret Sekaggya has taken serious note of the alleged atrocities being perpetrated by security personnel on human rights defenders in Manipur.

Margaret Sekaggya, who arrived in Guwahati today, interacted with human rights defenders from Manipur to understand the situation of the rights crusaders in Manipur.

Documentary evidences on instances of atrocities on human right defenders in Manipur were also submitted to her.

The counsel of UNLF chairman RK Meghen alias Sanayaima also presented a report on the arrest of Meghen and concealment of his whereabouts for over three months.

After interacting with human rights defenders in other parts of India, Margaret arrived at Guwahati on a 10-day visit to take a first hand account of the situation of human rights defenders in North East India including Manipur.

As part of her visit, a regional consultation for human rights defenders from North Eastern States was held at the conference hall of Don Bosco Institute at Jaypur, Khorghuli, Guwahati today.

Human rights defenders from North Eastern States like Manipur, Assam, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, Mizoram and Nagaland participated in the consultation and submitted their respective reports.

Human rights crusaders pose for the lens with the UN envoy inset Margaret Sekaggya

The delegates from Manipur including former member of Manipur Human Rights Commission Yambem Laba, chairman of NE Committee on Human Rights Ch Surjit, executive director of Human Rights Alert Babloo Loitongbam, convenor in-charge of COHR Phulindro Konsam, president of Poirei Meira Paibee Association L Memchoubi, president of TIPS Aslam Khan, secretary of Momnu Erik Khombi Lup M Nirmala, executive director of CLPF Manipur S Chittaranjan, co-ordinator of Rongmei Lu Phaum (Manipur, Assam, Nagaland) Sapina Panmei, secretary of UPF Manipur Bikramjit Oinam, programme co-ordinator of CORE Namdithiu Panmei, joint secretary of Citizens Concern for Dams and Development Jiten Yumnam, president of All Manipur Muslim Pangal Women Anwari Noor Jahan, secretary of Extra-Judicial Execution Victims' Families Association of Manipur Neera Ningombam, president of United RTI Women Groups Kh Anandi, managing trustee of Just Peace Foundation Irom Singhajit and representative of Women in Governance, Chandel, Hechin Haokip.

In the memorandum submitted from the side of these organisations, it has been alleged that the State Government has been targeting the civil organisations and even the family members of the office bearers to exert pressure.

The situation is all the more critical for the human rights defenders who are working for right to self-determination and other political rights.

The memorandum also highlighted the arrest of editor of Sanaleibak daily A Mobi by the police commandos on trumped up charges of having nexus with UGs.

Furthermore, the memorandum pleaded UN to exert pressure on India for protection of human rights defenders and not to view them as terrorists.

The demands for removal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act, stopping militarisation of North Eastern States including Manipur and guarantee from United Nations Human Rights Council on protection of human rights defenders from being targeted by the Govt in connection with submission of human rights report to the UN, etc were also highlighted in the memorandum.

In the memorandum submitted from the side of counsel of UNLF chairman RK Meghen, counsel Moirangthem Gunedhor asserted that RK Meghen is not a terrorist but a human rights defender fighting for right to self-determination of the people of Manipur.

Meghen himself had declared that he was not waging a war with India but merely defending the sovereignty of the land.