IHRA denounces arrest of human right activist
Dimapur, April 25 (EMN): Manipur chapter of the International Human Rights Association (IHRA) has strongly condemned the arrest of its secretary Thangkhanlen Haokip of Kholep village by the Manipur police on Sunday and demanded explanation from the Home department for the arrest without official notification.
“It is very unfortunate that even a human rights activist becomes a victim of injustice under the totalitarian government of Manipur,” claimed the unit president Mark Thangmang Haokip. He also accused the government of meddling with the rights of the people instead of promoting and defending them as it should.
“The government has to provide welfare for its citizens and not suppress them under any circumstances and therefore, it violated Article 5 of the UDHR which stated that no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment,” he added.
It also cautioned that if such act of government continues– playing favouritism within the major communities– it will hinder the peace that has been maintained.
While referring to news report, it claimed some individuals were recently arrested by the state police for exercising their freedom of expression on social media. In this connection, it urge upon the government to release them unconditionally without any prejudice. It expressed apprehension that it could provoke more emotional sentiments in the heart of the youth in the state and promote more hate speech and communal tones.
“Suppression of freedom of expression is a violation of human rights. Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights guaranteed that everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers,” it pointed out.
Since free speech is logically guaranteed as a human rights, even by Article 19 (1) (a) of the Constitution of India, it felt that the state government should refrain from such business for mutual trust, understanding and cooperation between the government and the people.
IHRA reminded the state government that the Supreme Court of India had nullified Section 66A of the Information Technology Act (IT Act) since it violated Article 19 (I) (A) of the Constitution of India.
“No one shall be arrested for posting any post on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Linked In etc.,” it statement read.
IHRA further stated that it would collect records of victims who were arrested because of exercising the rights to freedom of expression post Supreme Court’s verdict and submitted the same to the Supreme Court for stringent legal action.