India must ratify UN Convention Against Torture and treat citizens with dignity & respect

India must ratify UN Convention Against Torture and treat citizens with dignity & respect

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Sonal Kellogg started this petition to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and

India is the only big country which has not ratified the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, UNCAT in short. Even countries like China, Cuba, Pakistan and Afghanistan have ratified this convention.

Though India signed the convention in 1997, ten years after it came into effect in 1987 it has not yet ratified the convention. A total of 170 countries have ratified this convention but embarrassingly, India finds itself along with countries like Sudan, Haiti, Brunei, Iran and North Korea which have not ratified UNCAT. 

The brutal torture and death in custody of Jeyaraj and his son Bennicks in Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu recently has brought into sharp focus the utter lack of sanctity of lives of common people by the police department and other government bodies. 

In 2019, as many as 1,731 persons died in police custody in India as per a report by the National Campaign Against Torture which means almost five people died every day in India due to police brutality.

Before ratifying UNCAT, it is a customary practice for a country to first pass a domestic legislation so India needs to first pass a Prevention of Torture Bill before ratifying UNCAT. A Prevention of Torture Bill has been recommended by the Law Commission, the National Human Rights Commission as well as the Select Committee of the Rajya Sabha and it was also twice introduced in the parliament during former prime minister Manmohan Singh's tenure but on both occasions it didn't get passed. 

Now the ball or the bill is in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's court. It is the need of the hour for India to pass a bill to prevent torture by police or other government agencies and then ratify the UN Convention Against Torture. All lives are precious. The hallmark of a great country is to respect all people and to treat them with dignity and respect. 

Please sign this petition and lend your voice to ensure that no one is tortured or treated cruelly by the police or other government bodies in India

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