By Deepal Jayasekera, wsws.org, 21 December 2010US diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks show that Washington has long had evidence of Indian authorities’ systematic use of torture against opponents of Indian rule over Jammu and Kashmir, but has chosen not to speak out against New Delhi’s gross human rights violations.
In a classified cable sent in April 2005, the then-US ambassador to New Delhi, David C. Mulford, reported to the US State Department on a “confidential briefing” embassy officials had received from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) “on widespread severe torture in Indian prisons in Kashmir between 2002 and 2004.”
“The continued ill-treatment of detainees,” reported Mulford, “despite longstanding ICRC-GOI (Government of India] dialogue, have led the ICRC to conclude” that New Delhi “condones torture.”
In their briefing, the ICRC officials emphasized that those subjected to torture by Indian authorities were generally not anti-Indian insurgents—since Indian security forces have a standard practice of summarily executing suspected insurgents. Rather they were noncombatants, those accused of providing the insurgents support or suspected of having useful information: the “detainees were rarely militants (they are routinely killed), but persons connected to or believed to have information about the insurgency.”