Friday, December 17, 2010

WikiLeaks cables: India accused of systematic use of torture in Kashmir

Beatings and electric shocks inflicted on hundreds of civilians detained in Kashmir, US diplomats in Delhi told by ICRC 

Jason Burke in Delhi, The Guardian,  Dec 17, 2010
Kashmir Unrest in Kashmir, where a leaked cable said the Indian government ‘condoned torture’. Photograph: Tauseef Mustafa/AFP/Getty Images

US officials had evidence of widespread torture by Indian police and security forces and were secretly briefed by Red Cross staff about the systematic abuse of detainees in Kashmir, according to leaked diplomatic cables.

The dispatches, obtained by website WikiLeaks, reveal that US diplomats in Delhi were briefed in 2005 by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) about the use of electrocution, beatings and sexual humiliation against hundreds of detainees.

Other cables show that as recently as 2007 American diplomats were concerned about widespread human rights abuses by Indian security forces, who they said relied on torture for confessions.

The revelations will be intensely embarrassing for Delhi, which takes pride in its status as the world’s biggest democracy, and come at a time of heightened sensitivity in Kashmir after renewed protests and violence this year.

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