Mr. Imroz is compiling the most extensive document on India’s use of torture to the present day. His efforts formed the centerpiece of a BBC Channel 4 documentary that aired last night called “Kashmir’s Torture Trail,” and in 2005 he was awarded the Ludovic-Trarieux International Human Rights Prize, first given to Nelson Mandela.
His group’s inquiry into torture will be filed with the United Nations and Human Rights Watch later this summer. His group also says 8,000 to 10,000 people disappeared in custody in the past 23 years. The state government acknowledged for the first time in 2011 that thousands of bodies lie in unmarked graves around Kashmir.
In 2010, Wikileaks revealed that International Committee for the Red Cross staff had informed US diplomats that they had interviewed 1,296 detainees in Kashmiri prisons between 2002 and 2005, and 681of them had gone through one or more of six forms of torture: electric shocks, leg crushing, leg stretching, suspension from a ceiling, water boarding, and sexual assault.
India has not allowed the UN’s special rapporteur for torture to visit Kashmir since 1993. The country has signed but not ratified the UN Convention against Torture.
India’s attorney general, GE Vahanvati, appeared in Geneva this May and told the UN Human Rights Council that “India has the ability to self-correct,” noting that a Prevention of Torture Bill is pending before parliament.