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The Indian government should reform its justice system to ensure that abuses do not take place during counterterrorism efforts, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. While Indian authorities have taken recent steps to prevent wrongful accusations of terrorism, the government should also investigate the many allegations of torture and coerced confessions of terrorism suspects and hold those responsible to account.
The 106-page report, “The ‘Anti-Nationals’: Arbitrary Detention and Torture of Terrorism Suspects in India,” documents consistent abuse by Indian security forces in their response to the scourge of terrorism attacks. State police, jail officials, and other authorities have committed a range of human rights violations, including arbitrary arrest and detention, torture, and religious discrimination. The report details the mistreatment of alleged members of the Indian Mujahideen, a militant Islamist group that since 2008 has claimed responsibility for six bombings and other deadly attacks, as well as that of Hindu nationalist suspects charged in a separate bombing in 2008.