In this report, AI is concerned to draw the attention of the international community to human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir, which have risen dramatically since late 1989, the start of a violent campaign by some Kashmiris for the state to secede or to join Pakistan. Many thousands of people have been arbitrarily detained under special laws which lack vital legal safeguards and provide the security forces with sweeping powers of detention without charge or trial. Torture is reported to be routine and so brutal that hundreds have died in custody as a result. Scores of women claim to have been raped. Efforts to obtain legal redress against the security forces are persistently frustrated; the legal machinery in the state has broken down. Abuses have also been committed by armed opposition groups. AI also condemns such abuses unequivocally.
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