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UA 38/94 - India: fear of "disappearance": Dalbir Singh

, N° d'index: ASA 20/003/1994

Dalbir Singh, a former journalist, approximately 70-years-old, and reportedly suffering from Parkinson's disease, has been illegally detained by police. He was reportedly taken away by police four or five days ago and has not been seen since. The police have denied that he is in their custody.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: ASA 20/03/94
Distr: UA/SC
UA 38/94 Fear of "Disappearance" 4 February 1994
INDIA: Dalbir Singh
Amnesty International fears that Dalbir Singh, an ex-journalist, approximately
70-years-old and reportedly suffering from Parkinson's disease, has been
illegally detained by the police.
He was reportedly taken away by police four or five days ago and has not been
seen since. The police deny he is in their custody.
Amnesty International fears for his safety.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Amnesty International regularly receives reports of allegations that alleged
members or sympathizers of armed opposition groups, or their relatives, in
Punjab have been killed in police custody, often after torture. Their deaths
or "disappearances" are later wrongly attributed by officials to an "encounter"
between militants and the police, to an "escape" during such an "encounter"
or to other improbable causes.
Even though legal safeguards against unacknowledged detention exist in India's
ordinary criminal law and procedural code, they are often simply not adhered
to and prisoners are held in unacknowledged detention for weeks and sometimes
months.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes and airmail letters
either in English or in your own language:
- expressing concern that Dalbir Singh, a sick and elderly man, has not been
seen since he was taken away by police four or five days ago and the fear that
he may be being held in illegal detention;
- seeking assurances that if he is in police custody he be allowed immediate
access to lawyers and relatives and be brought before a magistrate forthwith;
- seeking assurances that if he is in police custody he is being provided
with adequate medical care and is not being ill-treated;
- urging that if he is in police custody that he be immediately released or
charged with a recognizably criminal offence.
APPEALS TO:
Mr Beant Singh
Chief Minister of Punjab
Office of the Chief Minister
Chandigarh
Punjab
India
Telegrams: Chief Minister of Punjab, Chandigarh, Punjab, India
Faxes: +91 172 540 647
Salutation: Dear Chief Minister
K.P.S Gill
2
Director General of Police
Police Headquarters
Chandigarh
Punjab
India
Telegrams: Director General Police, Chandigarh. Punjab, India
Salutation: Dear Director General of Police
COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO:
Mr S.B. Chavan
Minister of Home Affairs
Ministry of Home Affairs
North Block
New Delhi 110 001
India
Mr Dinesh Singh
Minister of External Affairs
Ministry of External Affairs
South Block
New Delhi 110 001
India
and to diplomatic representatives of India accredited to your country
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 18th March 1994.

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