‘Violence against human rights defenders rising’
Henri Tiphagne spoke at a State-level workshop about human rights and its defenders.
There is a rise in instances of violence against human rights defenders in the State, according to Henri Tiphagne, national working secretary of Human Rights Defenders’ Alert (HRDA), here on Sunday.
He was speaking at a State-level workshop organised with National Dalit Movement for Justice (NDMJ), Social Awareness Society for Youth (SASY) and HRDA. Mr. Tiphagne spoke about the recent incident in Karur where two human rights defenders – Veeramalai and his son Nallathambi, were hacked to death. “They questioned about encroachment of a water body. The government must pay compensation to their family,” he said.
More than 90 human rights defenders from across the State participated in the workshop. A list of demands, including a call for legislation to recognise and protect rights of the human rights defenders, equipping the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) with appropriate infrastructure and withdrawal of false charges against human rights defenders were discussed.
“The government is targeting human rights defenders, terming them ‘urban naxals.’ The activists are put behind bars and their families harassed,” said Kamalchand Kispotta, advocacy officer, NDMJ. I. Pandiyan, Executive Director, SASY, said the recent amendment to the Human Rights Protection Act, 1993, compromised the autonomy of the NHRC. “According to the United Nations’ Declaration, the State must pass legislation to protect human rights defenders,” he said.