APPEAL FOR URGENT ACTIONS PROGRAMME
Urgent Appeal Event No. 07/2009, Update on the event, Date: 31/06/09
ISSUES: Human Rights Defender Assaulted for Pursuing a Case in North
BARAK HUMAN RIGHTS PROTECTION COMMITTEE (BHRPC), a human rights organisation working in
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SITUATION: BHRPC has received information from reliable sources that Ms. Hasina Kharbhih, a human rights defender working against human trafficking in North East India was assaulted and threatened on May 28th 2009. BHRPC has been informed that Kharbhih, while on her way to the court for the hearing of a case, was stopped, threatened and manhandled by Ms. Bethswa Dympep, the accused in threatening case. Kharbhih was injured in the incident and had to be taken to the local
hospital for treatment. It is also reported that the perpetrators are receiving clandestine support from the police.
According to the victim and other local human rights defenders, Hasina Kharbhih is a human rights defender leading the Impulse NGO Network <http://www.impulseasia.org/>, a local human rights organisation based in Shillong, Meghalaya.
ACTIONS REQUESTED: Please write to the authorities in
To take all necessary actions to guarantee the physical safety and mental integrity of Kharbih, her colleagues and their family members,
and to conduct a prompt, thorough and impartial investigations into the accusations against Dympep and charge her and her accomplices accordingly.
Or you may forward the following letter adjusting the salutation part to the addresses given bellow:
Subject: Urgent Appeal Regarding Threat to Life to Human Rights Defender in Meghalaya.
I am writing to express my concern about the threat to the life and security of Ms. Hasina Kharbhih, a noted human rights defender working against human trafficking. I am informed that Kharbhih has been contesting a criminal case against Ms. Bethswa Dympep at the
local courts in Shillong and that since the beginning of the case Dympep has been threatening Kharbhih and her colleagues with personal harm and the closure of her office, demanding the withdrawal of the case from the court. However the police have not taken any action
upon the complaint and have allowed Dympep to continue with her threats in private, and in the public eye.
I am informed that on May 28 in particular, Kharbhih was verbally abused and assaulted by Dympep in front of the local court, and has filed a complaint at the Lumbiengri Police Station. The police failed to arrest Dympep on the excuse that they could not locate her, yet I
am informed that after the incident the assailant had convened a press conference at the local press club, a public event which the local police were aware of.
The lack of police action suggests that Dympep is using her influence to prevent the due process of law from taking its own course. In these circumstances, I request that you immediately take swift assertive action to ensure that Kharbhih remains safe throughout this trial and after, and that an investigation is ordered into the entire incident.
I also request that if required, Dympep be taken into custody on the basis of the complaint filed by Kharbhih against her at Lumbiengri Police Station. Human rights defenders carry out a valuable and necessary service, often at the expense of their lives. Any
government should give their safety utmost priority.
Addresses to be sent to:
For pdf version of this URGENT APPEAL click bellow:http://bhrpc.net.googlepages.com/HumanRightsDefenderAssaultedforPursu.pdf