Monday, Feb 17, 2003
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By Haroon Habib
The organisation, in a statement, says, "such collective expulsions'' without offering recourse to judicial remedy or appeal to the persons being expelled ``appear to be arbitrary and to deny them their fundamental human rights''. The statement came in the midst of the Indo-Bangladesh talks on the illegal immigration issue in Delhi.
The human rights watchdog has urged both the governments to immediately halt the practice of "push-ins'' and "push-outs''.
Amnesty International calls upon the governments to ensure that human rights of these and other affected people form a central part of the bilateral talks and reminds that safeguards to which they are entitled to should be upheld. These safeguards, according to the statement, include: regardless of their nationality and legal status, to ensure that affected people are not subject to arbitrary arrest and detention (there should be no arrest in the absence of recognisably criminal offences); to refrain from mass expulsion of people from each state's territory; to ensure that a person whose expulsion from a territory is being contemplated is provided at the earliest instance with full information and adequate and competent legal representation, and is able to effectively and individually appeal any decision taken by the state; to ensure that any person whose nationality is in dispute has full access to an independent and accountable body with the competence to establish their legal status; to ensure prompt access to judicial safeguards and redress against any violation of the rights of persons affected by the dispute; to ensure that border guards do not use excessive force and that independent investigations are carried out into any use of excessive force and those responsible for such abuses are brought to justice; to ensure that they are protected from mob attacks; to ensure that detainees have access to enough food, shelter and medical facilities; to ensure sufficient and particular attention is given to the protection and humanitarian assistance needs of women, children, the elderly, and other vulnerable groups.
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