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Thousands died while in India police custody: rights group

[JURIST] India's National Human Rights Commission [official website] should create a special department to investigate deaths in police custody, the Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) [advocacy website] said in a Wednesday report [PDF text; press release]. The report found that over 7,000 people, many of whom were allegedly tortured, have died in the custody of Indian police between 2002 and 2007. ACHR called on India to enact legislation to criminalize torture, to repeal all laws granting immunity to torturers, and to ratify the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment [text] and permit visits to the country by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture. BBC News has more.

India came under criticism from South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR) [advocacy website] in October 2006 when the group pressed both India and Pakistan to abolish the death penalty [JURIST report]. In December 2006, an Indian police officer was sentenced to death [BBC report] for killing a man while in police custody.

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