WikiLeaks: India "Condones Torture" in Kashmir

Indian policemen detain a demonstrating Kashmiri Shiite Muslim as he and other protesters defy a curfew for a Muharram procession in Srinagar, the summer capital of Kashmir, Dec. 15, 2010. AFP/Getty Images

Indian policemen detain a demonstrating Kashmiri Shiite Muslim as he and other protesters defy a curfew for a Muharram procession in Srinagar, the summer capital of Kashmir, Dec. 15, 2010.
AFP/Getty Images

Five years ago, the International Committee of the Red Cross told U.S. diplomats in New Delhi that the Indian government "condones torture" and systematically abused detainees in the disputed region of Kashmir.

Special Report: WikiLeaks
CableGate Live Updates

The Red Cross told the officials that hundreds of detainees were subjected to beatings, electrocutions and acts of sexual humiliation, the Guardian newspaper of London reported Thursday evening.

The disclosure comes from the trove of secret State Department cables released to a number of news outlets by the document-dumping website WikiLeaks.

In the '90s and early part of the 21st century, an insurgency of separatist and Islamic militants that received some support from Pakistan fought against Indian police and security forces.

The Red Cross made the shocking allegations after privately interviewing 1,296 detainees in detention centers in the Jammu and Kashmir regions and other sites in India between 2002 and 2004, the Guardian reported. With non-private interviews included, the organization met a total of 1,491 detainees during the two-year period, the Guardian reported.

From the interviews, 852 detainees said they were abused, including 681 who said they were tortured and 171 who said they were beaten, the Guardian reported.

Of those who said they were tortured:

  • 381 said they were suspended from the ceiling
  • 302 said "sexual" acts were done to them
  • 294 said prison personnel sat on a bar across their thighs, crushing the muscles in their legs
  • 234 said they were tortured with water
  • 181 said their legs were "split 180 degrees"

"Numbers add up to more than 681, as many detainees were subjected to more than one form of IT [ill-treatment]," a cable said. "The abuse always takes place in the presence of officers and ... detainees were rarely militants (they are routinely killed), but persons connected to or believed to have information about the insurgency".

More on WikiLeaks

Assange Defended by Pentagon Papers' Ellsberg
Op-Ed: Why Julian Assange Is No Daniel Ellsberg
Free Man: WikiLeaks' Assange Released on Bail
Just Where Is Julian Assange's "Mansion Arrest"?
WikiLeaks Hacker Backers Describe Tactics
U.S. Trying to Build WikiLeaks Conspiracy Case
WikiLeaks: Castro's Death Won't Change Cuba Much
WikiLeaks: BP Suffered Well Blowout Before Gulf

  • Alex Sundby

    Alex Sundby is an associate news editor for CBSNews.com

Comments

CBSN Live

pop-out
Live Video

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.