Concern No. 15: Freedom for political prisoners and prisoners of war
During the past decades, thousands upon thousands of people are being arrested in many parts of the world. Countless people are being brutally tortured, killed by security forces [extrajudicial killings/fake-encounters] in countries like the Indian sub-continent, the Philippines and Turkey.
There is a large number of cases of enforced disappearances when people were abducted from anywhere either in the dark of night or broad daylight, without being produced in court.
Those who were taken prisoners have been subjected to torture by the police, para-military and military forces of the most sadistic nature. Women have become the particular victims of rape, molestation and humiliation of various types. Many people have been mentally deranged because of this torture in the lock ups or military camps. Many died in the lock ups and there are numerous cases of suicide. Political prisoners after they were brought to jail had again been subjected to all forms of humiliation and torture. Thousands of political prisoners have been incarcerated in the jails of the Philippines, India, Turkey, Iraq, Canada, the U.S. and other regions. Many of them have been subjected to long-term imprisonment for years and decades in conditions that beggar description.
These People have been picked up and been subjected to state terror because these people have stood up boldly against imperialist onslaughts, against evictions from their land and habitat, against the policies of their respective states to sell out the natural resources of their countries to the foreign MNCs and also to curb inalienable rights of small nationalities for national self-determination. Thousands have been arrested for their uncompromising struggle for national liberation and the creation of a new society based on human values, such as the Maoists in India and other countries.
The people belonging to the Muslim community, particularly after 9/11 and in the wake of the Bush’s “war on terror” have been especially targeted for their beliefs and branded as “terrorists.” The Indigenous people of Canada and other areas have been arrested for opposing the western development model and extradited from Canada on trumped up charges.
There are also people belonging to various democratic, political, human rights, women, peasants, teachers, artists, cultural and minority organizations, whom the governments in different countries regard as dissident voices.
All these people have been arrested, detained, made to disappear or butchered for partaking in struggles of political, social and economic significance in whatever form and were guided not by selfish interests but by definite political views and ideologies, catering to the common good, irrespective of the charges that the states of different countries have put on them.
In the prisons, the political prisoners are being denied the statues of political prisoners and prisoners of war and are being treated as common criminals as the charges of having committed criminal activities levelled against them would confirm. They are compelled to live in conditions that turn human beings into animals. The jails are nothing but prison houses which, by degrees, bring about mental and physical deterioration and leads to a situation where all democratic and human rights are being trampled underfoot by the government. Political prisoners are being secluded and kept in solitary confinement so that they are unable to mix with other prisoners.
Even in the face of such heavy odds and loss of lives, the political prisoners did continuously stand up resolutely in Turkey, India, Philippines and other countries by engaging in prison struggles especially the hunger strike to demand their rights and the improvement of prison conditions. For example, to end solitary confinement and access to other political prisoners.
Relatives of victims of enforced disappearances, extra judicial killings and of political prisoners also joined the struggle of their loved ones. They are now part of the struggle for a just society.
In view of all these, the ILPS at its third international assembly resolves that:
To fight and to put an end illegal arrest and detention, extra-judicial killings, enforced disappearances and political persecution;
Fight for the immediate and unconditional release of all Political Prisoners, irrespective of their views and the methods of struggle;
Call for surfacing/producing the victims of enforced disappearances and allow human rights bodies or bodies of concerned citizens to visit police stations, detention centres, military camps and interrogation centres.
To fight against the criminalization of political acts and to demand that political prisoners be given Political Prisoners status.
There should be an end to solitary confinement and physical and mental torture of political prisoners and prisoners of war.
To fight for the rights and welfares of the political prisoners and for humane prison conditions.
To fight to end the banning of political organizations and other democratic organizations of various types and to put an end to their terrorist listing.
To oppose the automatic and indefinite detention of people seeking political asylum such as in Australia.
To demand compensation for the victims of human rights violations and exemplary punishment to the perpetrators.
To continue international campaigns to attain our said calls such as continuing to observe the International Day in Solidarity of Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War on December 3 and the International Day of the Disappeared on August 30.