Amnesty Joins Calls For Justice For Jisha

Human rights organization Amnesty International has joined calls for justice for Jishamol, the Dalit woman who was raped and murdered in Perumbavoor, Kerala. Over 25,000 people have signed into the Amnesty campaign calling for an independent investigation.

The new government in Kerala must ensure justice for Jishamol and her family, said Rekha Raj, Programme Manager- Women’s Rights, at Amnesty International India at a press meet. It has been over a month since the horrific incident reminded Rekha. Amnesty representatives will meet the Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan later today to demand speedy justice amid allegations of lapses and inaction on part of the police.

Amnesty International India’s campaign, launched on 14 May, reached out to thousands of people through online and mobile petitions appealing to the incoming Home Minister of Kerala to ensure that the police are held accountable for any inaction.

Jishamol, a 30 year old law student was found dead in her home on 28 April. An autopsy found 38 wounds on her body and signs of rape and torture.

Here is the press statement released by Amnesty International India:

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL INDIA
PRESS RELEASE
1 June 2016
Trivandrum

25,000 voices demand justice for Jisha, Amnesty to submit petition to CM today

Over 25,000 people have supported an Amnesty International India campaign calling for an independent investigation into police inaction related to the rape and brutal murder of Jishamol, a Dalit woman in Perumbavoor, Kerala.

“Kerala’s new government must ensure justice for the victim and her family by addressing allegations of police inaction. It has been over a month since Jishamol was murdered, and her family says that they still do not have a copy of the First Information Report”, said Rekha Raj, Programme Manager- Women’s Rights, at Amnesty International India.

Jishamol, a 30-year- old law student, was found dead in her home by her mother in Vattalipodi,

Kerala on 28 April. An autopsy found 38 wounds on her body and signs of rape; her intestines had been partially removed. Jishamol’s sister told Amnesty International India that previous complaints her mother had made to the local and district-level police had been ignored.

Amnesty International India’s campaign, launched on 14 May, reached out to thousands of people through online and mobile petitions appealing to the incoming Home Minister of Kerala to ensure that the police are held accountable for any inaction.

“Over the past two weeks, thousands of Amnesty International India members and supporters have swiftly come together to voice their concerns about the way in which the police responded to the case. We want their voices to reach the Chief Minister, and we will be meeting him today to hand over our petition,” said Rekha Raj.

Amnesty International India has accessed a copy of a complaint submitted to the police by Jishamol’s mother in May 2014 which alleges caste-based discrimination and harassment from their neighbours. A team from the National Commission for Women which looked into the case raised this issue with Kerala authorities on 17 May. On taking office on 25 May, the new Chief Minister appointed a new police team to conduct the investigation.

Activist Sathy Angamali, who went to the scene of the crime soon after it occurred, said, “There were serious lapses in the initial phases of the investigation- right from the examination of the crime scene to the inquest and the post mortem. It took the police five days to seal the area.”

“When we met the local police earlier this month, they denied any inaction on their part. We have been unable to meet district-level officials, despite repeated attempts to get in touch”, Rekha Raj said.

Discrimination against members of Dalit communities, especially Dalit women, often prevents them from reporting crimes. Even when crimes are reported, conviction rates are low.

Amnesty International India’s Ready to Report campaign works to ensure that women who choose to report sexual violence to the police can do so safely without facing prejudice or discrimination.

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