Indian Journalist Prashant Rahi tortured in custody

An Indian Journalist and human rights activist Prashant Rahi, who was arrested on 1 September 2013 on suspicion of having links with a banned organization, stated he was tortured while in police custody. He is in pre-trial detention in NagpurCentral Jail, Maharashtra state, India, awaiting trial.

52-year-old Prashant Rahi, also known as Prashant Sanglikar , told a journalist that he was beaten badly on two occasions while in police custody between 1 September and 19 September. On one occasion he was beaten after refusing to allow police to check his emails.

On 20 September Prashant Rahi was remanded in pre-trial detention in Nagpur Central Jail by Aheri court. His trial is now pending.

Prashant Rahi is being held under India’s principal anti-terror legislation, the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), for allegedly being involved in unlawful activities, and being a member of and supporting a terrorist organization. The police also suspect Prashant Rahi of involvement in criminal conspiracy.

Prashant Rahi had been arrested in 2007 in Uttarakhand on similar charges, and allegedly tortured in detention by police officers. He was released on bail in 2011 after three years in prison. The allegations of torture during that detention have not been investigated.

Prashant Rahi is no longer at immediate risk of torture or other ill-treatment. However, parts of the UAPA, under which he has been arrested, do not meet international human rights standards and could lead to violations of his right to a fair trial. The UAPA allows detention without charge for up to 180 days, which is far beyond international standards. It also contains no provisions for adequate pre-trial safeguards against torture and other ill-treatment.