Excerpts from Amnesty International Annual Report for the year 2001
Despite the government's stated commitment to human rights protection, human rights violations including torture and deaths in custody increased during 2000. Minorities were not given adequate protection when religiously motivated violence flared up. Violence against women and children continued at a high level. Political activities remained restricted following a ban on public activities in March. Activists contravening the ban were detained and some were charged with sedition. Several people detained at the time of the coup remained in unlawful detention. The death penalty was frequently imposed, but was banned for juveniles.
Lack of protection for religious minorities
In April, the Chief Executive announced procedural changes to the blasphemy law, which carries a mandatory death penalty, to prevent its misuse. One month later, following protests by Islamists, the amendment was withdrawn. At least 60 people were charged with religious offences. About half of these were detained as prisoners of conscience.
COPYRIGHT NOTICE: This report is an extract from the Amnesty International Report ISBN: 0 86210 299 5 AI index: POL 10/001/2001 and is © Copyright Amnesty International Publications 2001. You may not alter this information, repost or sell it without the permission of Amnesty International. The complete edition of the Report, covering more than 140 countries and territories,is published in several languages. If there is an AI section in your country, please order your publications through them Otherwise you may order a copy here.
Published with permission from Angelika Pathak, Researcher, South Asia team, Amnesty Int'l.