New Delhi, March 20 (KMS): The Amnesty International India has asked the probable prime ministerial candidates for 2014 to reveal their stand on crucial human rights issues facing the people.In a statement, Shashikumar Velath, Programmes Director at Amnesty International India, said, “political parties have sworn to uphold constitutional values of justice, liberty, equality and dignity. But their leaders’ actions must reflect this pledge. It is essential for everyone to know where Prime Ministerial candidates stand on important human rights questions.”

“India’s next Prime Minister must show evidence of commitment to human rights. Amnesty International India is asking the declared and probable Prime Ministerial candidates of various political parties to clarify their positions on key human rights issues ahead of parliamentary elections in April and May,” Velath said.

“Amnesty International India’s ‘14 for 2014 campaign’ asks candidates to state their positions on issues including police reforms, marital rape, undertrial detention, impunity for armed forces, land acquisition, …, and freedom of expression. The candidates approached include Rahul Gandhi, Narendra Modi, J Jayalalithaa, Mayawati, Mamata Banerjee, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Naveen Patnaik, Nitish Kumar and Arvind Kejriwal,” he said.

“Human rights are unfortunately often seen as fringe issues during elections. But these crucial issues should be at the centre of debates and decisions around the elections. The next five years will show whether India is willing to be seen as a true global power by upholding human rights at home and abroad…,” he said.

“Amnesty International India’s “14 for 2014” human rights charter calls on political parties to incorporate 14 key human rights issues in their election manifestos. He said the charter includes issues of business and human rights, reforms to the criminal justice system, violence against women, the death penalty, migrant workers’ rights, human rights through education, and a principled approach to human rights abuses abroad.

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