Manipur: Activism & Resilience in an Unreported Conflict Zone
In 2019, Front Line Defenders traveled to Manipur, one of the states in the northeast region of India. The state is under the jurisdiction of the Armed Forces (Assam and Manipur) Special Powers Act of 1958, which effectively enables the Indian Army to maintain an ongoing presence in all areas of the state and to place all civilians under an effective rule by martial law. Under this Act, thousands of Manipuri civilians have been detained, jailed, tortured and extra judiciously killed by the armed forces and associated paramilitary forces. Soldiers serving in Manipur come from Indian states far from the North East, and effectively are outsiders to the ethnic and social fabric of the state. Soldiers are deployed and patrol in residential areas, and often conduct night raids. While armed groups have fought the Indian state since the 1950s, the abuses by the Indian Army and local police against the civilian population are well documented and are under investigation by the Supreme Court of India.
Documenting the work of HRDs in Manipur, Beldan Sezen developed this booklet in collaboration with Front Line Defenders to bring more attention to the reality for HRDs in a place that is difficult to access.