Wikileaks: Cables show India accused of widespread, systematic torture in Kashmir


A new set of diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks tonight is parsed by The Guardian, and includes revelations that:

US diplomats in Delhi were briefed in 2005 by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) about the use of electrocution, beatings and sexual humiliation against hundreds of detainees. Other cables show that as recently as 2007 American diplomats were concerned about widespread human rights abuses by Indian security forces, who they said relied on torture for confessions.

Other cables released tonight reveal that:

• The Dalai Lama has told US officials that combating climate change is more urgent than finding a political solution in Tibet, which "can wait five to 10 years".

• Rahul Gandhi, the crown prince of Indian politics, believes Hindu extremists pose a greater threat to his country than Muslim militants, according to the American ambassador to India.

• Five doctors were coerced by the Sri Lankan government to recant on casualty figures they gave to journalists in the last months of island's brutal civil war.

WikiLeaks cables: India accused of systematic use of torture in Kashmir


  1. I was going to say that undermining the Dalai Lama is bad, but if he really thinks Tibet can wait another 5-10 years then he probably should have a frank discussion with his followers.

      1. Tibetans, like the peoples of the Arctic, LIVE with the direct obvious and visible signs of climate change, and feel its effects in their daily lives, simply due to where they live.

        Canaries in coalmines, is the metaphor for which you seek.

      2. You don’t have to be a climatologist to realize that a change in climate will alter the ways of life of anyone who depends upon their natural surroundings for survival. You also don’t need to be a climatologist to understand that rising sea level will disappear entire nations on atolls, and gigantic swaths of nations like Vietnam.

        You don’t even have to be a climatologist to know that rapid change is occurring, when the global average temperature is doing this:

        It is stunning how cavalierly many Americans take climate change as a “personal freedom” issue, when that personal freedom is going to literally kill millions and change the lives of billions.

  2. Read “Maximum City” by Mehta. It’s about Bombay/Mumbai and covers policing procedures, which include many of these same techniques. To limit this discussion to Kashmir is unfortunate and smacks of politics. Actually, what we quickly call torture (not to be an apologist) is SOP for much of the third world. It’s so prevalent that the mere threat of wires attached to a car battery is often enough to solicit information. Shame, but true. That said, as long as India is seen as the “occupier” of Indian Kashmir, and not a legitimate partner for the indigenous residents, there will be violence.

  3. “Accused” by itself isn’t news, it’s rumor. If there’s evidence, that’s a different kettle of worms.

  4. A friend expressed concern to me that WikiLeaks are focused exclusively on U.S. regime change. I’d like to find an index of cables WikiLeaks have published that expose wrongdoing and unflattering behavior of governments other than that of the United States.

  5. Not surprising a revelation at all. At least not for Indians. “Third degree” is a common and recognized form of police interrogation in India. I’d be glad if this is actually taken up by Indian human rights organizations and blown into a big issue. It’s high time for a legal prohibition of torture in interrogations.

  6. While I fully support India in fighting off Pakistan-stirred militancy and violence in Kashmir (Pakistan infiltrated around 20K terrorists into J&K since 1988. See Hillary: Pakistan used terror outfits against India and The US had asked Pakistan in 2002 to end infiltration across the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir..), I would not condone torture. While some rough and tough interrogation is needed in dealing with militants, especially in the somewhat chaotic law and order climates that exist in poor and developing countries, crossing over into torture is not OK.

    However, as technogeek points out, accusations are not facts unless and until there is evidence.

  7. Finally the Dalai Lama scandal!!! And if you think this is bad, just wait until you hear what he has to say about the object of negation of an ultimacy seeking consciousness according to the Sautrantika school.

  8. Rahul Gandhi is proving to be a dim-witted dynastic tool. he’s not gonna become PM of India in free and fair elections.

  9. Assange was finally released from jail after, a few days ago, they “released him on bail.” He’s not nearly through in court though. The U.S. is looking to file a suit against him under the Espionage Act. Obama calls it “deplorable.” Biden thinks that no “substantive” damage has been done. Some say the U.S. is to blame. One story citing people backing Wikileaks and Assange is from New cables are available too.

    The world is opening. First, open source opened computer programming. Open innovation, open design, open courseware, etc followed. Now, Assange is helping governments to open up.

    This blog is one that I shared a link to in the bledit I just created. I really like this one. Here it is:

  10. Hindu nationalists want to keep Kashmir with any means necessary. They are worried that if Kashmir gets independence which it eventually will, rest of Indian separatist states(too many to count) will want independence too. India is the biggest sham in the world. Everything contrasts right in front of your eyes. Rich and poor divide is biggest in that country. The only way out is to drop the hypocrisy and give Kashmir independence.

  11. The Dalai Lama is freaking awesome.

    About 3 million people in Tibet suffering from political oppression versus lets say 5 billion (including Tibetans) who will suffer from climate change. For a reincarnation of the Buddha it is probably not difficult to pick the choice that produces less suffering.

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