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Rise of Africans in India shows country’s openness

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New York: India’s openness reflected in the rise of the Africans, who came to India as slaves to the political and military positions, said UN Syed Akbaruddin yesterday at an inauguration ceremony of an exhibition related to the rise of African slaves to positions of military and political authority at the UN headquarters in New York.

“The rise of Africans, who came to India as slaves to positions of generals and princes is reflective of India’s openness,” said Akbaruddin.

The exhibition was organized by Dr Sylviane, Director of the LapidusCenter for Historical Analysis of Transatlantic Slavery at the Schomburg Center and Dr Kenneth X Robbins, collector and expert in Indian art. The exhibition started from Christened Africans in India: From Slaves to General and will continue till March 30 on display at the UN headquarters.

Habshis and Sidis, the East Africans enslaved in India and their rose in positions to military and political authority tells in the exhibition.

The exhibition shades light on how Indian society open-mindedness reflected the Africans who were an ethnic minority and small religion in the society. It also tells about the slave trade in the Indian Ocean and history of Africa and its diaspora in India.

Akbaruddin said that there are great scope for African in India and also mentioned a Nigerian Ugochi Latoya Igwilo who is one of India’s top model.

The exhibition is beautifully portrayed by pictures and texts.It is a part of the observance of the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, which is held every year on March 25.

“Remember Slavery: Celebrating the Heritage and Culture of the African Diaspora and its Roots” is the theme this year. The exhibition has been held in some Indian cities and UNESCO in Paris. It was also shown at the Third India-Africa Forum Summit in October 2015 in New Delhi.(IANS)

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U.N. Urges Egypt To Halt All Executions Based On Confessions Obtained Against Torture

“There is significant cause for concern that due process and fair trial guarantees may not have been followed in some or all of these cases, and that the very serious allegations concerning the use of torture were not properly investigated,” Colville said.

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Egypt
Family members of those convicted and executed for the killing of public prosecutor Hisham Barakat gather at Zynhom morgue in Cairo, Egypt, Feb. 20, 2019, as they wait for their bodies to be released. VOA

The U.N. Human Rights Office is urging Egypt to halt all executions and to conduct investigations into all allegations that people are subjected to the death penalty based on confessions obtained under torture.

Egypt has executed 15 people in February and the U.N. Human Rights Office notes the month is not yet over. The agency reports nine people were executed this week in a case related to the killing of Egypt’s General Prosecutor, Hisham Barakat.

Regarding six other killings earlier this month, it says three men were convicted of assassinating a police officer and three others in connection with the murder of the son of a judge.

Human rights office spokesman Rupert Colville said in all cases the defendants have told the court they were subjected to torture to make them confess to the crimes of which they were accused.

FILE - A defendant is seen caged in a courtroom in Torah prison, southern Cairo, Egypt, Aug. 22, 2015.
A defendant is seen caged in a courtroom in Torah prison, southern Cairo, Egypt, Aug. 22, 2015. VOA

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In June 2017, the U.N. Committee against Torture completed a four-year confidential inquiry and concluded that torture is “practiced systematically” in Egypt. Colville told VOA the recent allegations of torture, in almost all of these cases, come against this well-established backdrop that torture is endemic in Egypt.

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“If torture was used to make a confession a considerable part of the prosecution’s case, then that should not be admitted in court. That confession produced under torture should not be admissible. And when these allegations have been brought up by the defense lawyers and so on, our belief is they are not being taken seriously enough by the courts,” he said.

Colville said a number of individuals convicted under similar circumstances in Egypt have exhausted all legal proceedings. He says they currently are on death row at imminent risk of execution. (VOA)