UN Human Rights High Commissioner’s office admonishes India for arresting a French national and tried to extradite to Chile

UNHRC raps India on the ordeal of Ms. Verhoeven in an Indian prison

UNHRC raps India on the ordeal of Ms. Verhoeven in an Indian prison
UNHRC raps India on the ordeal of Ms. Verhoeven in an Indian prison

Who in the MEA acted illegally to hold a French national in prison? Dr. Swamy intervened and got her released with MEA Sushma Swaraj’s help

The United Nation’s Human Rights High Commissioner’s office (UNHRC) admonished India for illegally arresting a French national twice and trying to extradite her to Chile. In a six-page order uploaded on Saturday, the UN Human Rights body observed that India totally violated the “Mandela Rules” by arresting a French national Marie Emmanuelle Verhoeven who visited on a valid visa in February 2015 and illegally detained her in Tihar prison for 17 months, even after Delhi High Court ordered to release her.

French national Verhoeven was a UN staffer in Chile from 1985 to 1995 and was a suspect in a political killing that happened during the end days of the military dictatorship of the Pinochet regime. She was visiting India’s Buddhist places from 2011 on a travel visa from her home country France. In February 2015, the 55-year-old French national was arrested from the India-Nepal border and placed in Tihar jail as per a Red Corner Notice issued by Chile.

In the early days, she was not allowed to communicate with the French Embassy in India, and later senior lawyer Ramni Taneja took up her case. Delhi High Court ordered her release in September 2015. But within hours Ministry of External Affairs officials visited the jail and she was re-arrested showing some direction (issued by Chilean Embassy in India). The case went up to Supreme Court and then External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and PMO intervened and she was discharged from all cases and allowed to go back to her home country France in July 2017. BJP leader Subramanian Swamy took up the case with PMO and Sushma Swaraj about this gross violation of human rights.

It is still a mystery as to how certain top officials of India’s External Affairs Ministry acted illegally and violated all norms under the influence of Chile and tried to extradite a French national visiting India. PGurus reported this mysterious case where Indian agencies illegally acted on the pressure of Chile.[1]

The six-page order of the UNHCR body narrates the ordeal of the Verhoeven in Indian prison and she was even assaulted in jail and denied communication with her family. “Without prejudging the accuracy of these allegations, we express that the detention of Ms. Verhoeven for 17 months, if confirmed, may have been arbitrary, in violation of Article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which protect the right to liberty and security of persons and prohibit arbitrary detentions.

“We also express concern at the allegations of poor condition detention which Ms. Verhoeven was subjected to, denial of requested medical attention, denial of consular rights and abusive restrictions of family contact, which further contravene several important rights to medical care, to consular assistance and contact with family as codified in the Standards of Minimum Rules for the Treatment of prisoners, revised in 2015 as the “Mandela Rules,” said the UN Human Rights body.

Verhoeven now filed a civil suit in Delhi High Court in July 2018, seeking compensation for her 17-month illegal detention in India. The next hearing is scheduled for March 21, 2022.


[1] Sushma Swaraj ensures justice to the hapless French woman from illegal extradition to ChileJul 27, 2017, PGurus.com

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