WORLD: Dispossession caused by ultra-violent methods of civil rights suppression

In many countries in Asia, it has become common for the state to use ultra-violent methods to control or deny the civil rights of people. Several countries used enforced disappearance as such method of ultra-violently suppressing civil rights. Extrajudicial killings are justified under various pretexts, such as control of the drug trade; or achieving constitutional or political change, altering the status of people living in a particular territory.

There is also the use of administrative or preventive detention on a large scale, virtually making life in a particular territory into a form of imprisonment; arbitrary deprivation of children’s liberties through various means, including imprisonment, confinement in institutions or refugee camps, et al; and deprivation of the ordinary means of communicating with loved ones and the outside world. This is accomplished by imposing unreasonable limits on the use of modern communication technology. Note that ALL are very serious forms of violations against the civil and political rights of people.

The deprivation of rights is used as an instrument of dispossession of the people –isolating them from each other, including their leaders. It also isolates people from the rest of humanity. While the isolation goes on, the ability to lead a normal life comes into serious crisis, and cultivation and other modes of production can come to a virtual standstill. People are dispossessed of the means of their livelihood. They are forced into a position of powerlessness in defending their lands, their homes and even the liberty of their loved ones. These, too, are all grave forms of dispossession as well as displacement.

The change of the political landscape of a country or a territory can easily take place through the use of ultra-violent methods to suppress civil liberties. When large-scale extrajudicial killings take place, the issue is not only the problem of the killings of the individuals concerned (which is one of the most grievous forms of violations of rights); concurrently, a society’s system of administration of justice on the basis of just laws and fair procedures is put in a serious predicament.

People who see that their rights are violated experience suffering. They suffer through dispossession, displacement and the deprivation of the possibility of seeking redress against violations of their rights before a court of law. It is not possible to carry out grievous violations of civil rights without suspending the practical application of the normal laws of a country, and countries were not applied much in the first place are particularly vulnerable. It can directly or indirectly impose a situation of impunity for such ultra-violent activities and actors engaged in such activities. Such impunity, granted to state agents based in all parts of the country or territory, creates a fundamentally lawless state of affairs. This means that people can be subjected to various forms of direct or indirect punishments without having any recourse to justice.

In essence, access to justice is virtually suspended.

A nation or a territory where justice is suspended is a place where dispossession and displacement becomes the norm. Powerlessness, understood in that sense, or the ability of the state or any powerful section to cause such violence, leads to threats against people’s possessions. As a result, the poor become poorer. This forces lower income groups to sell whatever little they can part with. Various forms of exploitation also become part of the new economy in such virtually lawless situations, e.g. through arrests of random persons to obtain bribes from family members to secure their release. This situation leads to every form of deprivation of rights.

If this happens, it is hard to predict what is to follow. More and more people now face this situation.