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PM's daughter fights for Iraqis

Manmohan Singh's daughter is fighting against human rights violations by US troops.

india Updated: Feb 22, 2006 14:34 IST

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh may be moving closer to President George W. Bush, but his daughter is flaying the latter for human rights violations by US security forces.

The Wall Street Journal in an article in Tuesday's issue notes how a "prominent Bush critic", the Indian prime minister's daughter Amrit Singh, is at the heels of the administration, blaming it for alleged systemic abuse of prisoners in Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay, while her father is strengthening ties with it.

Amrit Singh has been responsible for procuring classified documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) as she is a staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union, an organisation that conservatives mistakenly consider left of the most left believers in this country.

"These documents confirm that the torture of detainees and its subsequent cover-up was part of a larger clandestine operation, in all likelihood, authorised by senior government officials," she charged in an ACLU news release.

"But among the ironies of the post-Sep 11 world is the fact that this particular critic of the Bush administration is also the relative of one of its newest friends," notes the WSJ.

The 36-year-old, youngest daughter of the Indian prime minister is married to an American but has kept a seriously low profile where hardly any Indian American paper has written about her or her relationship to Prime Minister Singh.

"I tease her father that he has a diversified portfolio," professor Jagdish Bhagwati of Columbia University told the Journal. "He gets along with President Bush, while his daughter criticises him!"

A Yale law school graduate, Amrit Singh is also involved in cases against the administration currently in the US courts against Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and others.

Last September, she along with other litigants, won a US District Court of New York ruling allowing the release of photographs from Abu Ghraib prison, following the now infamous case of torture of Iraqi prisoners by US Army officers, a decision currently being appealed.

The ACLU has reportedly declined to give any interviews regarding Amrit Singh to the press.

Singh has written extensively about the alleged torture of prisoners, one such being the article "Secrets and Lies: Uncovering the Truth About Torture".

In a Los Angeles Times article of Jan 28, 2006, Singh spoke out against alleged tactics used by the American forces in Iraq where they held the wives of insurgents to get hold of them. "This is not an acceptable tactic," Singh maintained.

First Published: Feb 22, 2006 14:32 IST