Condemnation Statement (dated the 25th July, 2023) by the National Socialist Women’s Organization of Nagalim (NSWON)


Condemnation Statement

25th July, 2023

The National Socialist Women’s Organization of Nagalim (NSWON) is left aghast and terrified of the nightmarish situation in Manipur where there are threats to women’s rights, particularly their livelihoods and dignity. Humanity is under attack in the most ruthless and cruel manner that finds no parallel in the history of Manipur. What can be more horrific for women and girls when they were paraded naked, fondled and tortured in full glare of the people and media? The scene is simply heart wrenching and disturbing. This is a crime against humanity.

The tragic irony is when the height of gender-based violence takes the form of repulsive criminality and where humanity is in danger, no society or organization can sit silent, transcending socio-political and lingual boundaries. NSWON is lost for words to condemn such act of savagery and depravity meted out against women and girls in Manipur’s ethnic conflict between the Meitei and Kuki-Zo communities.

Besides the B Phainom village incident that has shocked the collective conscience of everyone who value women’s rights (human rights) we have come across other despicable incidents that are equally gruesome in every respect except that they are not paraded naked like the three B Phainom village women and made to go viral in social media platforms.

Ms. Lucy Marem of Narum village, Pallel, Chandel district, was mercilessly killed on the 15th July, 2023, at Sawombung (Ukhrul Road), Imphal East district, by the Arambai Tenggol after being handed over to them by Meira Paibis.

The most painful thing that can happen to a woman as human being is the B Phainom village incident when a woman’s son and husband were beaten to death and her daughter gang-raped by the predators.

Two Kuki-Zo nursing students were lynched by mob and left to die in the street. But they survived miraculously.

A Kuki woman was kidnapped from Checkon, Imphal and raped twice in Langol and Ngariyan hills had narrow escape from getting murdered.

A Kuki mother and her two daughters were mercilessly killed in their Uripok residence, Imphal.

Two young girls, Florence Hangsing and Olivia Chongloi from H. Khopibung working in Gamma Automatic Car Wash, Konung Mamang, Imphal, were raped and brutally killed on the 4th May, 2023.

A woman Meena Hangshing (Meitei married to Kuki) and her 7 year old son along with another Meitei woman relative were on the way to Imphal travelling in Ambulance for the treatment of the son who was injured by bullets fired by the Meitei mob. In the midway they were waylaid and burned down the ambulance with three of them locked inside.

All these brutal incidents sent shivers down the spine.

Let it be known that attack on healthcare in armed conflict violates central tenets of human rights and international humanitarian law. According to Geneva Convention, knowingly firing at medics is a war crime. Article 12 of the First Geneva Convention provides the general principle of the inviolability of the wounded and sick who are to be respected and protected in all circumstances.

Horrific crime against women is unacceptable in today’s world of democracy. A woman’s right to live free from sexual violence is upheld by international agreements such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against women, 1979 and the 1993 UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against women.

Women rights are basic human rights for women and girls. Women rights are very important for everyone all over the world. It does not just benefit her but every member of society. When women get equal rights and respect, the world can progress with peace and the world we live is made to look beautiful because of women. Therefore, the place of women in society is a critical factor in judging the success of any civilization. On the contrary it is difficult to imagine when rape is used as weapon of war or tactic of terrorism against women as witnessed today in Manipur’s ethnic violence.

Our hearts cry out in anguish when our sisters are treated in the most contemptuous manner. We cannot imagine that this ethnic conflict would go down to such level to outrage the dignity and modesty of women and also killed them after gang raped, as if they are not human being. This is not what is expected in today’s world of civilization. Respect for women’s rights is one way of identifying ourselves in this new millennium.

In this world of 21st Century, UN Human Rights says, “Women are entitled to the equal enjoyment and protection of all human rights and fundamental freedom in the political, economic, social and cultural or any other field”. Where there is no respect for women’s rights and dignity, our claim to be civilized people is a hollow one.

In these hours of tears and anguish we stand in absolute solidarity with the victims of this ethnic conflict and convey our sympathies to all the victims. We condemn such sexual violence and killing of women/girls/child in the strongest terms. Let the world know that rapists and murderers of women and girls are not fit to live in today’s society.

All said and done, NSWON understands that:

  • Crime against humanity is wantonly committed in Manipur and anyone who value human rights must condemn in strongest terms.
  • Slogans against rape must come loud and clear so that every ear gets to know the pain of the victims.
  • There is the urgency to respect the bodies, emotions, and cries of women and girls and treat them in a way that shows you care about their thoughts and feelings.
  • Parties to the armed conflict should ensure humane treatment of women and girls. Women and girls must be especially protected against rape and any other form of indecent assault and degrading treatment.

Hosheli Achumi

Chairperson, NSWON