Strangers to Justice: A report on foreigners in Indian prisons
This report documents and examines the challenges faced by foreign national prisoners (FNPs) in India. While prisoners, in general, are vulnerable due to asymmetrical power dynamics and the closed nature of places of detention, this report is an effort to understand the special vulnerability of foreign nationals stemming from their non-Indian nationality or statelessness. The analysis is anchored by the data collected from 22 states and four Union Territories through Right to Information requests filed by CHRI to heads of all 36 state prison departments across the country.
The primary focus of this study is to highlight issues faced by foreign nationals detained in prisons in India. It addresses problems related to the arrest, imprisonment, consular access, deportation and repatriation of FNPs, and seeks to bring to the fore the ways in which the existing system is inadequate in dealing with FNPs’ issues. The report emphasises upon the urgent need to review and revise the existing guidelines that govern the detention and deportation of foreign nationals in India. It also highlights how the existing system is nothing but ‘a chaotic network of systems that intricately intertwines immigration law and criminal law making it complicated’.