Human rights violations have risen dramatically in Jammu and Kashmir since late 1989, the start of the campaign for secession or for the state to join Pakistan. Many thousands of Kashmiris are arbitrarily detained under special laws that lack vital legal safeguards and provide the security forces with sweeping powers to arrest and detain. They are held for months or years without charge or trial. Torture by the security forces is a daily routine and so brutal that hundreds have died in custody as a result. Scores of women claim that they have been raped. Efforts by relatives to use legal avenues to obtain redress have been persistently frustrated: court orders to protect detainees are routinely flouted and the legal machinery in the state has broken down. A judge of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court said in October 1994 that the rule of law in the state had ceased to exist.