Friday, May 24, 2024

Setback for BJP as foreign parliamentarians demand action on human rights violations in India

Parliamentarians from several countries have come together to express their profound concern over escalating human rights violations in India.

This came following BJP’s invitation to 25 (as most of them are yet unnamed) foreign political parties to observe the polls in India as general election has kicked in to boost the party’s credibility internationally and at home.

As a setback, a statement, endorsed by members of parliament from New Zealand, Australia, and the United Kingdom, has been issued highlighting the alarming issues surrounding the Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019 (CAA), which has been criticized as highly discriminatory by the United Nations.

Despite BJP’s invitation to the British opposition party, MPs from the Labour Party including Jeremy Corbyn, Nadia Whittome, and Apsana Begum have endorsed the statement. Another independent British MP Claudia Webbe has also endorsed the statement.

Other MPs who supported the statement included Australian MPs David Shoebridge, Andrew Wilkie, New Zealand MPs Teanau Tuiono, and Lawrence Xu-Nan.

The statement drew attention of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on minority issues, describing the potential of CAA that it may lead to “the biggest exercise in statelessness since the Second World War.”

“The Early Warning Project’s 2023 report ranks India as the eighth most at-risk country for mass atrocities against religious minorities,” the statement cautioned.

The parliamentarians are particularly disturbed by reports of increased hate speech, the marginalization of minorities through restrictive laws, and extrajudicial actions including the destruction of religious sites and misuse of anti-terrorism legislation against human rights advocates.

The unjust incarcerations of notable figures, such as Sanjiv Bhatt, Umar Khalid, and Gulfisha Fatima, who face imprisonment without fair trial rights, are highlighted by the MPs.

Citing international watchdogs like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, the statement underscores the regression of civil liberties, crackdown on farmer protests, erosion of press freedoms, and the overall decline in democratic practices in India.

The MPs urge that urgent corrective actions are taken, and they recommend foreign governments integrate human rights considerations into trade deals with India to prevent economic interactions from supporting or condoning discrimination.

The statement also called for the United Nations to enact a resolution to immediately halt attacks on minorities in India and to implement systems for ongoing human rights monitoring and reporting.

The signatories encouraged their international colleagues to reconsider their engagements with India, ensuring that respect for human rights is paramount.

P P Jaseem
P P Jaseem
PP Jaseem is a freelance journalist covering law, human rights, and Indian minorities.

Don't Miss

Related Articles