Thursday December 02, 2021

UN HR experts again voice concern over BJP govt’s atrocities

December 11, 2020

GENEVA: Prominent UN human rights experts have reiterated their concern over the Hindu nationalists’ Indian government hate speech, violent attacks and harassment of peaceful Anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protestors and targeting of India’s Muslims, particularly in Northeast Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, earlier this year.

In a second joint letter based on reports and testimonies, sent to India, the experts extensively documented the events of hate speech by several leaders of the BJP ruling party flaring up violent attacks against Muslims and their places of prayers as well as properties in February.

They also highlighted that the Indian government pre-mediated these attacks by mobilizing Hindu nationalists from other states, with supply of arms and ammunitions. The UN experts expressed disquiet at the “lack of accountability” and a ‘persistent climate of impunity” despite flagrant incitement to violence against Muslims through advocacy of hatred expressed by high-profile political figures and members of parliament.

They lamented police complicity in violence by Hindu mobs against Muslim population in Delhi and UP, as well as interference of the Indian government in independence of the judiciary by transferring a presiding judge of a case related to the Delhi pogromme.

The joint letter was sent to India by these UN experts, also known as UN Special Procedures or Rapporteurs, on Oct 9, 2020. It was made public Wednesday after India did not respond within the given deadline of 60 days. The first letter was dispatched to India on Feb. 28, 2020, in which nine human rights experts expressed serious concerns over use of excessive force, intimidation and harassment of anti-CAA protestors, in particular those belonging to Muslim minority. The protests erupted on December 15, 2019, and continued for 55 days.

The new letter comes amid growing evidence about Indian state complicity in the Delhi pogromme and other reported acts of violence and hostility against Muslims in the country under the BJP-led Government.

Earlier this year, the Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have also published detailed reports, sharing evidence of Indian states connivance in targeted violence against Muslims in Delhi.

The signatories of the letter include Ahmed Shaheed, Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion, Elina Steinerte, Vice-Chairman of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; Ms Agnes Callamard, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, Ms. Irena Khan, Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, Clement Nyaletsossi Voule, Special Rapporteur on peaceful assembly and association, Fernand de Varennes, Special Rapporteur on minority issues and Mr Nils Melzer, Special Rapporteur on torture.