By Muslim Mirror
New Delhi : ‘Marginalised communities, religious minorities, particularly Muslims, a vocal and vibrant civil society and critics of government policies have been under increasing pressure for a long time. said Marie Arena, the Chair of the European Parliament’s human rights panel in a statement on Monday .
Arena has also reminded India that as a sitting member of the UN Human Rights Council, the country had pledged to “continue to foster the genuine participation and effective involvement of civil society in the promotion and protection of human rights”.
"Very worryingly, Amnesty International India has been forced to announce that it is halting its work in India due to government reprisals."
— Amnesty EU (@AmnestyEU) October 5, 2020
“Therefore, I call on the Indian government to meet this pledge, in a manner worthy of the global role model it aspires to be. It is high time for India to translate words into action. In this context, I also wish to call on the EU to address these concerns within the EU-India Human Rights Dialogue.”
Pointing out that the rule of law is the very cornerstone of the EU’s relationship with India, Arena referred to the Amnesty International India report on human rights violations committed by Delhi police during the riots in the capital in February. She supported the call for a “prompt, thorough, independent and impartial investigation” into all such violations committed by law-enforcement agencies.
“Marginalised communities, religious minorities, particularly Muslims, a vocal and vibrant civil society and critics of government policies have been under increasing pressure for a long time. Widespread protests over the proposed citizenship verification process and the discriminatory citizenship law amendments have resulted in arbitrary detentions and an unnecessary loss of life. Journalists and other peaceful critics continue to be arrested under draconian counter-terrorism and sedition laws, while human rights defenders are unceasingly and severely targeted by the authorities,” Arena noted.
She also expressed concern over Amnesty International India being forced to halt its work in the country “due to government reprisals”.
The European Union has already raised the Amnesty International India closure with the external affairs ministry through its mission in New Delhi.