Modi Government misusing Laws to create repressive environment: Global report

  •  
  •  
  •  
By Muslim Mirror Staff

September 24: CIVICUS , a global alliance of civil society organisations dedicated to strengthening citizen action and civil society around the world has highlighted the ongoing misuse of restrictive laws by the Indian government to keep activists behind bars, at a time when the country is going through the worst phase of the pandemic .The CIVICUS report, “Punished for speaking up: The ongoing use of restrictive laws to silence dissent in India,” shows an increasingly repressive environment for civic freedoms, such as the freedoms of expression, association and assembly.

The report highlights the arrest, detention and prosecution of activists, the targeting of journalists and the unprecedented and brutal crackdown on protests against the discriminatory Citizenship (Amendment) Act and increasing violations in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir.

“The Indian government must stop using restrictive national security and counter-terrorism laws against human rights defenders and critics. The authorities must also drop the baseless and politically-motivated criminal charges against activists and release them immediately and unconditionally,” said Josef Benedict, CIVICUS Asia-Pacific Civic Space Researcher.

“The laws are incompatible with India’s international human rights obligations as well as India’s Constitution. Not only are the laws themselves inherently flawed, but their implementation makes it clear that they have become tools for judicial harassment, rather than for preventing or addressing criminality.”

Highlighting the Humans rights violations made by such laws, Josef Benedict, CIVICUS Asia-Pacific Civic Space Researcher said, “The Indian government must stop using restrictive national security and counter-terrorism laws against human rights defenders and critics. The authorities must also drop the baseless and politically-motivated criminal charges against activists and release them immediately and unconditionally. The laws are incompatible with India’s international human rights obligations as well as India’s Constitution. Not only are the laws themselves inherently flawed, but their implementation makes it clear that they have become tools for judicial harassment, rather than for preventing or addressing criminality.”

Further, CIVICUS has also expressed concerns about the continued persecution of activists, many of whom have underlying medical conditions or are at risk of contracting COVID-19 in overcrowded and unsanitary prisons, even during the pandemic. “It is appalling that human rights defenders are locked up in overcrowded prisons and continuously denied bail despite calls by the UN to decongest prisons and release political prisoners during the pandemic. Holding them at this time puts them at serious risk of contracting COVID-19 and adds another layer of punishment for these activists, who have been detained just for speaking up for human rights,” said Benedict.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.