21 nations urge India to ensure religious freedom


WASHINGTON: At least 21 countries have urged India to improve its protection of freedom of religion and rights of religious minorities.

Others have raised concerns over increasing violence and hate speech and the government’s adoption of discriminatory policies such as “anti-conversion” laws.

In a joint statement issued this weekend, six international human rights groups reminded New Delhi that it still needs to implement that recommendations that are part of a recent UN report on India.

The recommendations cover a range of key concerns including the protection of minority communities and vulnerable groups, tackling gender-based violence, upholding civil society freedoms, protecting human rights defenders, and ending torture in custody.

Rights groups observe Modi govt has made it ‘lawful to discriminate against religious minorities, particularly Muslims’

The human rights groups include International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), Inter­national Dalit Solidarity Network, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch. “The Indian government should promptly adopt and act on the recommendations that United Nations member states made at the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review process on Nov 10,” they said in the statement.

During the periodic review, India’s fourth, 130 member states made 339 recommendations highlighting some of the most urgent human rights concerns in the country.

Since its last review in 2017, India has undergone a serious regression in human rights under the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.__Pakistan Today