UNHRC Raises Concerns over Human Rights Violations in India: Calls for Immediate Action

UNHRC Raises Concerns over Human Rights Violations in India: Calls for Immediate Action

April 18, 2024 Off By Sharp Media

The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has issued a joint press release highlighting alarming trends of violence against minorities, media, and civil society in India. UN human rights experts, part of the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council, expressed deep concern about the escalating attacks on religious, racial, and ethnic minorities, as well as the targeting of civil society actors, including human rights defenders and journalists.

The experts pointed to a significant surge in human rights violations in India, as noted in the recent US State Department report on Human Rights. The report outlined several disturbing trends, including unlawful and arbitrary killings perpetrated by government agents, instances of torture and inhumane treatment by police and prison officials, and harsh prison conditions endangering the well-being of inmates. Additionally, arbitrary arrests and detention, political imprisonment, privacy violations, and restrictions on freedom of expression and media were highlighted as serious concerns.

Of particular concern is the expected deterioration of the situation in the months leading up to the national elections. The experts highlighted hate crimes, dehumanizing rhetoric, and incitement to violence as reported incidents. Vigilante groups have been implicated in acts of violence, arbitrary killings, and demolitions of minority homes, while human rights defenders and journalists face intimidation, harassment, and prolonged detention. Official agencies have been accused of being misused against perceived political opponents.

The experts expressed disappointment at India’s limited response to their communications, with only a fraction of the communications receiving public replies from the government. Furthermore, hundreds of cases referred to India by the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances remain pending, leaving the fate and whereabouts of alleged victims unknown.

Despite a standing invitation to UN Special Procedures for official visits, numerous requests for visits to India have gone unanswered by the Indian government since 2017, resulting in a lack of country visits by UN experts. In light of these developments, UN experts have urged the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to continuously monitor the evolving human rights situation in India and called for immediate action to address the escalating violations.

The joint press release underscores the importance of upholding human rights standards and protecting the rights of all individuals, irrespective of their religious, racial, or ethnic backgrounds. It calls on the Indian government to take immediate steps to address the concerns raised by the UNHRC and to ensure accountability for human rights violations. Only through concerted efforts and collective pressure can India work towards a more inclusive and rights-respecting society.