HRW denounces that violence against Muslims is encouraged in India

The citizenship policies promoted by the Hindu nationalist government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi are promoting violence and persecution of Muslims, the international human rights organization Human Right Watch (HRW) denounced in a report on Friday.

The report titled "'Shoot Traitors': Discrimination Against Muslims Under New India Citizenship Policy", drawn up by HRW, refers to the controversial Citizenship Law proposed by the Modi Government, and passed in a flash. by the Indian Parliament last December, to facilitate the path of citizenship to religious minorities from neighboring countries, except for Muslims.

"Muslims in India have been increasingly at risk since the government of the Hindu nationalist party Bharatiya Janata (BJP), led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was first elected in 2014," says the organization at the beginning of the report, 82 pages.


The December amendment to the Citizenship law, along with an announced national plan to verify "illegal immigrants," sparked large protests across the country, mainly among the Muslim minority, leaving dozens dead, and hundreds of wounded and detained. .

"Police and other officials repeatedly failed to intervene when government supporters attacked protesters of citizenship policies. However, police quickly arrested critics of the policy and dispersed their peaceful protests, including through the use of excessive and lethal force ", indicates HRW.

The standard establishing an accelerated process for members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian minorities from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, or Pakistan, "was promulgated amid the push by the BJP, the formation of the Government, for a process of Verification of citizenship at the national level, through a National Population Registry (NPR) and a National Registry of Citizens (NRC), with the aim of detecting 'illegal immigrants', "he adds.

"Government policies have opened the door to collective violence and police inaction that has instilled fear among Muslims and other minority communities across the country," Meenakshi Ganguly, director of Human Rights Watch for South Asia, said in a statement. .

As part of this scenario, the report refers to a video, which ensures that it was recorded in February 2020 during a series of communal clashes between Hindus and Muslims, which showed five seriously wounded men on the street beaten by several policemen and forced to sing the Indian national anthem.

The prime minister "has called for unity to fight COVID-19, but has yet to call for unity in the fight against anti-Muslim violence and discrimination," Ganguly claimed.

The report was made from hundreds of interviews with abuse victims and their families in New Delhi and the states of Assam and Uttar Pradesh, the regions that have experienced the worst scenarios of violence related to these policies, as well as legal experts , academics, activists, and police officers.


A complex citizenship census already completed in the state of Assam left nearly two million people stateless, considering that they did not have sufficient documents to prove that they were Indian citizens, or that they had entered the country before 1971, when the war took place. of independence from neighboring Bangladé, and were at the expense of courts for foreigners.

"We had to sell two cows, chickens and goats," said a woman cited in the report whose family was unable to pay legal and document fees to establish her citizenship applications in a Foreign Court.

"Now we have nothing to sell," he added.

The Indian government "has tried to decouple the Citizenship Law from the citizenship verification processes, but has been unable to reassure minority communities due to contradictory, discriminatory and hateful claims by BJP leaders," Ganguly reported.

The recommendation of the director of HRW for South Asia, according to the text, is that "the Government should immediately reverse policies that violate India's international legal obligations, investigate alleged police abuses and protect freedom of expression and meeting".


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