Thursday, November 26, 2020

HRW slams BJP crackdown on India’s civil society teams

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The Indian authorities ought to change its course and uphold democratic rules and defend the human rights of all Indian residents, says HRW. AFP/Sajjad Hussain/RecordsdataThe Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Friday slammed India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) crackdown on the nation’s civil society teams and utilizing its counterterrorism legal guidelines to “silence peaceful dissenters, human rights activists, and journalists”.In an announcement, the rights group criticised the Indian authorities for finishing up a number of raids on the workplaces of non-governmental organisations, activists’ houses, and a newspaper workplace in occupied Kashmir, Delhi, and Bangalore.”The raids are part of a crackdown by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on civil society groups,” mentioned the group. It additionally added that India has introduced “politically motivated criminal cases” to focus on activists, journalists, teachers, college students, and others and “used foreign funding regulations to target outspoken groups for their human rights work”.”India faces serious security challenges, but instead of addressing the problems in a rights-respecting manner, the authorities appear determined to crush peaceful criticism and calls for accountability,” mentioned South Asia Director of HRW Meenakshi Ganguly within the assertion.”Using authoritarian tactics against outspoken critics and journalists needs to stop.”The Indian authorities seeks to be a world chief, however as an alternative is drawing worldwide criticism by systematically weakening the nation’s long-respected democratic establishments,” said Ganguly.The rights campaigner said the government should change its course and uphold democratic principles and protect the human rights of all Indian citizens.HRW highlighted that India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) has accused the targeted groups of “elevating funds in India and overseas within the identify of charitable actions after which utilizing these funds for finishing up secessionist and separatist actions in Jammu and Kashmir”.The group said that the NIA raided the offices of activists Khurram Parvez, Parvez Ahmad Matta, Swati Sheshadri, chairperson of the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) Parveena Ahangar.The watchdog also said that the NIA has raided the home of AFP journalist Parvaiz Bukhari; office of the Kashmiri newspaper Greater Kashmir; and the nongovernmental organization Athrout.In Delhi, the authorities raided the Charity Alliance and the Human Welfare Foundation. They also raided the home of Zafarul-Islam Khan, Charity Alliance head and former chief of the Delhi Minorities Commission.The group noted that the BJP-led government is also increasingly using the laws under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) to “harass organisations that query or criticise authorities insurance policies and to chop off funds from overseas”.

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