Deadly Force Used Against CAA Protesters: Human Rights Watch

by GoNews Desk 1 month ago Views 1412
Deadly Force Used Against Protesters: Human Rights
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Indian authorities should cease using unnecessary lethal force against demonstrators protesting a law that discriminates against Muslims, Human Rights Watch said on Monday.

It also demanded that the authorities ensure that security forces comply with the United Nations Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials.

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The government should also revoke the Citizenship Amendment Act, which violates India’s international obligations to prevent deprivation of citizenship on the basis of race, color, descent, or national or ethnic origin as found in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and other human rights treaties, it said.

At least 25 people have been killed and hundreds have been arrested, since protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act began on December 12, 2019, it stated.

Police have used excessive force only against demonstrators protesting the law, including many students.

All the deaths have occurred in states governed by the ruling BJP: 18 in Uttar Pradesh, 5 in Assam, and 2 in Karnataka. Scores of police officers have been injured.

The authorities have also used a colonial-era law, internet shutdowns, and limits on public transportation to prevent peaceful anti-citizenship law protests.

“Indian police, in many areas, have been cracking down on anti-citizenship law protests with force, including unnecessary deadly force,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The authorities should prosecute violent protesters, but they also need to hold police officers to account for using excessive force.”

The police have, however, not interfered with demonstrators supporting the law, including ruling party leaders who have advocated violence.

The newly amended citizenship law grants citizenship only to non-Muslim irregular immigrants from the neighbouring Muslim-majority countries of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. Protesters have called for the law’s repeal, saying it is unconstitutional and divisive.

There have been marches in several cities across the world expressing solidarity with the student protests, and the government’s response has faced increasing criticism abroad.