European Parliament Committee Expresses Concern Over Deteriorating Human Rights Situation In India
A committee of the European Parliament has adopted a report which expressed concern over the “deteriorating human rights situation in India”.
The report adopted by the Foreign Affairs Committee has made several observations regarding the unsafe working environment for human rights defenders and journalists in India, difficult situation faced by Indian women and minority groups and caste-based discrimination. The report also voiced concerns over the Citizenship Amendment Act(CAA), which was termed “fundamentally discriminatory in nature against Muslims and dangerously divisive”.
It also expressed concern at the closure of the office of Amnesty International India, after its bank accounts were frozen over alleged violation of the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act.
The text was approved by 61 votes in favour, 6 votes against, with 4 abstentions. This report of the Foreign Affairs Committeet will now be submitted to a vote in the member European Parliament as a whole in plenary.
The European Parliament (EP) is the legislative branche of the European Union. Together with the Council of the European Union, it adopts European legislation, commonly on the proposal of the European Commission. The Parliament is composed of 705 members (MEPs).
A press release published in the site of the European Parliament said:
“…Members have expressed concern over the deteriorating human rights situation in India, echoing comments by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and several UN Special Rapporteurs. This includes reports that human rights defenders and journalists in the country lack a safe working environment. There are also concerns about the difficult situation faced by Indian women and minority groups, caste-based discrimination, as well as the closure of Amnesty International’s India offices after its bank accounts were frozen over an alleged violation of India’s Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), a law three UN Special rapporteurs have asked to be amended.
The report also voices alarm regarding India’s Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which according to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights is fundamentally discriminatory in nature against Muslims and dangerously divisive.
The text was approved by 61 votes in favour, 6 votes against, with 4 abstentions”
In February, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights had raised concerns over the misuse of sedition law in India against journalists and dissenters.
The Committee also called for larger bilateral ties between EU and India, taking note of India’s rising regional and geopolitical influence. The report advocates closer value-based trade relations between the EU and India and the need to work together on reforming the World Trade Organization (WTO).
The text further notes that the EU is following closely the situation in Kashmir and reiterate its support for stability and de-escalation between India and Pakistan. MEPs called on the EU to renew its efforts for rapprochement and restoration of good neighbourly relations between India and Pakistan, based on principles of international law.
They also expressed concern at the deteriorating relationship between India and China, and the role of China’s expansive policy and substantial military build-up in the area. MEPs reiterate their support for peaceful dispute resolution, the need for constructive and comprehensive dialogue, and the upholding of international law on the India-China border.
Publication: Live Law