Amnesty international issues warning as India’s becoming “dangerous” for protesters

Amnesty international issued a warning as India is becoming an unsafe place for peaceful activists, with reference to ruling party’s leaders’ statements not in favor of demonstrators protesting a citizenship law passed last year.
The rights group, in a declaration said “while protesters had largely ensured demonstrations across the country remained peaceful, political leaders resorted to making ‘hateful statements’ about them”.
The executive director of amnesty international Avinash Kumar said “Authorities have failed to protect peaceful protesters from violence”.
Since December 12, the law was passed in parliament, and approved by the president; there have been extensive protests in the country.
The law provides easier citizenship to migrants fleeing from discrimination from neighboring nations Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan, but Muslims are an exception.
Critics say it’s an attempt to reshape India as Hindu nation and abolishing its secular foundations.
Amnesty international refers to an instance in which union home minister Amit shah required the audience at the rally to “press the button with such anger that the current is felt at Shaheen Bagh” while referring to the capital of new Delhi as the focus of protests by Muslim women.
Concerns raised against union minister of state for finance Anurag Thakur’s statement “Shoot the traitors of the nation” to encourage the crowd to chant.
Amnesty international pointed out many protestors who were injured while protesting tend to seek medical aid from distant areas as they fear being arrested.
Kumar said “Protesting against the equally divisive Citizenship (Amendment) Act by our elected representatives. Public officials must be held to stricter standards when it comes to speeches that are discriminatory, advocate hatred or incite violence. Such speeches must definitely be addressed by disciplinary or criminal sanctions”.
The rights group concerned that law passed could lead most of the citizens declared as stateless all over the country.
Kumar stated “These are genuine concerns and the people have the right to peacefully protest. But ever since the CAA [citizenship law] was passed in the parliament in December 2019, the government of India has done very little to assuage these fears. Instead, the peaceful protesters have been threatened, demonized and branded as anti-nationals, arrested under repressive laws or treated with violence”.–Worldwide News

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