India regrets criticism by UN Human Rights body on Rohingya issue

Elias Hubbard
September 13, 2017

Al Hussein had said: "The Minister of State for Home Affairs (Kiren Rijiju) has reportedly said that because India is not a signatory to the Refugee Convention, the country can dispense with worldwide law on the matter, together with basic human compassion".

"There appears to be inadequate appreciation of the freedoms and rights that are guaranteed and practised daily in a vibrant democracy built under challenging conditions", wrote Chander.

The UNHRC Chief Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein recently criticised India's move to deport around 40,000 Rohingya refugees who are now living illegally in various parts of the country.

Akbaruddin said that New Delhi was concerned about the matter concerning illegal immigrants, who could be a challenge to its security.

India offered a strong rebuttal at Geneva reiterating its security concerns and said, "Enforcing the laws should not be mistaken for lack of compassion".

Further, on observation involving the issue of human rights situations in Jammu and Kashmir, he said, "It is a matter of regret that the central role of terrorism is once again being overlooked". "We believe achieving human rights goals calls for objective consideration, balanced judgments, and verification of facts".

Saying that it was "perplexed" at the remarks which showed "inadequate appreciation of the freedoms and rights that are guaranteed and practised daily" in India, a "vibrant democracy", the statement, delivered by ambassador Rajiv K. Chander, permanent representative of India to United Nations, added that individual incidents were being "extrapolated" to paint a broader societal situation.

India's Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju had said on on September 5 that Rohingyas were illegal immigrants and stand to be deported.

While addressing the 36th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday, Zeid said, "I deplore current measures in India to deport Rohingyas at a time of such violence against them in their country".

New Delhi, however, added that a large number of recommendations on its human rights record had been "accepted" and that "promotion of human rights is an ongoing process that can be continuously strengthened". He condemned the current wave of violent mob attacks in the name of cow protection, calling it "alarming". He had observed that she "tirelessly addressed the corrosive effect of sectarianism and hatred".

Though Al Hussein said he was "heartened" by protests against Lankesh's killing and other lynchings, he noted that rights defenders working for the most vulnerable groups, including people threatened with displacement by infrastructure projects such as the Sardar Sarovar Dam, were being subjected to harassment and criminal proceedings, or denied protection.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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