India Rejects UN Human Rights Chief's Criticism on Rohingyas

Elias Hubbard
September 14, 2017

Al-Hussein quoted Junior Home Minister Kiren Rijiju as saying that since India is not a signatory to the Refugee Convention it "can dispense with worldwide law on the matter, together with basic human compassion". He said nobody should preach New Delhi on the matter as India absorbed the maximum number of refugees in the world.

India's Permanent Representative to the UN Syed Akbaruddin said New Delhi was concerned about illegal migrants, in particular, with the possibility that they could pose security challenges. Rejecting the observations by Hussein, Chander said, "Tendentious judgements made on the basis of selective and even inaccurate reports do not further the understanding of human rights in any society".

In a remark that can stoke a controversy, Kumar said Rohingyas are not the original inhabitants of India and it was time for "Muslim nations to take them in and give them rights".

Assessments of human rights should not be a matter of political convenience.

Delivering the opening statement at the 36th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, the high commissioner for human rights, asked the Myanmar government to stop claiming the Rohingyas were setting fire to their own homes and laying waste to their villages.

Around 40,000 Rohingya Muslims have settled in India, and almost 16,000 of them have received refugee documentation, according to the United Nations. "The government should also hold talks with governments of Myanmar and Bangladesh to resolve the problems of Rohingya Muslims, so that there exodus from their country is stopped", the BSP supremo said.

"India is proud of its independent judiciary, freedom of press, vibrant civil society and respect for rule of law and human rights", Chander said.

He also referred to the series of attacks on cattle traders and others by self-declared cow vigilantes, saying, "The current wave of violent, and often lethal, mob attacks against people under the pretext of protecting the lives of cows is alarming".

Al Hussein also regretted what he described as the "reluctance" of India and Pakistan to cooperate with his office on "human rights concerns", including a failure to grant access to Jammu and Kashmir on both sides of the LoC.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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