Human Rights Groups Disappointed at India’s Response to Universal Periodic Review
The Advocates for Human Rights, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion and protection of internationally-recognized human rights, and Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India's pluralist and tolerant ethos, have jointly expressed their concern over India's failure to accept key recommendations that guarantee Human Rights for its minorities while commending India for its general acceptance of certain critical principles.
On September 20, 2012, the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva adopted the outcome of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on India. In May of this year, dozens of countries made a total of 169 recommendations as to how India could better comply with its human rights obligations, including its obligations pertaining to religious minorities. After months of internal deliberations, the Indian Government on September 18 committed to only 67 of the UPR recommendations, some in substantially watered-down form.
As many countries noted in their recommendations, India has failed to ratify the Convention Against Torture and Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment (CAT). Torture, as defined in the CAT, is not criminalized under Indian law. India has been apathetic toward the recommendations of UN Special Rapporteurs as well as related recommendations from many countries, including Australia, Austria, Botswana, Brazil, Czech Republic, Indonesia, Iraq, Italy, Maldives, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Timor-Leste, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America.
During the September 20 session of the Human Rights Council, several leading international human rights organizations expressed serious concerns regarding India's decision not to adopt the many recommendations relating to ending the systematic impunity enjoyed by Indian security forces, and not to accept recommendations for a comprehensive framework to deal effectively with communal and targeted violence.
India committed to training police on Human Rights procedures, however, it fails to ensure their compliance with Human Rights principles by refusing to amend or repeal the Armed Forces Special Powers Act. India also failed to adopt a Prevention of Communal Targeted Violence Bill that would ensure the accountability of civil servants, facilitate the redress of Human Rights violations, and help prevent communal attacks against religious minorities….
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