NGOs, students write to UN on anti-Muslim violence in India

March 10, 2020 - 8:39

TEHRAN - In a letter to UN Human Rights Council chief Michelle Bachelet, a large of number of citizens, students, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have denounced the anti-Muslim cruelty in India, urging the international body to take urgent action to stop the brutalities.

In a report on its website on March 1, The Guardian reported that the violence against Muslims raged across the northeast of India’s capital for four days as mosques were set alight, Muslims were burned alive in their homes or dragged out into the streets and lynched.

It also said Muslim businesses and property were also set alight. According to the paper, the police have been accused of enabling, encouraging or even joining in with Hindu mobs.

Anti-Muslim violence started in India amid widespread protests over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government introduced in December, offering a path to Indian citizenship for six religious groups from neighboring countries, specifically excluding Muslims.

In their letter, according to Fars, the Iranian signatories said, “We hope and request that through effective and serious actions by the United Nations Human Rights Council, the main purpose of this letter, which is to help achieve a peaceful life for the people of India with different religions and ethnicities, will be fulfilled and it also becomes a positive role model for others.”

The full text of the letter, signed by 1,140 Iranian citizens, 146 NGOs, and student organizations, is as follows:

Mrs. Michelle Bachelet Jeria,

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

As your Excellency well know, in the contemporary era paying attention to human rights issues as one of the chief matters to governance and international relations has an important place. Also, one of the main principles of human rights is to provide and preserve the human dignity. In the present time, this topic has become a peremptory norm in the governance of the states and international relations. An inherent, God-given blessing to human kind that governments are obliged to provide it.

Unfortunately, however, in recent years there has been an increase in organized violence against Muslim minorities in India, particularly with the ratification of the CAA law in a discriminatory way in the Parliament of India and the support of the Government of India for this discriminatory legislation in December 2019, in recent months we have witnessed the spread of organized violence by extremist Hindus against the Muslims of India

It should be noted that the aforementioned law discriminates in granting citizenship of the Government of India to the people's religions and seeks even more pressure on Muslims in this country.

This is while the constructing body of India’s society has for long been a diverse and multi-cultural one in which the factor of unity has been for being Indian not for having a specific religion. The CAA discriminatory law, however, has led some organized extremist groups to carry out destructive and anti-human dignity measures against Muslims and their sanctities.

In this regard, some Hindu extremists’ insults including the burning of the Farukiyah Mosque in India can be considered a disgrace to all Muslims in the world as in the past there have occurred similar cases various times such as mass beatings and injuring of defenseless Muslims, including women and children, whose images and news have deeply touched the hearts of free humans around the world. According to international reports, thousands were injured and 43 were killed and there is concern that the death toll will rise if the process fails to be stopped.

As an example, a group attacked a 37-year-old Muslim young man, Mohammad Zubair, repeatedly hit him with a baton and stabbed him in the middle of the street, while he couldn’t do anything but to incur the hits, with his face beaten severely damaged.

The killing of a 30-year-old Muslim named Musharraf is yet another case. Musharraf was with his family at home located in Northeast Delhi when suddenly a group of 30 people who have covered their faces casket raged into his house and attacked him by cold weapons, his wife calls the police but the police aren't there. Eventually, they took Musharraf to the street and killed him in front of her 11-year-old daughter.

These are only few examples of such organized extremism, all of which have been committed in the face of the constant neglect of the Indian government and police, who are responsible for securing the lives and sanctities of the Muslims of India.

To this end, explaining the followings seems necessary:

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 (General Assembly resolution 217 A), “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”

Again, according to article 3 of the same document, “everyone has the right to life, liberty, and security of person.”

Especially article 7 of this universal declaration is notable here as it declares that: “All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.”

The above-mentioned content has explicitly been emphasized in articles 26 and 27 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which the Government of India is a party.

Therefore, while strongly condemning these extremist behaviors against defenseless Muslims of India and the neglect of the Indian government and police who are tasked with securing the lives of all the Indian people, we believe that the solution to this crisis is to avoid discrimination and respect for basic human rights and dignity.

Hence, we call for an end to these kinds of violence and extremism against Muslims in India as soon as possible and we also request the Human Rights Council to address this issue by forming a fact-finding committee.

We hope and request that through effective and serious actions by the United Nations Human Rights Council, the main purpose of this letter, which is to help achieve a peaceful life for the people of India with different religions and ethnicities, will be fulfilled and it also becomes a positive role model for others.

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