Iranian lawyers urge Indian Bar Council to uphold Muslims’ rights

March 17, 2020 - 22:45

TEHRAN — A group of Iranian lawyers has denounced violence against Muslims in India, urging the country’s Bar Council to uphold Muslims’ rights.

The group, known as Lawyers Without Borders, wrote a letter to Chairman of the Bar Council of India Manan Kumar Mishra expressing concern over the significant and unjustified violence by extremist Hindu groups against Muslims protesters.

According to the group, the Muslim protesters were peacefully objecting to the newly-passed controversial “Citizenship Act”. 

“Apparently the security forces have not been able to control the violence, and some of the extremists have been backed up so that security in some areas in New Delhi has been endangered,” the letter read, Press TV reported.

They warned about the grave consequences of such policies, emphasizing that the “discriminatory” law has raised international concern.

“It is clear that the Citizenship (Amendment) Act distinguishes between refugees of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, Christian religion and Muslims in accepting Indian citizenship. It subsequently discriminates between refugees based on their religions and can be considered as a discriminatory act,” the letter added.

It went on to say that Muslims in India have used their fundamental right to peaceful protest, but have faced “violent and inhuman treatment”.

“Some Hindu extremist groups have taken advantage of this situation and resorted to violent and inhuman treatment of Muslims whether they had objected to the law or not, and thus have turned such a peaceful protest into a conflict between Muslims and Hindus,” it stated.

The Lawyers Without Borders reminded the chairman of India’s Bar Council that the current violence and discrimination against Muslims is “clearly in contradiction with the UN Charter and the fundamental human rights instruments”.

It also expressed the hope that the “prestigious” Bar Council of India will “take fundamental steps to uphold the rights of people, especially Muslims, and help to reduce violence.”

The letter finally asked the Indian officials to take the necessary steps to end the serious concerns of the international community about the situation of Indian Muslims.

Anti-Muslim violence started in India amid widespread protests over the Citizenship Act 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.

Critics insist the law is discriminatory, coming in the wake of other severe government measures against the country’s Muslim population such as withdrawal of autonomy for Muslim-majority Jammu and Kashmir province that has intensified discord across India about the future of its 200 million Muslims.

Earlier this month, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned the government of India against continued massacre of Muslims, saying that the current pogrom going on against Muslim people in the South Asian country will lead to isolation of New Delhi in the Islamic world.

“The hearts of Muslims all over the world are grieving over the massacre of Muslims in India,” Ayatollah Khamenei said in a statement tweeted in Urdu, English and Persian.

“The govt. of India should confront extremist Hindus & their parties & stop the massacre of Muslims in order to prevent India’s isolation from the world of Islam,” the tweet went on.

MH/PA

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