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Sunday, June 16, 2024

The Citizenship Amendment Act in India undermines constitutional values and international standards

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The Citizenship Amendment Act in India undermines constitutional values and international standards

Amnesty International criticizes the operationalization of the Citizenship Amendment Act 2019

Amnesty International has condemned the operationalization of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) 2019 as a violation of Indian constitutional values of equality and religious non-discrimination, as well as India’s international human rights obligations. The CAA, enacted in 2019 and operationalized recently, allows for expedited citizenship pathways for certain religious groups from neighboring countries, excluding others like Rohingya Muslims and Sri Lankan Tamils who face persecution.

Criticism of Discriminatory Exclusion and Targeting of OCI Card Holders

The CAA discriminates against certain groups in South Asia while favoring others, like Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians from specific countries. Additionally, the CAA, together with the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) and Foreigners Tribunals, creates risks for the Muslim minority population in India, potentially rendering them stateless. The 2019 amendment also allows for the cancellation of Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) registration for vague reasons, including violations of the Citizenship Act or other laws, further targeting dissenting voices.

Clampdown on Freedom of Expression and Peaceful Assembly

Instead of upholding the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, Indian authorities have been cracking down on those protesting against the discriminatory CAA through arbitrary detentions, heightened surveillance, and the removal of protestors. These actions have led to the detention of peaceful protesters, including Muslim students and activists, under anti-terror laws. Amnesty International calls for the repeal of the CAA due to its exclusionary and discriminatory nature and urges the authorities to respect human rights and release those detained for peaceful protests.

Urge for Repeal of the Citizenship Amendment Act and Respect for Human Rights

Amnesty International demands the immediate repeal of the Citizenship Amendment Act due to its discriminatory provisions, structure, and intent that go against India’s international human rights obligations. The organization also calls on Indian authorities to respect, protect, and promote human rights, including freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, and association, while responding to protests against the CAA.

FAQ

What is the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) 2019?

The Citizenship Amendment Act, enacted in 2019, allows expedited citizenship pathways for certain religious groups from neighboring countries, excluding others like Rohingya Muslims and Sri Lankan Tamils who face persecution.

Why is there criticism of Discriminatory Exclusion and Targeting of OCI Card Holders?

The CAA discriminates against certain groups in South Asia while favoring others, creating risks for the Muslim minority population in India and targeting dissenting voices through measures like the cancellation of OCI registrations.

How has the Clampdown on Freedom of Expression and Peaceful Assembly been enforced?

Indian authorities have imposed arbitrary detentions, heightened surveillance, and removal of protestors against the CAA, leading to the detention of peaceful protesters, including Muslim students and activists, under anti-terror laws.

What is Amnesty International’s stance on the Citizenship Amendment Act?

Amnesty International calls for the repeal of the CAA due to its exclusionary and discriminatory nature, urging the authorities to respect human rights and release those detained for peaceful protests.

Conclusion

It is crucial to uphold constitutional values, international human rights obligations, and respect for all individuals regardless of their religious background. The Citizenship Amendment Act in India has raised concerns about discrimination, exclusion, and violations of human rights, prompting calls for its repeal and the protection of fundamental freedoms.

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