The recent Indian Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) legitimizes discrimination on the basis of religion. There have been large scale protests across India against this law to which the government has responded with brutal force. According to Human Rights Watch, at least 25 people have been killed since the protests started on December 12. A student has also allegedly lost his eyesight in the crackdown against the protests and many protestors have fractures, serious wounds and internal bleeding. On Sunday 5th January, the violence appears to have escalated with masked mobs attacking students and academics at Jawaharlal Nehru University who were protesting against a steep fee hike.
The violence of the state against protestors is alarming and must be stopped. Major international human rights organizations, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have come out strongly against the actions of the authorities. In light of the situation, we are asking professional associations, unions, and UK university bodies to issue a statement denouncing the actions of the authorities in India and calling on the British government to condemn these attacks on students, academics and their freedom of expression. Further, to call on the British Government to condemn the attacks on citizenship rights of religious minorities that have been the focus of many of these protests.
As Amnesty International has said: “The authorities must stop criminalising protest, lift disproportionate restrictions on free assembly and expression and ensure protection of all human rights.”
We hope you will be able to add the voice of your professional association / union to this call.