On March 15, 2023, one week after International Women’s Day, Justice for All - Save…
Statement on United States Recommendations made at the UPR of India 2022
Justice For All Statement on United States Recommendations made at the UPR of India
Today the 2022 Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of India took place in Geneva. The UPR is faced by each member country of the United Nations every 4 ½ years, and constitutes a recommendations process by other member countries in turn, on improving the human rights record of the country.
We appreciate the recommendations made by the United States. These were long overdue. The United States called upon India to
- Reduce the broad application of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and similar laws targeting journalists and religious minorities
- Ratify the Convention Against Torture (CAT) and prosecute those involved in Human Rights abuses
- Increased transparency of license adjudications related to the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act (FCRA) and making it easier for NGOs to appeal adverse decisions on their licenses
The US also noted that despite legal protections, discrimination based on gender and religious affiliation persist, and that the application of anti terror laws often result in prolonged detention of human rights defenders and rights activists even on a pretrial basis.
While appreciating these recommendations, Justice For All notes that the United States did not make a specific recommendation regarding persecutions based on religious affiliation despite the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom having recommended that India be designated as a Country of Particular Concern for three years in a row. The US also failed to bring up the situation in Kashmir, which presents a uniquely egregious example of human rights violations, with internet shutdowns, demographic change etc., all being brought about under a guise of progress, which India refers to in its response.
Justice For All had made two submissions of reports in preparation for the review. While each country does receive these reports, it is to their discretion if they will use the information provided by organizations such as Justice For All.
The UPR process is necessary but insufficient, especially at a time when Indian nationalist leaders issue calls of genocide against Muslims and oppression of minorities.
We call on UN member countries to ask India to allow UN human rights investigators to conduct an independent review of progress and to install an independent investigation mechanism much like the one for Myanmar and Syria.