UN concerned over CAA violence and ‘excessive force’ by security forces
The United Nations said on Tuesday it was “concerned” over violence and the use of excessive force by security forces against people protesting the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and called for “full respect” for the right to dissent and peaceful assembly.
The world body also aligned itself with the “strong words” used by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet’s office last week.
“We are concerned about the violence and alleged use of excessive force by security forces that we’ve seen that have been taking place in the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act,” spokesperson Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson for the UN secretary general Antonio Gueterres, told reporters in response to a questions.
“We very much call for restraint and urge full respect for the rights of freedom of opinion and expression and peaceful assembly.”
The UN call for respecting the rights of protestors echoed sentiments felt around the world and was in line with a a statement issued by the United States state department on Monday asking also “respecting and protecting” the rights of protestors.
Dujarric prefaced his observations with a reference to a statement from Bachelet’s spokesperson last week criticizing the new law saying it “would appear to undermine the commitment to equality before the law enshrined in India’’s Constitution” and India’s own international commitments.
“While the goal of protecting persecuted groups is welcome, this should be done through a robust national asylum system that is premised on the principle of equality and non-discrimination, and which applies to all people in need of protection from persecution and other human rights violations, with no distinction as to race, religion, national origin or other prohibited grounds,” the spokesperson had added.