India Among 38 Countries For The Reprisals Against The Human Rights Activists, Says UN Report
India has been listed among the 38 countries for reprisal on Human Rights Activists, by the United Nations (UN). UN Chief Antonio Guterres released the ninth annual report which detailed the level of retaliation against the human rights defenders on a country to country basis as reported by News18. Some of the countries mentioned in the list are part of the Human Rights Council. The report documents allegations of reprisals and intimidation in 38 countries, including allegations of killing, torture, arbitrary arrests and public stigmatisation campaigns. Out of these countries, some are members of the Human Rights Council.
UN examining the legal, political and administrative hurdles causing troubles to activists
The report is yet to be officially presented in the Human Rights Council next week. The UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Andrew Gilmour has mentioned that the cases mentioned in the report and its two annexes are just the tips of the iceberg and that many more cases are reported to them. He said, “We are also increasingly seeing legal, political and administrative hurdles used to intimidate – and silence – civil society.”
The two annexes of the report contain the names of the countries, Annex 1 has the names of the countries in which new cases are listed. Whereas in Annex 2, those countries are listed where cases are going on and UN has been following up. India has been named in Annex 2 with countries like Pakistan, Iran, Ira and Japan.
Many countries who are part of the UN’s Human rights council are violating human rights
UN Chief in the annual report has written that world it to these brave people who have stood up for human rights and that it was them who provided information on human rights violations around the world. He further added, “Punishing individuals for cooperating with the United Nations is a shameful practice that everyone must do more to stamp out.”
The report clearly showed that in spite of being part of the Human rights council, some countries are in violation of the human rights and have continued to harass the activists working for the cause.
The UN has come across cases in which the women which have cooperated with them have allegedly received rape and death threats, and have been subjected to online smear campaigns. It also details incidents when UN staff have witnessed people who were too afraid to speak to them even in UN headquarters.
Human rights activists were labelled as terrorists by the Governments
The report also said that there have been a number of cases where the human rights activists and defenders were labelled as “terrorists” by their own Government, which it identified as a disturbing trend used to block UN access to communities and civil society organizations. The report says “The real global threat of terrorism notwithstanding, this issue must be tackled without compromising respect for human rights.”
Recently on August 28, Maharashtra Police arrested five prominent Human Rights activists Sudha Bharadwaj, Vernon Gonsalves, Varavara Rao, Gautam Navlakha and Arun Ferreira. Reportedly, the searches and detentions were carried out under the anti-terror Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and Sections 153A, 505(1)(b), 117, 120(b) and 34 of the Indian Penal Code. These activists are also termed as “Urban Naxals”, people from all over the country came forward to show their support to the activists and condemned Police’s action. The people started “#MetooUrbanNaxal” campaign on social media platform in support of the activists.