Violation Of Her Rights: UN Rights Panel Slams Student-Activist Safoora Zargars Arrest

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"Violation Of Her Rights": UN Rights Panel Slams Student-Activist Safoora Zargar's Arrest

Safoora Zargar, the media coordinator of the Jamia Coordination Committee, was arrested last year in the backdrop of the anti-Citizenship Act protests.

Taking a serious note of the arrest of Jamia Millia Islamia University student Safoora Zargar, who was pregnant when the Delhi police held her in April 2020, the United Nations Human Rights Council's (HRC's) Working Group against Arbitrary Detentions (WGAD) has adopted a critical opinion of the government's workings.
Safoora Zargar was arrested last year in the backdrop of the Anti-Citizenship Act protests. She eventually got bail in June 2020. The Delhi Police had said that she was one of the key conspirators and instigators of the February 2020 Delhi riots.
In the opinion, based on the complaint from an anonymous 'source', the human rights body said Zargar had suffered a "deprivation of liberty" violating "universally recognised human rights, in particular the right to freedoms of opinion, expression and peaceful assembly" and several articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The WGAD opinion noted that Zargar being the media coordinator of Jamia Coordination Committee (JCC) and one of the defenders of women's rights during the anti-Citizenship Act protests, the government's move to arrest her "can clearly be interpreted as another move to curb dissent by intimidating her and others associated with the JCC".
The organisation has called on the Government of India to ensure a "full independent investigation" of the case and take appropriate measures against those responsible for the "violation of her rights". Zargar had said that she was made to sign on a blank sheet of paper.
The WGAD opined that considering the circumstances of the case, Zargar should be accorded compensation and other reparations, as per the international law.
She thanked the UN body for "taking cognisance" of the case and called her case part of an "unfortunate trend". "I am lucky and thankful and at the same time hope that the situation for all human rights defenders will improve in future and that all political prisoners be immediately released, unconditionally," Zargar's statement read.
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