Jeddah 23 December 2019: The Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation strongly condemns the violence and loss of life in the wake of peaceful protests against the recently enacted discriminatory Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019 (CAB) by the Indian Government. It noted that Muslims all over the India as well as a cross sections of Indian society have categorically rejected the CAB as a biased, discriminatory and diversionary act, which goes against the Indian constitution.
While sharing the concerns expressed by the OIC on these developments, the IPHRC welcomed and echoed the assertions of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights that the Indian CAB 2019 is “fundamentally discriminatory in nature”, which is not only violative of equality before law, enshrined in its own Constitution, but also incompatible with the relevant international human rights covenants, which obligate countries to ensure that all measures governing migration are based on equality and non-discrimination, and applies to all people regardless of their race, religion, national origin or other status.
The Commission highlighted that the ‘Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration’ also commits the countries to ‘protect the safety, dignity, human rights and fundamental freedoms of all migrants, regardless of their migratory status, at all times, and to combat xenophobia, racism and discrimination towards all migrants’. However, the new citizenship amendment bill, restricts the access of Muslim migrants to citizenship, which is inherently violative of international human rights obligations, it added.
Recalling the series of other discriminatory actions, which include revoking the special status of the Muslim-majority State of Indian Occupied Kashmir; discriminatory screening of Muslims from National Register of Citizens in Assam; and open plans to build a Hindu temple at the site of Centuries old Babri Mosque, the IPHRC regretted that these actions reflect a consistent pattern of the bigoted far-right Hindutva policies that aim to subjugate Muslims in India.
The Commission urged the international community and the UN to pressurize the Indian Government to: (a) repeal the discriminatory clauses of its Citizenship Amendment Act 2019; (b) abide by relevant international norms and standards in dealing with the ongoing peaceful assembly and protests; and c) ensure protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms of all its minorities in accordance with the international human rights obligations.