Alert: India – Demand release of activists and end to state-sanctioned violence

No CAA, Grafitti at Shaheen Bagh protests, New Delhi, 8 January 2020, (c) DiplomatTesterMan CC4

IHRC calls upon all campaigners outside India to write to their Member of Parliament, asking them to urge your government to demand the Indian government to release 11 human rights activists and stop the state-sanctioned violence against Muslims.

Background 

Requested Action

Model letter

Recipient Addresses

Background

India has been gripped by anti-Muslim violence following the passing of the Citizenship Amendment Act.

IHRC is asking campaigners to join this campaign demanding equal citizenship for all Indians regardless of religion or other factors .

The new Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) passed at the end of 2019, has made religion as the primary criteria for acquiring Indian citizenship. The Act assures refuge to persecuted religious minorities, except Muslims, from the neighbouring countries of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. This Act, read in conjunction with the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the National population Register (NPR) is discriminatory and dangerous.

In July 2019, the Indian Home Minister, Amit Shah, told the parliament that the “government will identify illegal immigrants living on every inch of country’s soil and deport them,” signalling the expansion of the NRC to the rest of India. During the 2019 general elections, the BJP claimed that “illegal immigrants”, or “termites” from Muslim majority Bangladesh have sneaked in and are living off the resources of Indian citizens. (Background courtesy Zulqarnain Banday from The Long View, Volume 2, issue 2, forthcoming).

In June 2020, 11 human rights activists were arrested for protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act. Thirteen United Nations independent experts have called on India to immediately release human rights activists who were arrested.

To find out more about the India campaign, please visit our campaign page here.

Requested Action

IHRC calls upon all campaigners outside India to write to their Member of Parliament, asking them to urge your government to demand the Indian government to release 11 human rights activists and stop the state-sanctioned violence against Muslims.

Model letter

Dear [Insert MP name],

I am deeply concerned of the arrest of eleven human rights activists who were arrested for protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act in India. Thirteen United Nations independent experts have called on India for their immediate release adding that there had been severe human rights violations, as well as allegations of torture and ill-treatment.

I am writing to urge you demand India immediately release the prisoners, end violence against Muslims and other minorities and to repeal the Citizenship Amendment Act and related discriminatory policies immediately.

Modi’s government has been presiding over a series of laws and policies that systematically targets Muslims, minorities and other political dissidents across the country.

We urge that you take a strong stance against him, the BJP party and the ideology behind it.

[insert your name]

Recipient Addresses

Please search for your local Labour MP using the following website:

https://members.parliament.uk/constituencies/ and follow the links to get their email.

Brent Central, Dawn Butler, dawn.butler.mp@parliament.uk

Hampstead and Kilburn, Tulip Siddiq, tulip.siddiq.mp@parliament.uk

Harrow West, Gareth Thomas, gareth.thomas.mp@parliament.uk

Please email the Labour Leader, Sir Keir Starmer on keir.starmer.mp@parliament.uk.

We do not recommend that under the current circumstances you post letters to your MP.