KSrelief Nutritional Medical Clinics Continue Providing Treatment Services, in Hodeida, Yemen    OPEC Basket Price Stood, at $46.67    South Korea Reports 629 New Coronavirus Cases    Prince Faisal lauds Kuwaiti, US efforts in Gulf crisis GCC chief welcomes Kuwait foreign minister's remarks about likely Gulf reconciliation    Sullivan two clear of Wallace in Dubai    Saudi Arabia ranks first in Arab world, 22nd globally in Global AI Index    Single-day deaths fall to 10 as Saudi Arabia reports 234 COVID-19 cases, 357 recoveries    Wall Street Closing    KSrelief Distributes 190 Winter Bags for Displaced in Marib, Yemen    Sadara launches on-job training for Saudi fresh graduates    Saudi Press: Saudi Arabia Establishes Its Relations with Countries on Principles of Mutual Respect    HRH Crown Prince Congratulates Thailand's King on His Country's National Day    The Joint Forces Command of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen: Interception, Destruction of Bomb-Laden UAV Launched by Terrorist, Iran-Backed Houthi Militia Toward the Kingdom    King Salman, Crown Prince send condolences to Macron on death of France's ex-president    COVID-19 recovery focus of UN General Assembly special session    'UAE committed to resolving Palestinian-Israeli conflict'    LuLu launches Italian food festival 'Let's Eatalian'    Bahrain, UAE leaders condole King Salman on Princess Hessa's death    Yamaha's Adrien Van Beveren tops massive bike and quad entry for Hail Bajas    Proactive judiciary helps recover R12bn stalled projects funds of 30,000 investors    President of IsDB Meets with Benin's Minister of State in Charge of Planning and Development    Executive regulations on labor reform initiative in the offing    Saudi Aramco says teams working to fix technical glitch in Jazan pumping facility    Sullivan breaks course record with a 61 to lead DP World event    UAE marks 49th National Day with 5 different GWR attempts    Saudi Arabia is the Safest among G20 Countries According to International Indicators    Saudi Stock Exchange Main Index Ends Trading Lower, at 8,694.13 Points    ARM, BUTT Sports, CSG, ICAD, M Eagles, R Jurana maintain winning streak in Ace Travel Saudi Cu    ISO Launch Quality Ambassadors' Initiative    British actor Prowse who played Darth Vader dies aged 85    Mahrez hat-trick as Manchester City thrash Burnley 5-0 yet again    Late penalty leaves Liverpool with draw at Brighton    Rapper Shouly releases debut solo album ‘The Empty Quarter' Album tackles big issues including fear, vice, anxiety, family, and religion    Improving immunity key reason to participate in Dubai Fitness Challenge    Argentina Soccer Legend Maradona Dies of Heart Attack    Coman rescues 1-1 draw for Bayern against Werder    MCIT Launches Initiative to Raise Awareness on Cyberbullying    Council of Senior Scholars: Muslim Brothers' Group Don't Represent Method of Islam, rather only Follows its Partisan Objectives, Violating our Graceful Religion    Saudi Medical Team Restore Young Man's Lost Vision, One Year later    KSrelief Organizes Awareness Campaign on Breast Cancer in Aden Governorate, Yemen    Ithra Signs Agreement with Supreme Council of Antiquities of Egypt    Court facilitates young woman's marriage after stripping father's guardianship    Bahrain's top Islamic body condemns attempts to insult Muslim symbols    Saudi man accused of harassing foreign wife asked to be produced before court Court allows divorce, custody of children by mother    S. P. Bala, legendary Indian singer, dead at 74    Eid Al-Adha Prayer Performed at the Grand Holy Mosque    Pilgrims Perform Dhuhr and Asr Prayers in Arafat Holy Site    Senior Scholars Council Issues Decision No. 246 Regarding Attendance of Friday Prayer and Prayers at Mosques in a Case of Spread of Epidemic or Fear of its Spread    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.





UN human rights chief voices concern over arrest of activists, curbs on NGOs In India
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 21 - 10 - 2020

Highlighting that India has long had a strong civil society at the forefront of "groundbreaking human rights advocacy within the country and globally", the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, raised concerns on Tuesday that "vaguely defined laws are increasingly being used to stifle these voices".
Michelle Bachelet issued a statement calling on the Government of India to safeguard the rights of human rights defenders and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), expressing regret at legal constraints faced by NGOs, including by the application of laws that her Office (OHCHR) perceives to be problematic.
Bachelet cited as worrying the use of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), which a number of UN human rights bodies have also said is vaguely worded and overbroad in its objective. The Act prohibits the receipt of foreign funds "for any activities prejudicial to the public interest."
Adopted in 2010, and amended last month, the act has had a "detrimental impact on the right to freedom of association and expression of human rights NGOs", she added. As a result, it also impacts their ability to serve as effective advocates to protect and promote human rights in India.
According to OHCHR, it is expected that the new amendments will create even more administrative and practical hurdles for such advocacy-based NGOs.
Most recently, Amnesty International was compelled to close its offices in India after its bank accounts were frozen over alleged violation of the FCRA.
"I am concerned that such actions based on the grounds of vaguely defined 'public interest' leave this law open to abuse, and that it is indeed actually being used to deter or punish NGOs for human rights reporting and advocacy that the authorities perceive as critical in nature", Bachelet continued, stating that even if authorities find "constructive criticism uncomfortable, it should never be criminalized or outlawed in this way."
Speaking to journalists in Geneva on Tuesday, Rupert Colville, spokesperson for the High Commissioner, noted that "activists and human rights defenders have also come under mounting pressure in recent months, particularly because of their engagement in mass protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act that took place across the country earlier this year".
More than 1,500 people have reportedly been arrested in relation to the protests, with many charged under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, a law which has also been widely criticized for its lack of conformity with international human rights standards.
Charges have also been filed under this law against a number of individuals in connection with demonstrations that date back to 2018.
Most recently, the 83-year-old Catholic priest Stan Swamy, a long-standing activist engaged in defending the rights of marginalized groups, was charged and reportedly remains in detention, despite his poor health.
Ms. Bachelet urged the Indian Government to ensure that "no one else is detained for exercising their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly — and to do its utmost, in law and policy, to protect India's robust civil society".
"I also urge the authorities to carefully review the FCRA for its compliance with international human rights standards and to release people charged under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act for simply exercising basic human rights that India is obligated to protect", the UN rights chief added.
Earlier this year, in a welcome development for advocacy-based NGOs, India's Supreme Court significantly narrowed the definition of what constitutes a "political activity" under the FCRA.
"I encourage India's national institutions to strengthen the social and legal protections that enable civil society to function freely and contribute to progress", the High Commissioner continued.
Bachelet said that OHCHR would continue to closely engage with the government of India on issues relating to the promotion and protection of human rights, and would also continue to monitor developments that positively and negatively affect civic space, and fundamental rights and freedoms. — UN news


Clic here to read the story from its source.