United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Beslet on Tuesday expressed concern over the “arrest of human rights activists in India and the ban imposed by NGOs on foreign funding”. He should “protect the rights of human rights defenders and NGOs” and “their ability to do important work on behalf of their organizations”. He said in a statement, “India has a strong civil society, which has been at the forefront of supporting human rights in the country and the world, but I am concerned that the use of vaguely defined laws (these advocates of human rights) Incidents are being made to suppress the voices.
Beshalet specifically described the use of the ‘Foreign Contribution Regulation Act’ (FCRA) as “worrisome”, which prohibits “foreign financial assistance for any activity that is adverse to the public interest”. Meanwhile, India reacted sharply on Tuesday to Beshalet’s concern over sanctions on NGOs and alleged arrests of activists, saying violations of the law on the pretext of human rights cannot be forgiven and the UN unit is more informed about the case The vote was expected.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Anurag Shrivastava also said that India is a country with democratic system based on rule of law and independent judiciary. He said, “We have seen some comments on the issue related to the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. India is a democratic system based on the rule of law and judiciary.
Srivastava said, “Legislation is clearly a sovereign prerogative. However, violations of the law on the pretext of human rights cannot be forgiven. There was hope for a more informed opinion from the UN unit. “Earlier, Beslet said that the FCRA law” justifies highly intervening steps, ranging from official raids on NGO offices and sealing bank accounts to UN Steps to suspend or cancel the registration of NGOs, including civil society organizations associated with human rights bodies, are included.
“I am concerned that such measures based on vaguely defined ‘public interest’ could lead to misuse of this law and use them to stop NGOs reporting and advocating for them,” Beslet said. Or to punish those whom the authorities consider to be of a critical nature. “He said that pressure on human rights activists in recent months, especially against the revised citizenship law, was involved in demonstrations across the country earlier this year. Increased”.
“More than 1,500 people were allegedly arrested in connection with the demonstrations and many were charged under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act,” Beshalet said. This is a law which has been widely condemned for not conforming to international human rights standards. ”He said that many people, including Catholic priest Stan Swamy (83), have been accused under this law.