Pakistan suppressed dissent, India targeted minorities: Human Rights Watch

WASHINGTON: In Pakistan, authorities have expanded stringent laws to suppress dissent and in India the government is encouraging discrimination against religious minorities, especially Muslims, says an international report on human rights released on Thursday.

world report 2022Compiled by the US-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) group, it also laments the rise of autocracy in recent years, but points out that pro-democracy forces are challenging the trend around the world. The report covers the events that happened in 2021.

a different Chapter On Pakistan, the report states that Pakistani “authorities expanded their use of harsh sedition and anti-terrorism laws to suppress dissent, and strictly controlled civil society groups criticizing government actions or policies”.

The report also said that in 2021 Pakistani officials Broke On members of the media and supporters of opposition political parties.

In India, “the government adopted laws and policies that discriminated against religious minorities, especially Muslims. This, coupled with the failure of the police to act against BJP supporters who malign Muslims and commit violence, by some BJP leaders, are Hindu nationalists. encouraged groups to ruthlessly attack Muslims and critics of the government,” added another in the report. Chapter,

In his introductory note, HRW Executive Director Kenneth Roth noted that in 2021, “autocracy is on the rise and democracy is on the decline” but it has also energized democratic forces around the world.

The report suggests that the idea that autocracy is on the rise derives currency from swift crackdown on opposition voices in China, Russia, Belarus, Myanmar, Turkey, Thailand, Egypt, Uganda, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Venezuela and Nicaragua.

Military takeovers in Myanmar, Sudan, Mali and Guinea and undemocratic transfers of power in Tunisia and Chad also support this view.

According to the report, in 2021 the government of Pakistan intensified its efforts to control the media and reduce dissent.

authority worried, and sometimes journalists and other members of civil society are detained for criticizing government officials and policies. Violent attacks on members of the media also continued.

In India, the National Human Rights Commission continued to charge torture and extra-judicial killings in 2021 with 143 deaths in police custody and 104 alleged extra-judicial killings in the first nine months.

After the death of the Kashmiri leader, in occupied Jammu and Kashmir, Indian authorities “once again banned movement and almost complete communications’ blackout”.

Syed Ali Shah Geelani was Geelani’s family in September denied Right to have a proper funeral.

In July, four UN human rights expert mandates wrote to the Indian government “about the widespread pattern of repressive measures and systematic violations of fundamental rights used against the local (Kashmiri) population, as well as threats, searches and seizures.” expressed concern. by national security agents”.

The report also said that Pakistan’s relations with the United States remained unstable in 2021.

Published in Dawn, January 14, 2022