Friday, March 22, 2019 | ePaper
Amnesty-India slams Delhi for reluctance to give shelter to Rohingyas
Amnesty International India has appreciated Dhaka for giving shelter to nearly a million Rohingya people from Myanmar, but criticised New Delhi for reluctance to take in 40,000 Rohingya refugees.In the context of the meeting between Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and India's PM Narendra Modi in Shantiniketan, in West Bengal, the Amnesty India urged both the heads of the government to address specific human rights concerns in their respective nations.
"It is the shared duty of both nations to ensure refugees in their countries to have support that is responsive to their needs," said Aakar Patel, Executive Director of Amnesty International India.
"Governments in both countries have a duty to protect them from harm, especially in the light of smear campaigns and widespread anti-refugee rhetoric."
The Amnesty official pointed out that as both the countries go to general elections within the next year, it is an opportune time for both leaders to reiterate their commitment to human rights.
"We urge Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to ensure their governments hold rigorous investigations into fatal and near-fatal targeted attacks on historically and socially marginalised communities, stated Aakar Patel.
He insisted that both the leaders should ensure that space for expressing dissent is not compromised. "This can be achieved when both countries have a free and independent press, where journalists are not intimidated, harassed and attacked, and repressive laws are not used to silence them," he added.
Dwelling on the Rohingya crisis, the Amnesty official regretted that while Bangladesh has been exemplary in opening its doors to nearly a million Rohingya refugees, India's reluctance to keep in 40,000 Rohingya refugees is disappointing.
"Indian authorities should follow suit by taking effective measures to protect Rohingya people escaping persecution and state violence," he said.