India hits back at United Nations criticism

Pakistani students take part in a rally to condemn ongoing violence against the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar in Islamabad Pakistan Monday Sept. 11 2017

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After UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein criticized India's decision to deport Rohingya Muslim migrants, India has hit back strongly providing valid reasons for its decisions. He said that India is a vibrant democracy where thousands of communities thrive and everyone enjoys the right and freedom to practice their religion and way of life.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights noted that minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju had reportedly said that because India is not a signatory to the Refugee Convention it "can dispense with worldwide law on the matter, together with basic human compassion". "Tendentious judgements made on the basis of selective and even inaccurate reports do not further the understanding of human rights in any society".

Referring to attacks on people who speak out for fundamental human rights, he pointed to the murder last week of journalist Gauri Lankesh, who, he said, "tirelessly addressed the corrosive effect of sectarianism and hatred".

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"It is also surprising that individual incidents are being extrapolated to suggest a broader societal situation".

Rejecting the observations by UNHRC Chief Hussien, India's Permanent Represenatitive to the UN Rajiv Chander said, "Tendentious judgements made on the basis of selective and even inaccurate reports do not further the understanding of human rights in any society". India is proud of its independent judiciary, freedom of press, vibrant civil society and respect for rule of law and human rights. "The Minister of State for Home Affairs has reportedly said that because India is not a signatory to the Refugee Convention, the country can dispense with worldwide law on the matter, together with basic human compassion", Al Hussein had said.

Like many other nations, India is concerned about illegal migrants, in particular, with the possibility that they could pose security challenges. "India does not condone any actions in violation of law and imputations to the contrary are not justified", Chander said, responding to deaths due to lynching.

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Al Hussein, who described the Myanmar government's handling of the Rohingya issue as a "textbook example of ethnic cleansing", specifically targeted minister of state for home affairs Kiren Rijiju for his stance on deporting Rohingya refugees. A top United Nations human rights official said that India can not carry out collective expulsions or return people to a place where they risk torture. He said nobody should preach New Delhi on the matter as India absorbed the maximum number of refugees in the world.

Al Hussein had deplored India's measures to deport the Rohingya refugees, noting that "nearly 40,000 had settled in India and 16,000 of them had received refugee documentation".

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