Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch condemn summary punishment of Muslims in India - IAMC

Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch condemn summary punishment of Muslims in India

Internationally recognized human rights organizations Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have slammed Indian authorities after a video of Gujarat police publicly flogging a group of Muslim men went viral.

“The Gujarat police’s use of striking devices… to beat Muslim men who were tied to a pole by the police themselves is a serious human rights violation and shows their utter disrespect towards rule of law,” Amnesty International tweeted.

“We remind the @GujaratPolice that punishment is never a legitimate objective for a law enforcement action, even if using less lethal weapons. In this case, it blatantly ignored the guiding principles of legality, necessity, proportionality, and accountability.”

Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director at Human Rights Watch, also called out the surge of summary punishments inflicted on the Muslim community across India — from home demolitions to mob beatings.

“The authorities in several Indian states are carrying out violence against Muslims as a kind of summary punishment,” said Ganguly. “Officials blatantly disregarding the rule of law are sending a message to the public that Muslims can be discriminated against and attacked.”

Following the international outrage over the incident, Gujarat police have ordered an inquiry into the incident.

BJP leader calls on Hindus to arm themselves; spreads hate against Muslims

Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Hindu supremacist Sangeet Som referred to Muslims as terrorists who “commit beheadings” and then called upon Hindus to take up arms against them during an event in Uttar Pradesh state.

“The way the population of a particular community is increasing, terrorism is increasing, there are talks of separatism, talks of beheading. To end all of this, along with power, weapons will also be needed in the future,” Som said during his speech.

BJP leader Sangeet Som. Photo: Screengrab via Twitter

“The day is not far off when green flags will be visible across western Uttar Pradesh, so act wisely,” he claimed. The color green is associated with Islam and Muslims.

Som has a long history of inciting violence by spreading hate speech. In 2013, he was accused of playing a role in the Muzaffarnagar riots, killing 62 people,  mostly Muslims, and displacing another 50,000.

Muslim student leaders released from Kerala prison after protesting hijab ban

Twelve Muslim student activists were released after spending 11 days in a Kerala prison for protesting against a hijab ban in a government-funded school in Kozhikode city. The students were denied bail twice before being released on October 6.

The students protested an incident where a Muslim student was forced to leave her school after being told hijabs were not allowed.

“It was a denial of her fundamental right to study in a school of her choice. The MYL would launch an agitation if action was not taken against the school,” said leaders of the student activist group Muslim Youth League.

“[Kerala] Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who raised the issue of hijab in Karnataka, which is the peak of fascism, is expected to continue the same position in his own state,” said Sathar Panthalloor, leader of student group Sunni Yuvajana Sangham (SYS).