Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch seek intervention against Indian government’s harassment
International human rights groups Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch (HRW) have sought the intervention of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) after accusing the far-right Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Indian government of prosecuting, intimidating, and harassing human rights defenders, activists, and non-profit organizations on the pretext of countering terrorist financing.
The groups have accused Indian authorities of exploiting FATF’s recommendations “to restrict civic space and stifle the rights to freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly”. They said that in the past 10 years, the authorities had canceled licenses of over 20,600 non-profit organizations, including 6,000 in 2022, blocking their access to foreign funding.
Hindu militant monk peddles anti-Muslim conspiracy theories during election rallies
In election rallies held across Chhattisgarh state, Hindu militant monk and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath peddled the anti-Muslim conspiracy theory of “love jihad” and promised action against it. He also promised to put an end to “cow smuggling” if the BJP comes to power in the state.
“Love jihad” is a conspiracy theory manufactured by Hindu supremacists that claims Muslim men have an agenda to seduce and convert Hindu women to Islam.
BJP leader threatens to hang Muslims, uses slurs in speech
A prominent leader of the far-right BJP, Jai Bhagwan Goyal, used anti-Muslim slurs and advocated for violence against Muslims during a gathering in Nand Nagri, New Delhi.
Goyal was captured on video referring to Muslims with slurs and threatening to kill them, saying, “If a Kathmulla, a Topliwala, or Mullah comes here, we won’t go to the police; we will hang them.”
Media regulatory body asks TV channel to take down news targeting Muslims
India’s News Broadcasting and Digital Standards Authority directed rightwing news channel Times Now to remove a video aired in September 2022, which falsely claimed Muslim men enter Hindu festival events to prey on Hindu women. The channel also claimed baselessly that such incidents happen “every year.”
The order was given after a complaint pointed out that the video targeted the Muslim community, demonized Muslim men, and violated broadcasting standards.