IAMC Weekly News Digest, 17th September 2021
The United Nations high commissioner for human rights Michelle Bachelet on Monday criticized India for pressure on journalists, use of UAPA and the as “frequent” temporary communication blackouts in Jammu and Kashmir. She described the use of UAPA in India as “worrying” and said hundreds of people remain in detention in India for exercising their right to the freedom of expression. In her opening statement at the 48th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Bachelet (said),…. “Indian authorities’ restrictions on public assembly and frequent temporary communication blackouts continue in Jammu and Kashmir, while hundreds of people remain in detention for exercising their right to the freedom of expression, and journalists face ever-growing pressure.”…
The Clooney Foundation for Justice is alarmed at the investigation launched this week into Indian journalist and Washington Post Global Opinions writer Rana Ayyub. Ms. Ayyub, who is known for her investigative reporting critical of Prime Minister Modi and his government, is facing charges of fraud and money laundering for alleged misuse of funds she received for COVID relief. The case was prompted by a complaint from an individual affiliated with India’s ruling party. For one of the fraud charges alone, Ms. Ayyub faces up to seven years in prison. These latest charges, and others mounting against Ms. Ayyub, appear to be an attempt to harass, intimidate, and silence her in response to her reporting, in particular on India’s handling of the COVID crisis….
Over 600 eminent personalities on Thursday said that raids at the premises of human rights activist Harsh Mander should be seen as part of the Centre’s use of government institutions to “threaten, intimidate and silence” its critics. “We condemn these raids to harass and intimidate a leading human rights and peace activist who has done nothing but work for peace and harmony, consistently upholding the highest moral standards of honesty and probity,” they said in a statement…. Earlier on Thursday, the Enforcement Directorate conducted raids at Mander’s home in Delhi’s Vasant Kunj area, his office in the Centre for Equity Studies at the city’s Sarvodaya Enclave locality, and Umeed, a children’s home that his organisation runs in the Mehrauli neighbourhood….