IAMC Weekly News Digest, 9th July 2021 - IAMC

IAMC Weekly News Digest, 9th July 2021

Photo: PTI

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) condemned in the strongest terms the deliberate neglect and targeting by the government of India that led to the death of Father Stan Swamy, an 84-year-old Jesuit priest and longtime human rights defender. “Father Stan Swamy’s death is a stark reminder of the egregious and ongoing persecution of India’s religious minority communities. USCIRF consistently spoke out when Father Swamy was arrested and denied bail, especially considering the rapid deterioration of his health as he suffered from Parkinson’s disease and contracted COVID-19 while in prison, and was not given any support from prison officials,” said USCIRF Chair Nadine Maenza. “We urge the United States to hold the Indian government accountable and to raise religious freedom concerns in the U.S.-India bilateral relationship.”…

Photo: Maktoob Media

India is abusing its anti-terrorism law to imprison human rights defenders and civil activists for years on false charges, without bail or even a trial, legal experts from the US, the UK and India said on Friday. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government was abusing this law, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), even more aggressively than did the previous governments, and so it should be repealed, the experts said at a Congressional Briefing in Washington, DC, on Wednesday. “The Government of India has been engaging in increasing and severe crackdowns on freedom of speech, routinely responding to peaceful critics with abuse of excessive penal actions,” John Sifton, the Washington, DC-based Asia Advocacy Director of Human Rights Watch, said. It was abusing the law “more aggressively to criminalize dissent and press freedom, undermine rights, freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.”…

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Indian auditors are asking NGOs about their Muslim beneficiaries

Photo: National Herald

Hundreds of Indian NGOs are in the midst of unprecedented audits by the government, triggering fears that prime minister Narendra Modi’s government – well known for its antipathy towards the non-profit sector – will eventually use its audit findings in actions or reprisals against specific organizations. At least since January, government auditors have been paying visits to NGO offices, staying 10-14 days on each occasion to comb through financial records. In several cases, according to interviews with executives and accountants in the non-profit sector, the visiting auditors also asked pointed questions about Muslim employees and beneficiaries, and about the political allegiances of NGO staff….

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USCIRF Condemns Death of Jesuit Priest Imprisoned in India

Indian govt abusing anti-terror law UAPA to imprison activists, critics: US, UK legal experts

Violence Breaks Out in India’s West Bengal Over Muslim Man’s Death in Police Custody

Calls to murder Muslim men, abduct Muslim women made from yet another ‘Hindu Mahapanchayat’ in Haryana

How Gujarat Police Used Islamophobia To Build Terror Case With No Evidence Against 124 Men