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Securing justice for violations against religious minorities in India

17 October 2022 • 1:00 – 3:00 pm CEST

Ahead of India’s fourth Universal Period Review (UPR) cycle, this event addresses the deteriorating situation facing the country’s religious minorities. Since India’s previous UPR, during which key recommendations concerning the rights of minorities were not supported, concerns have been raised by a number of domestic and international actors regarding the increasingly hostile environment for minorities and those defending their rights. This has been accompanied by detailed reporting on discriminatory legislation and serious human rights violations against minorities. Beyond offering documentation of escalating violations, this reporting has also pointed to state-led, systematic targeting of minorities, in particular Muslims.

Despite repeated calls for intervention, the majority of human rights violations against minorities in India remain unaddressed by domestic institutions. At the same time, civic space has been increasingly tightened, and human rights defenders, journalists and other who have sought to secure accountability have been targeted, including under counterterrorism legislation. With several state-level elections upcoming in late 2022 and national elections scheduled for early 2024, the situation for India’s minorities is likely to deteriorate further without concerted attention and action on the part of the international community at this critical juncture.

This online event will bring together activists from the region, as well as UN and other international experts for an opportunity to discuss the challenges concerning the treatment of religious minorities in India. Given India’s upcoming fourth UPR cycle in November, particular attention will be dedicated to discussing how to prevent further escalation against religious minorities and secure justice and accountability for violations.

Hosted by: Amnesty International, Frontline Defenders, Human Rights Watch, International Commission of Jurists, Minority Rights Group International

Format: The event will be held online and will include an interactive panel discussion with interventions from each of the speakers followed by a moderated Q&A session with the audience. The event will be held in English.

Participants will include:

  • Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia Director, Human Rights Watch
  • Aakar Patel, Chair, Amnesty India
  • Deanne Uyangoda, Protection Coordinator, Asia-Pacific, Frontline Defenders
  • Stephen Rapp, former US Ambassador at large, Global criminal justice; former Chief of Prosecutions, International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and Chief Prosecutor, Special Court for Sierra Leone
  • Fernand de Varennes, UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues

The discussion will be moderated by Claire Thomas, Deputy Director at Minority Rights Group International.

When? Monday 17 October, 5.30pm (New Delhi) / 2.00pm (Geneva) / 1.00pm (London)

Watch the event

Image: A street in India. Photo published on PxHere under Creative Commons CC0 licence (public domain).