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India: European Parliament resolution on India’s Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019

Indian actor quotes the EU resolution for his defence

Thursday 30 January 2020, by siawi3

Source: https://images.dawn.com/news/1184546/javed-jaffrey-slams-troll-for-calling-him-a-traitor-over-anti-caa-remarks

Javed Jaffrey slams troll for calling him a traitor over anti-CAA remarks

30.01.20 Updated about 3 hours ago

Desk Report

“Last time I read the constitution, it spoke of democracy, equality and right to dissent,” said the actor.

Javed Jaffery is not fazed by trolls and we have proof.

The actor recently tweeted an article which discussed how 600 lawmakers in the 751-member EU Parliament moved six resolutions against the CAA, claiming it marked a dangerous shift in India’s citizenship regime.

Jaffery’s post was met with both support and criticism, with one telling him to move to Europe. The comedian had an apt response ready and shots were fired.

Jaffrey said, “Last time I read the constitution, it spoke of democracy, equality and right to dissent. Wouldn’t know if you have made any changes privately though... kindly update.”

Jaffrey is one of the growing celebrities that are vocal against the Citizen Amendment Act. Fellow stars like Hrithik Roshan, Alia Bhatt, Sonakshi Sinha and Parineeti Chopra have previously called out the CAA while many like Sonam Kapoor and Mahesh Bhatt stood in solidarity with the students of Jamia Millia Islamia University when their protest was violently stopped.

Many also supported students of Jawaharlal Nehru University when they were attacked by masked vandals, with Deepika Padukone showing up to their protest as an act of solidarity.

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Source: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/B-9-2020-0079_EN..html

European Parliament resolution on India’s Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019

European Parliament

22.1.2020 Last updated: 23 January 2020

B9?0079/2020

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION

to wind up the debate on the statement by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy pursuant to Rule 132(2) of the Rules of Procedure on India’s Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (2020/2519(RSP))

Idoia Villanueva Ruiz, Miguel Urbán Crespo, Konstantinos Arvanitis, Manuel Bompard, Younous Omarjee, Stelios Kouloglou, Eugenia Rodríguez Palop, Dimitrios Papadimoulis, Giorgos Georgiou, Niyazi Kizilyürek

on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group

B9?0079/2020

European Parliament resolution on India’s Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019

(2020/2519(RSP))

The European Parliament,

– having regard to the Charter of the United Nations,

– having regard to Article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR),

– having regard to Article 21 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights,

– having regard to UN Security Council Resolution 91 (1951) on Kashmir,

– having regard to the UN report on Kashmir of 2019,

– having regard to the India-EU Strategic Partnership Joint Action Plan signed in November 2005, and to the EU-India Thematic Dialogue on Human Rights,

– having regard to the Declaration of the High-level Meeting of the UN General Assembly on the rule of law at the national and international levels and to the resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 30 November 2012 (A/RES/67/1),

– having regard to Rule 132(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas since the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won the general election in May 2019 and Prime Minister Narendra Modi returned for a second term, the Government of India has reinforced its nationalistic orientation, discriminating against, harassing and prosecuting national and religious minorities and silencing any opposition, human rights groups, human rights defenders, and journalists critical of the government;

B. whereas in August 2019 the government revoked the special constitutional status of the state of Jammu and Kashmir and split it into two separate, federally governed territories; whereas the government deployed additional troops to the region, shut down the internet and phones, and placed thousands of people in preventive detention, including elected leaders, prompting international condemnation;

C. whereas Security Council resolutions requiring a referendum allowing all Kashmiris to determine the future status of Kashmir have never been implemented;

D. whereas the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA) was passed by the Parliament of India on 11 December 2019 amending the Citizenship Act of 1955 to provide a path to Indian citizenship for members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian religious minorities who had fled persecution from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan before December 2014; whereas the CAA leaves out Muslims and others from these countries, as well as Tamil refugees from Sri Lanka, Rohingyas from Myanmar, and Buddhist refugees from Tibet; whereas this amendment introduces religion as a criterion for citizenship for the first time under Indian nationality law; whereas this amendment violates the secular nature of India’s constitution;

E. whereas the CAA violates India’s international obligations to prevent deprivation of citizenship on the basis of race, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin, as enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and other human rights treaties; whereas the CAA is in clear violation of Article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which states that ‘Everyone has the right to a nationality’ and that ‘No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality’; whereas the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has called the CAA ‘fundamentally discriminatory’, adding that while India’s ‘goal of protecting persecuted groups is welcome’, this should be accomplished through a non-discriminatory ‘robust national asylum system’;

F. whereas all states are bound to respecting the human rights of all individuals without distinction; whereas an individual’s legal bond to a particular state through citizenship remains in practice an essential prerequisite to the enjoyment and protection of the full range of human rights;

G. whereas as stated in the Declaration of the High-level Meeting of the General Assembly on the rule of law at the national and international levels and in the resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly on 30 November 2012, ‘all persons, institutions and entities, public and private, including the State itself, are accountable to just, fair and equitable laws and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law’;

H. whereas the CAA marks a dangerous shift in the way citizenship will be determined in India and is set to create the largest statelessness crisis in the world and cause immense human suffering;

I. whereas the passage of the legislation caused large-scale protests in India; whereas huge demonstrations have been held in the capital, Delhi, as well as in Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Hyderabad; whereas the CAA has reignited old hostilities in Tripura; whereas Assam, Uttar Pradesh and other north-eastern states have seen violent demonstrations against the CAA over fears that granting Indian citizenship to refugees and immigrants will cause a loss of their ‘political rights, culture and land rights’ and motivate further migration from Bangladesh; whereas protesters have demanded that Indian citizenship be granted to Muslim refugees and immigrants;

J. whereas protesters throughout India have criticised the new law for being unconstitutional in discriminating against Muslims; whereas citizens are demanding that the amendment be scrapped and the nationwide National Register of Citizenship not be implemented; whereas citizens are concerned that Muslim citizens of India will be rendered stateless and put into detention camps; whereas protesters have condemned the authoritarianism of the Indian Government, the police crackdown in universities and the suppression of protests;

K. whereas the Government of India’s response to the protests has included the imposition of a curfew, a shutdown of internet services, detention of human rights activists and alleged torture;

L. whereas instead of addressing the concerns, offering corrective action, calling for security forces to act with restraint and ensuring accountability, many government leaders have been engaging in efforts to discredit, rebuke and threaten the protesters;

M. whereas the protests have led to the death of several protesters, left protesters and police personnel injured, and led to damage to public and private property; whereas various state governments have either arrested those protesting against the CAA or imposed prohibitory orders on them under Section 144 and 149 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC); whereas protestors have been met with a show of force and restrictive measures that infringe on their right to be seen and heard; expresses concern that many people have found themselves in detention or living under internet shutdowns;

N. whereas Uttar Pradesh has witnessed the largest number of deaths during the countrywide anti-CAA protests, including the death of an 8-year-old child in Varanasi. whereas over 22 protestors are reported to have succumbed to bullet injuries; whereas families of victims have expressed anguish over their inability to receive post mortem reports and file First Information Reports (FIRs) at the police station; whereas the FIRs on rioting are detailed and have led to multiple arrests and damage recovery operations;

O. whereas there have been credible reports of protestors in detention being tortured in India;

P. whereas some states have announced that they will not implement the CAA and some states, such as Kerala, have filed a legal challenge against the new citizenship law;

Q. whereas trade negotiations are underway between the EU and India;

1. Expresses deep concern at the fact that India has created the legal grounds to strip millions of Muslims of the fundamental right of equal access to citizenship; is concerned that the CAA could be used, along with the National Register of Citizens, to render many Muslim citizens stateless;

2. Reminds the Government of India of its obligations under the 1992 UN Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities, which establishes the obligation of countries to protect the existence and identity of religious minorities within their territories and to adopt appropriate measures to ensure that this is achieved; reminds the Government of India that governments are required to ensure that people belonging to minority groups, including religious minorities, may exercise their human rights without discrimination and in full equality before the law, and strongly condemns India’s violation of these internationally recognised principles;

3. Urgently calls on the Government and Parliament of India to demonstrate their expressed commitment to fully guaranteeing the protection of refugees and migrants, irrespective of their religion;

4. Urges the Indian authorities to engage constructively with the protestors and consider their demands to repeal the discriminatory CAA;

5. Expresses its solidarity with the national strike held on 7 January; notes that over 250 million workers have taken to the streets to protest for social security for all, against the privatisation of public companies, and against the CAA; condemns the excessive force in the crackdown on protests; stresses that citizens have the right to protest; calls on the Government of India to establish a credible, independent investigation into allegations of excessive use of force and violence by law enforcement officials against demonstrators;

6. Calls on the Indian authorities to stop the criminalisation of protests, to lift the disproportionate restrictions on the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, to end the indiscriminate shutdowns and to ensure the protection of all human rights;

7. Condemns the torture and detention of minors and peaceful protestors and the imprisonment of those critical of the authorities;

8. Urges the Indian authorities to accept visits from UN Special Procedures, in particular the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association and the UN Special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions;

9. Calls for the EU and Member States to condemn all violence in the context of the ongoing protests against the CAA, including the alleged killing of protestors by law enforcement officials, and all incidents of excess use of force by the police, some of which have been verified by Amnesty International India;

10. Calls for the EU and Member States to promote the implementation of the UN Security Council resolutions on Kashmir; calls on India and Pakistan to consider the enormous human, economic and political benefits of resolving this conflict; expresses deep concern at the growing tensions between India and Pakistan, both being nuclear weapon states, which have been further fuelled by the controversial decisions of the Government of India on Kashmir and citizenship; condemns the unilateral changes made to the status of Kashmir by India; asks both sides to implement the recommendations of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) report on Kashmir;

11. Urges the EU and Member States to raise the controversial new citizenship legislation in their contacts and negotiations with their Indian partners, and insists that any EU trade agreement with India should include a strong human rights clause with an effective implementation and suspension mechanism;

12. Calls on the Indian authorities to launch a prompt and impartial investigation into the allegations of torture and ill-treatment of peaceful protestors;

13. Calls for the EU and its Member States to use all bilateral and multilateral meetings to urge the Indian authorities to open up to a constructive human rights dialogue and to end the crackdown on individuals and organisations working on human rights;

14. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Government and Parliament of India, the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and the European External Action Service (EEAS).

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Source: https://www.sabrangindia.in/article/eu-parliament-discusses-caa-possible-vote-thursday

EU Parliament discusses CAA; possible vote on Thursday

CAA has sparked controversy, particularly in the light of Articles 14 and 15 of the Indian Constitution reads the resolution tabled in the EU Parliament
Sabrangindia 29 Jan 2020

EU

The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) are gaining attention internationally for their blatant communal discrimination and the violence against those who are agitating against the unconstitutional laws.

In keeping with this, the European Parliament is now set to discuss the CAA during a plenary session in Brussels, Belgium, debating on a resolution tabled by some of its members which says that the “divisive legislation” marks a “dangerous shift” asking the Indian government to “repeal” the same, reported India Today.

The resolution has been put forth by 560 of 751 MPs and makes a reference to the Charter of the United Nations, Article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) as well as the India-EU Strategic Joint Action Plan signed in November 2005 and to the EU-India Thematic Dialogue on Human Rights.

The resolution reads, “The European Parliament...deeply regrets the adoption and implementation of the CAA, which is discriminatory in nature and dangerously divisive; calls on the Government of India to immediately respond to citizens’ petitions as required by the Supreme Court; further calls on the Government of India to engage with various sections of the population in peaceful dialogue and to repeal the discriminatory amendments, which violates India’s international obligations; warns against the increasing nationalism which has resulted, inter alia, in the fuelling of religious intolerance and discrimination against Muslims...“The resolution also made note of the protests and violence that ensued after the CAA was announced. “The European Parliament...condemns the violence and brutality that broke out in different regions of India following the adoption of the CAA; recalls the special responsibility of law enforcement services to show restraint and allow peaceful protest; calls for a prompt and impartial investigation into the events; calls on the Indian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release the protesters and human rights defenders currently held under arrest...” it read.

The EU MPs, through the resolution, also asked India to reconsider the National Register of Citizens (NRC) saying, “The European Parliament calls on the Indian government to address the legitimate concerns raised over the NRC, which may be used to target marginalised groups; is worried that the NRC marks a dangerous shift in the way citizenship will be determined in India, and may create a large-scale statelessness crisis and cause immense human suffering..."

The members also condemned the decision of the Indian authorities to shut down internet access thus restricting communication and violating freedom of speech, also stating that the adoption of CAA could “exacerbate the climate of xenophobia, while fueling religious intolerance and indiscrimination in the country.”

It called on the government to cooperate proactively with all special procedures of the UN Human Rights Council; urges them to cooperate in particular with the UN Special Rapporteurs on minority issues, on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, and on freedom of religion or belief.

The European Union (EU) has distanced itself from the European Parliament’s decision to move the draft resolution saying that the opinions of the Parliament and its members did not “represent the official position of the European Union,” The Indian Express reported.

In an email response to The Indian Express, Virginie Battu-Henriksson, EU Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy said, “The European Parliament is currently planning to hold a debate on legislation adopted by the Government of India last December establishing a fast track procedure for irregular migrants belonging to certain religious groups originating from neighbouring countries. The Supreme Court of India is currently assessing the constitutionality of this law. As per its regular procedures, the European Parliament published the draft Resolutions. It is important to recall that these texts are only drafts tabled by various political groups in the European Parliament.”

“Let me also remind you that the opinions expressed by the European Parliament and its Members do not represent the official position of the European Union. The EU will host its 15th Summit with India on the 13th March 2020 in Brussels, with a view to strengthen its Strategic Partnership with India. India is a key partner for the EU to address global challenges and to jointly promote the rules based multilateral order,” she added.

India’s external affairs ministry has reiterated that CAA is an “entirely internal” matter and also called upon all those who supported the EU Parliament resolution to engage with the Indian government to get a “full and accurate assessment of the facts before they proceed further.”

The entire draft resolution by the EU Parliament may be read here.