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India hits back on UN rights chief’s remark on Rohingyas

“Like many other nations, India is concerned about illegal migrants, in particular, with the possibility that they could pose security challenges. Enforcing the laws should not be mistaken for lack of compassion,” Permanent Representative of India to UN in Geneva Rajiv K Chander said.

Written by Shubhajit Roy | Ahmedabad |
Updated: September 13, 2017 7:43:24 am
“We have also noted that the issue of human rights situations in the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir has been raised. It is a matter of regret that the central role of terrorism is once again being overlooked. Assessments of human rights should not be a matter of political convenience,” the Indian envoy said.

A day after the UN’s top envoy on human rights slammed India over the government’s plans to deport Rohingya refugees, the Indian envoy in Geneva on Tuesday said that New Delhi is “concerned” about “illegal migrants” who can pose security challenges and enforcing the laws should not be mistaken for lack of compassion.

On UN envoy for human rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein’s comments on the “rise of intolerance”, he said that “tendentious judgements made on the basis of selective and even inaccurate reports do not further the understanding of human rights in any society”.

In response to the oral update of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights at the 36th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, Permanent Representative of India to UN in Geneva Rajiv K Chander said, “We are perplexed at some of the observations made by the High Commissioner in his oral update. There appears to be inadequate appreciation of the freedoms and rights that are guaranteed and practised daily in a vibrant democracy that has been built under challenging conditions. Tendentious judgements made on the basis of selective and even inaccurate reports do not further the understanding of human rights in any society.”

“Like many other nations, India is concerned about illegal migrants, in particular, with the possibility that they could pose security challenges. Enforcing the laws should not be mistaken for lack of compassion,” he said.

“It is also surprising that individual incidents are being extrapolated to suggest a broader societal situation. India is proud of its independent judiciary, freedom of press, vibrant civil society and respect for rule of law and human rights. A more informed view would have not only recognised this but also noted, for example, that the Prime Minister himself publicly condemned violence in the name of cow protection. India does not condone any actions in violation of law and imputations to the contrary are not justified,” Chander said, responding to deaths due to lynching.

“We have also noted that the issue of human rights situations in the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir has been raised. It is a matter of regret that the central role of terrorism is once again being overlooked. Assessments of human rights should not be a matter of political convenience,” the Indian envoy said.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on Monday had said that he “deplored” the Indian government’s plans to deport Rohingya refugees “at a time of such violence against them in their country”. Al Hussein had specifically mentioned a statement by Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju in his speech at the UN Human Rights Council’s 36th session in Geneva. Al Hussein had said India “cannot carry out collective expulsions” and return people to a place where they face persecution.

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