Motion filed in EU Parliament against India’s anti-Muslim law

It condemns Citizenship (Amendment) Act and also urges India to address concerns over NRC

By: News Desk      Published: 10:32 PM, 27 Jan, 2020
Member of European Parliament

A joint motion for a resolution against India’s Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019, the anti-Muslim law enacted by New Delhi, has been submitted in the European Parliament in Brussels.

The motion was tabled by Shaffaq Mohammed, Petras Auštrevičius, Catherine Bearder, Phil Bennion, Katalin Cseh, Chris Davies, Barbara Gibson, Charles Goerens, Martin Horwood, Moritz Körner, and Irina Von Wiese on behalf of the Renew Europe and a number of other groups of EU Parliament.

Renew Europe is a liberal, pro-European political group founded for the ninth European Parliament term. The group is the successor to the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe group which existed during the sixth, seventh and eighth terms of the European Parliament, from 2004 to 2019.

The 10-point motion read that it:

1. Deeply regrets the adoption and implementation of the CAA, which is discriminatory in nature and dangerously divisive; calls upon the Government of India to immediately respond to the citizens´ petitions as required by the Supreme Court; further calls upon the Government of India to engage with various sections of the population for a peaceful dialogue and repeal the discriminatory amendments, which violate India’s international obligations; warns against the increasing nationalism which has resulted, among others, in fuelling religious intolerance and the discrimination  of Muslims;

2. Recalls that while the stated goal of the CAA in protecting persecuted groups is welcome, an effective national asylum and refugee policy should have a just and holistic character and apply to all those in need;

3. Calls on the Indian government to address the legitimate concerns raised over the National Register of Citizens which may be used to target marginalised groups; is worried that the National Register of Citizens sets 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;

4. Stresses that all migrants, regardless of their migration status, are entitled to respect, protection and fulfilment of their basic human rights;

5. Condemns the violence and brutality that broke out in different regions of India following the adoption of the amended legislation; reminds of 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;

6. Condemns the decision of the Indian authorities to shut down internet access to global networks which prevents communication and the free flow of information; underscores that such actions are a clear violation of the freedom of speech;

7. Takes note that CAA is considered by the Supreme Court of India and the Government of India has been given 40 days to respond to petitions; trusts that any ruling from the Supreme Court will bring more clarity about the said legislation and its compatibility with the Constitution of India and its international obligations;

8. Calls on the Indian authorities to extend a standing invitation to all Special Procedures of the UN Human Rights Council and to cooperate with them in a proactive manner; urges them to ensure particularly the access of the UN Special Rapporteur on minority issues, on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, and freedom of religion or belief;

9. Calls on the VP/HR to continue a constructive dialogue with India on all aspects of cooperation, including political and human rights; calls on the EU’s and the Member States’ representations in India to include the issue of ethnic and religious minorities’ discrimination in their ongoing dialogues with the Indian authorities, and to prioritise programmes addressing ethnic groups’ and religious minorities’ discrimination, including in education, and programmes with particular focus on discrimination of minorities;

10. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Member States, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the President of India, the Government of India, the Indian Parliament and the Governments of the States in India.