Skip to main content
Sabrang
Sabrang
Freedom Politics

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights flags crises in Assam and Kashmir

Sabrangindia 10 Sep 2019

On September 9, 2019, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet spoke about the citizenship issue in Assam as well as the situation in Kashmir as a part of her opening address at the 42nd session of the Human Rights Council. The inclusion of these two subjects was significant as the speech covered some of the most acute instances of humanitarian crises across the world.


UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet

Speaking on the subject of Assam, Bachelet said, "The recent National Register of Citizens verification process in the northeast Indian state of Assam has caused great uncertainty and anxiety, with some 1.9 million people excluded from the final list published on 31 August." She added, "I appeal to the Government to ensure due process during the appeals process, prevent deportation or detention, and ensure people are protected from statelessness."

On the subject of Kashmir, the High Commissioner had more to say. "In relation to Kashmir, my Office continues to receive reports on the human rights situation on both sides of the line of control. I am deeply concerned about the impact of recent actions by the Government of India on the human rights of Kashmiris, including restrictions on internet communications and peaceful assembly, and the detention of local political leaders and activists," said Bachelet. She also said, "While I continue to urge the Governments of India and Pakistan to ensure that human rights are respected and protected, I have appealed particularly to India to ease the current lockdowns or curfews; to ensure people's access to basic services; and that all due process rights are respected for those who have been detained." But what was most significant was the emphasis she laid on the need for the participation of Kashmiri people in any decision making process that concerns their lives. She said, "It is important that the people of Kashmir are consulted and engaged in any decision-making processes that have an impact on their future."

The High Commissioner's address also included a mention of the protests in Hong Kong, "My Office continues to engage in bilateral dialogue with the Government of China. In relation to Hong Kong, while many of the demonstrations have been conducted peacefully and according to the law, I have been disturbed by scenes of increasing violence associated with some recent protests. I appeal to those engaging in demonstrations to do so peacefully, and in accordance with the law. I also urge the authorities to continue to respond to any acts of violence with restraint, and without excessive force. "

Bechelet also touched upon the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar, the armed conflicts in Afghanistand Syria as well as the crisis at the US border and its impact on migrants from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and other Central American countries. The address devoted a sizable amount of time to climate change and the rights of indigenous people as well. The entire address may be read here.
 

Related:

GOI responds to UN’s concerns about Assam
“Rising tide of bigotry, stigmatization and scapegoating” in NRC process: UN demands GOI response
UN questions ‘statelessness and disenfranchisement’ of ‘minority groups’ in Assam
UN raises concerns over exclusion of people from NRC in Assam and subsequent ‘statelessness’
Alarming Rise in Racism and Xenophobia
UN raises questions about NRC Claims and Objections process

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights flags crises in Assam and Kashmir

On September 9, 2019, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet spoke about the citizenship issue in Assam as well as the situation in Kashmir as a part of her opening address at the 42nd session of the Human Rights Council. The inclusion of these two subjects was significant as the speech covered some of the most acute instances of humanitarian crises across the world.


UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet

Speaking on the subject of Assam, Bachelet said, "The recent National Register of Citizens verification process in the northeast Indian state of Assam has caused great uncertainty and anxiety, with some 1.9 million people excluded from the final list published on 31 August." She added, "I appeal to the Government to ensure due process during the appeals process, prevent deportation or detention, and ensure people are protected from statelessness."

On the subject of Kashmir, the High Commissioner had more to say. "In relation to Kashmir, my Office continues to receive reports on the human rights situation on both sides of the line of control. I am deeply concerned about the impact of recent actions by the Government of India on the human rights of Kashmiris, including restrictions on internet communications and peaceful assembly, and the detention of local political leaders and activists," said Bachelet. She also said, "While I continue to urge the Governments of India and Pakistan to ensure that human rights are respected and protected, I have appealed particularly to India to ease the current lockdowns or curfews; to ensure people's access to basic services; and that all due process rights are respected for those who have been detained." But what was most significant was the emphasis she laid on the need for the participation of Kashmiri people in any decision making process that concerns their lives. She said, "It is important that the people of Kashmir are consulted and engaged in any decision-making processes that have an impact on their future."

The High Commissioner's address also included a mention of the protests in Hong Kong, "My Office continues to engage in bilateral dialogue with the Government of China. In relation to Hong Kong, while many of the demonstrations have been conducted peacefully and according to the law, I have been disturbed by scenes of increasing violence associated with some recent protests. I appeal to those engaging in demonstrations to do so peacefully, and in accordance with the law. I also urge the authorities to continue to respond to any acts of violence with restraint, and without excessive force. "

Bechelet also touched upon the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar, the armed conflicts in Afghanistand Syria as well as the crisis at the US border and its impact on migrants from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and other Central American countries. The address devoted a sizable amount of time to climate change and the rights of indigenous people as well. The entire address may be read here.
 

Related:

GOI responds to UN’s concerns about Assam
“Rising tide of bigotry, stigmatization and scapegoating” in NRC process: UN demands GOI response
UN questions ‘statelessness and disenfranchisement’ of ‘minority groups’ in Assam
UN raises concerns over exclusion of people from NRC in Assam and subsequent ‘statelessness’
Alarming Rise in Racism and Xenophobia
UN raises questions about NRC Claims and Objections process

Related Articles

Sunday

03

Jan

Pan-India

Saturday

05

Dec

05 pm onwards

Rise in Rage!

North Gate, JNU campus

Thursday

26

Nov

10 am onwards

Delhi Chalo

Pan India

Theme

Stop Hate

Hate and Harmony in 2021

A recap of all that transpired across India in terms of hate speech and even outright hate crimes, as well as the persecution of those who dared to speak up against hate. This disturbing harvest of hate should now push us to do more to forge harmony.
Taliban 2021

Taliban in Afghanistan: A look back

Communalism Combat had taken a deep dive into the lives of people of Afghanistan under the Taliban regime. Here we reproduce some of our archives documenting the plight of hapless Afghanis, especially women, who suffered the most under the hardline regime.
2020

Milestones 2020

In the year devastated by the Covid 19 Pandemic, India witnessed apathy against some of its most marginalised people and vilification of dissenters by powerful state and non state actors. As 2020 draws to a close, and hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers continue their protest in the bitter North Indian cold. Read how Indians resisted all attempts to snatch away fundamental and constitutional freedoms.
Migrant Diaries

Migrant Diaries

The 2020 COVID pandemic brought to fore the dismal lives that our migrant workers lead. Read these heartbreaking stories of how they lived before the pandemic, how the lockdown changed their lives and what they’re doing now.

Campaigns

Sunday

03

Jan

Pan-India

Saturday

05

Dec

05 pm onwards

Rise in Rage!

North Gate, JNU campus

Thursday

26

Nov

10 am onwards

Delhi Chalo

Pan India

IN FACT

Analysis

Stop Hate

Hate and Harmony in 2021

A recap of all that transpired across India in terms of hate speech and even outright hate crimes, as well as the persecution of those who dared to speak up against hate. This disturbing harvest of hate should now push us to do more to forge harmony.
Taliban 2021

Taliban in Afghanistan: A look back

Communalism Combat had taken a deep dive into the lives of people of Afghanistan under the Taliban regime. Here we reproduce some of our archives documenting the plight of hapless Afghanis, especially women, who suffered the most under the hardline regime.
2020

Milestones 2020

In the year devastated by the Covid 19 Pandemic, India witnessed apathy against some of its most marginalised people and vilification of dissenters by powerful state and non state actors. As 2020 draws to a close, and hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers continue their protest in the bitter North Indian cold. Read how Indians resisted all attempts to snatch away fundamental and constitutional freedoms.
Migrant Diaries

Migrant Diaries

The 2020 COVID pandemic brought to fore the dismal lives that our migrant workers lead. Read these heartbreaking stories of how they lived before the pandemic, how the lockdown changed their lives and what they’re doing now.

Archives