us report highlights significant human rights violations in india in 2022
Released on Monday, an annual US report on human rights practices underscored serious human rights violations in India, including the reported targeting of journalists, dissidents, and religious minorities, the US State Department informed.
The findings come nearly a year after a rare direct criticism by Washington of India’s rights record in which Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the US was monitoring what he described as growing human rights abuses in the Asian nation by some government, prison, and police officials.
US criticism of India is usually quite rare because of the close economic relations the two countries share as well as New Delhi’s increasing importance for Washington to counter Beijing.
The US report highlighted that a number of significant human rights abuses in India have included reliable reports of unjustifiable treatment or punishment by prison or police officials; unjustified arrests or prosecutions of journalists; and the government or its agents conducting extrajudicial killings.
Advocacy groups have often raised concerns over what they describe as a worsening human rights situation in the country under the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. While Human Rights Watch says the government’s actions target the Muslim population, critics of Modi say his party has encouraged religious polarization.
The government, however, has dismissed the allegations by saying its actions are aimed at promoting the development of all communities.
Last year, authorities also demolished a number of ‘illegal shops and properties’ in parts of India, several of them owned by Muslims. While the government said they were just enforcing the law, critics opposed the demolition drive saying it was an attempt to intimidate the Muslims.
Since the Hindu nationalist party came to power in 2014, India has dropped from 140th in World Press Freedom Index to 150th place last year, its lowest ever. The annual ranking is provided by the non-profit Reporters Without Borders.