The Indian authorities used repressive laws to silence critics by curbing freedom of expression both offline and online. And human rights defenders, including activists, journalists, students, lawyers and actors, continued to face intimidation and harassment.
These are among the findings of the Amnesty International Report 2021/22: The State of the World’s Human Rights which was released today (March 29, 2022).
The report has cited a number of individual cases which reveal that human rights violations are rampant in India while the government of prime minister (PM) Narendra Modi is complicit in most crimes.
Likewise, Human Rights Watch said in its latest World Report 2022 that Indian authorities intensified their crackdown on activists, journalists, and other critics of the government using politically motivated prosecutions in 2021.
The report reveals that tens of thousands of people died during a surge in Covid-19 cases while the Modi government failed to provide adequate health care to those in need.
Also, the annual Freedom in the World 2022 report released in February by Freedom House states that the Indian government led by PM Modi and his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has presided over discriminatory policies and a rise in persecution affecting the Muslim population.
According to the Amnesty report, independent investigations revealed a massive unlawful surveillance apparatus being used by the Modi government against human rights defenders, violating their rights to privacy, non-discrimination and data protection.
It adds that the foreign contribution law was misused to crack down on human rights NGOs. Police and security forces used excessive force against members of minority communities and farmers protesting peacefully against laws on farming.
According to the report, Indian courts undermined the right to a fair trial and delayed hearing crucial cases involving violations of human rights. In the context of Covid-19, lack of transparency over the distribution of funds increased and the right to health was undermined.
Significant sectors of the Indian population suffered from shortages of hospital beds and oxygen during the second wave of Covid-19 infections. Moreover, caste-based discrimination and violence against Dalits and Adivasis continued unabated. The Amnesty report states that vigilante cow protection groups attacked minority communities, adversely affecting their livelihoods.
Amnesty International claims that its annual report has covered human rights situation in 154 countries.
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