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India strongly rejects UNHRC chief Zeid al-Hussein's criticism over handling of Rohingyas

Rejecting the observations by UNHRC Chief Hussien, India's Permanent Represenatitive to the UN Rajiv Chander said, "Tendentious judgements made on the basis of selective and even inaccurate reports do not further the understanding of human rights in any society."

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India strongly rejects UNHRC chief Zeid al-Hussein's criticism over handling of Rohingyas
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India strongly rejected the criticism by the UN human rights chief over its handling of Rohingya Muslim refugees, human rights situations in Jammu and Kashmir and observation relating to the killing of journalist Gauri Lankesh, saying it was "perplexed" at the remarks.
 

UN human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, in his comments at the 36th Session of the UN Human Rights Council yesterday, had criticised India on the issue of deportation of Rohingyas as well as on religious intolerance and threat to rights activists.
 

In a strong reaction, India said it was surprised that individual incidents are being "extrapolated" to suggest a broader societal situation.
 

"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," Ambassador Rajiv K Chander said.
 

Chander, India's Permanent Representative to the UN, Geneva, made the statement in response to Hussein's comments.
Rejecting the observations by Hussein, Chander said, "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, he said, adding that enforcing the laws should not be mistaken for lack of compassion.
Some 40,000 Rohingyas have settled in India, and 16,000 of them have received refugee documentation, the UN estimates.
 

India's Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju, on September 5 had said Rohingyas were illegal immigrants and stand to be deported.
"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," Chander said.
 

He said a more informed view would have not only recognised this aspect but also noted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi 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," he said.
 

On observation relating to the issue of human rights situations in Jammu and Kashmir, he said, "It is a matter of regret that the central role of terrorism is once again being overlooked."
The Indian envoy said assessments of human rights should not be a matter of political convenience.

"India believes that achieving human rights goals calls for objective consideration, balanced judgements and verification of facts.
"Our Government's motto of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas' that is All Together and Development for All, is a true reflection of our commitment to achieve inclusive development in the spirit of leaving none of our citizens behind," Chander added.

 

Read his full response below

 

Mr. President

We recognize the role assigned to the OHCHR in effective promotion and protection of human rights.  India was part of the first set of countries in the third cycle of the Universal Periodic Review.

India’s UPR Report will be adopted in this session of the HRC.  We are pleased to inform you that a large number of recommendations have been accepted.  We believe that the UPR is not an end in itself and that observance and promotion of human rights is an ongoing process that can be continuously strengthened.

 

Mr. President

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.

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 recognized 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.

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.

Mr. President

India believes that achieving human rights goals calls for objective consideration, balanced judgements and verification of facts.  Our Government’s motto of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas” that is All Together and Development for All, is a true reflection of our commitment to achieve inclusive development in the spirit of leaving none of our citizens behind.

With inputs from PTI

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