U.S. State Department’s 2023 Human Rights Report Exposes Wide Range of Abuses in India

Featured & Cover U S State Department's 2023 Human Rights Report Exposes Wide Range of Abuses in India (1)

The 2023 Human Rights Report (HRR) from the U.S. State Department has brought to light numerous human rights violations in India, drawing attention to a variety of abuses. These include extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, arbitrary arrests, torture for confessions, frequent Internet shutdowns, surveillance of activists and journalists, intimidation of human rights defenders, and discrimination against ethnic and caste minorities.

According to the report, there were “credible reports” of over 800 extrajudicial killings registered between 2016 and 2022, with a concentration in Chhattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh. It also pointed out the outbreak of ethnic conflict between the Kuki and Meitei groups, resulting in significant abuses, without adequate government intervention or punishment for perpetrators.

The document also highlights transnational repression, suggesting the Indian government’s involvement in the repression of journalists, activists, and human rights defenders, both within and outside its borders. It references allegations that Indian government agents have been linked to violence against individuals in other countries, citing Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s investigation into claims regarding the killing of a Sikh Canadian citizen.

Moreover, the report sheds light on the government’s stance towards monitoring and investigating human rights abuses, noting the cancellation of registration certificates for over 1,800 non-profit associations under the FCRA provisions between 2017 and 2022. It mentions threats and violence against human rights defenders, particularly those representing women, religious minorities, and marginalized communities.

In addition to state-sponsored abuses, the report documents instances of militant groups targeting Muslims and Dalits involved in cattle transportation or slaughter. It also highlights violations of religious freedom, with certain state laws restricting conversions primarily to non-Hindu religions, thereby limiting the religious activities of minority communities.

The report also addresses abuses committed by non-state actors, such as terrorists in regions like Jammu and Kashmir, northeastern states, and areas affected by Maoist terrorism, who have targeted armed forces personnel, police, government officials, and civilians.

Released by U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, the HRR evaluates human rights practices globally, aligning with the standards outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international agreements. It encompasses all countries receiving U.S. assistance and all UN member states, providing a comprehensive overview of human rights issues worldwide.

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