A large group of Iranian student organizations, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and individuals have penned a letter to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, asking her to take decisive action to end the ongoing wave of violent attacks and brutality against Muslims in India.
Last month, in the worst communal violence in decades in New Delhi, nearly 50 people were killed and over 100 wounded as groups chanting Hindu nationalist slogans torched mosques and dozens of Muslim houses.
Last month’s worst anti-Muslim violence by Hindu nationalists began on the eve of a state visit by US President Donald Trump, infamous for his anti-Muslim rhetoric and policies.
Anti-Muslim violence started in India amid widespread protests over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government introduced in December, offering a path to Indian citizenship for six religious groups from neighboring countries, specifically excluding Muslims.
In their letter, the Iranian signatories said, “We hope and request that through effective and serious actions by the United Nations Human Rights Council, the main purpose of this letter, which is to help achieve a peaceful life for the people of India with different religions and ethnicities, will be fulfilled and it also becomes a positive role model for others.”
Human rights advocates, including nongovernmental organizations, groups and persons can sign the letter at the following website:
The full text of the letter follows:
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
Mrs. Michelle Bachelet Jeria,
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
As your Excellency well know, in the contemporary era paying attention to human rights issues as one of the chief matters to governance and international relations has an important place. Also, one of the main principles of human rights is to provide and preserve the human dignity. In the present time this topic has become a peremptory norm in the governance of the states and international relations. An inherent, God-given blessing to human kind that governments are obliged to provide it.
Unfortunately, however, in recent years there has been an increase in organized violence against Muslim minorities in India, particularly with the ratification of the CAA law in a discriminatory way in the Parliament of India and the support of the Government of India for this discriminatory legislation in December 2019, in recent months we have witnessed the spread of organized violence by extremist Hindus against the Muslims of India
It should be noted that the aforementioned law discriminates in granting citizenship of the Government of India to the people’s religions and seeks even more pressure on Muslims in this country.
This is while the constructing body of India’s society has for long been a diverse and multi-cultural one in which the factor of unity has been for being Indian not for having a specific religion. The CAA discriminatory law, however, has led some organized extremist groups to carry out destructive and anti-human dignity measures against Muslims and their sanctities.
In this regard, some Hindu extremists’ insults including the burning of the Farukiyah Mosque in India can be considered a disgrace to all Muslims in the world as in the past there have occurred similar cases various times such as mass beatings and injuring of defenseless Muslims, including women and children, whose images and news have deeply touched the hearts of free humans around the world. According to international reports, thousands were injured and 43 were killed and there is concern that the death toll will rise if the process fails to be stopped.
As an example, a group attacked a 37-year-old Muslim young man, Mohammad Zubair, repeatedly hit him with a baton and stabbed him in the middle of the street, while he couldn’t do anything but to incur the hits, with his face beaten severely damaged.
The killing of a 30-year-old Muslim named Musharraf is yet another case. Musharraf was with his family at home located in Northeast Delhi when suddenly a group of 30 people who have covered their faces casket raged into his house and attacked him by cold weapons, his wife calls the police but the police aren’t there. Eventually they took Musharraf to the street and killed him in front of her 11-year-old daughter.
These are only few examples of such organized extremism, all of which have been committed in the face of the constant neglect of the Indian government and police, who are responsible for securing the lives and sanctities of the Muslims of India.
To this end, explaining the followings seems necessary:
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 (General Assembly resolution 217 A), “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”
Again, according to article 3 of the same document, “everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.”
Especially article 7 of this universal declaration is notable here as it declares that: “All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.”
The above-mentioned content has explicitly been emphasized in articles 26 and 27 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which the Government of India is a party.
Therefore, while strongly condemning these extremist behaviors against defenseless Muslims of India and the neglect of the Indian government and police who are tasked with securing the lives of all the Indian people, we believe that the solution to this crisis is to avoid discrimination and respect for basic human rights and dignity.
Hence, we call for an end to these kinds of violence and extremism against Muslims in India as soon as possible and we also request the Human Rights Council to address this issue by forming a fact-finding committee.
We hope and request that through effective and serious actions by the United Nations Human Rights Council, the main purpose of this letter, which is to help achieve a peaceful life for the people of India with different religions and ethnicities, will be fulfilled and it also becomes a positive role model for others.
With high respect
A group of student organizations and NGOs and persons
Islamic Republic of Iran
This Petition has been signed by 1,140 persons in the Islamic Republic of Iran along with 146 NGOs and student organizations.