CAB protests: Amnesty slams India for brutal crackdown on AMU


The Amnesty International on Monday slammed Indian police for its “violent” action against students at Jamia Millia Islamia in Delhi and Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) protesting against the amended citizenship act. The human rights body’s executive director, Avinash Kumar, in a statement said that violence against peacefully protesting students cannot under any circumstance be justified, adding that Students have the right to protest.
“Allegations that the police brutally beat up and sexually harassed students in Jamia Millia Islamia University must be investigated and those suspected of being responsible must be prosecuted. Student protestors in the Aligarh Muslim University were also allegedly beaten up with the media reporting that more than 100 students were injured and the police blocked ambulances from going inside the university to help the wounded students.
Article 19 of the Constitution of India guarantees the right to freedom of speech and expression and freedom of peaceful assembly, he added. He further said that arrests of peaceful protesters have violated India’s obligations under international law, specifically the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to respect and protect the right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, set out in Article 19 and Article 21 of that treaty.
Amnesty International urged the Indian government and state governments to respect the right to dissent by peaceful protesters and review their approach in policing the protests in order to de-escalate the situation and prevent more lives being put at risk.
Earlier on Sunday night in Delhi, police with batons fired tear gas and charged protesting students before storming a university. On Monday fresh protests took place in Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore and Lucknow, where hundreds of students most of them Muslims, television pictures indicated tried to storm a police station, hurling volleys of stones at officers cowering behind a wall.
In the east in Kolkata, capital of West Bengal, thousands gathered for a major demonstration called by state premier Mamata Banerjee, a firebrand opponent of Modi. Protests were reported in Mumbai, West Bengal, Aligarh, Hyderabad, Patna and Raipur over the weekend. Students across the country have been staging protests against the Narendra Modi government’s decision to enact the anti-Muslim Citizenship Act. The Act provides natural citizenship to every single non-Muslim living in India illegally.

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