Washington’s rarely used public reprimand to New Delhi came from Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who said the United States was keeping an eye on what he described as an increase in “human rights abuses” by some government officials in India.
In a joint press briefing with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, and Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday, Mr Blinken said,As part of our ongoing engagement with Indian partners on these shared values (of human rights), we are keeping an eye on recent developments in India, including an increase in human rights abuses by some government, police, and prison personnel.”
Mr Blinken did not provide any additional information. Blinken was the first speaker at the briefing, followed by Mr Singh and Mr Jaishankar, none of whom made any comments on the human rights matter.
Following US Representative Ilhan Omar’s remarks about the perceived unwillingness of the United States administration to criticise Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government on human rights, Mr Blinken weighed in with his own thoughts about human rights in India.
These are values that we share with our Indian partners, and so we keep an eye on some recent developments in India to see if there have been more human rights violations by government, police, and prison officials there. says the author. Ms Omar, who is a member of Vice President Joe Biden’s Democratic Party, made the statement last week.
Several Indian states have passed or are proposing anti-conversion legislation, which would put the right to religious freedom, which is protected by the constitution, in jeopardy.
In 2019, the government approved a citizenship law that critics claimed compromised India’s secular constitution by barring Muslim migrants from neighbouring countries from obtaining citizenship in the country. Those who fled Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan before 2015 were eligible to apply for Indian citizenship under the law. It was intended to offer Indian nationality to all religious groups who had departed those countries prior to 2015.
This was done in an effort to fully integrate the Muslim-majority province with the rest of the country, and it was done in the same year that Jammu and Kashmir was stripped of its unique status.