US & Canada

We too have concerns about human rights in the US: EAM hits back

As the US in its 2021 Human Rights Report flagged concerns about India, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar in a sharp retort said that India too has concerns about human rights in the US.

Washington/New Delhi: As the US in its 2021 Human Rights Report flagged concerns about India, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar in a sharp retort said that India too has concerns about human rights in the US. Addressing newspersons on Wednesday, the EAM said in response to a question, that the two sides did not discuss human rights during their 2+2 dialogue on Monday. He said that while people are entitled to have their views, India too is equally entitled to its views, and mentioned the case of two Sikh men attacked in a suspected hate crime in New York. “People are entitled to have views about us, but we are also equally entitled to have views about their views, and about the interests and the lobbies and the vote banks which spread them; so whenever there is a discussion I can tell you that we will not be reticent about speaking up. “I would also tell you that we also take our views on other people’s human rights situation, including that of the US. So we take up human rights issues when they arise in this country, especially when they pertain to our community; and in fact we had a case yesterday,” he said, turning to the Indian Ambassador Taranjit Singh Sandhu, who nodded. On Tuesday, the US State Department released a strong and critical report on the human rights situation in India in 2021. On Monday, during his press appearance after the 2+2 dialogue — with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and EAM Jaishankar standing next to him — US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that India and the US share a commitment to “our democratic values, such as protecting human rights”. “We regularly engage with our Indian partners on these shared values, and to that end we are monitoring some recent concerning developments in India, including a rise in human rights abuses by some government, police, and prison officials,” he said. In its 2021 Human Rights Report on India, the US State Department flagged concerns over arbitrary arrests and detentions, extra-judicial killings, violence against religious minorities, curbs on free expression and media, including unjustified prosecution of journalists, “overly restrictive laws” on funding of NGOs and civil society organisations, and “government harassment of domestic and international human rights organizations”. It noted that a “lack of accountability for official misconduct persisted at all levels of government, contributing to widespread impunity”. The country reports on human rights was released by Secretary of State Antony Blinken on April 12. Two Sikh men were assaulted in an alleged hate crime incident in Richmond Hills area of New York, US, on Tuesday. The Consulate General of India in New York condemned the assault, terming it “deplorable,” and said they were in touch with the police who are investigating this incident. One person has been arrested in connection with the crime, it said. The attack on the two men occurred when they were on an early morning walk.

Source
UNI

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