On the eve of India’s 74th Independence Day, Amnesty International India has urged the Centre to ‘stop criminalising dissent’ and immediately release peaceful protesters who were subjected to ‘intimidation, harassment and arrests’ for their participation in anti-Citizenship Amendment Act in the last couple of months.
The statement, issued ahead of Amnesty’s ‘Right To Dissent’ campaign, asserts that India, which has the world’s highest youth population, is attempting to suppress the voice of dissent through brutal crackdown, instead of engaging with them meaningfully.
It further said that students are billed as anti-nationals, the moment they disagree with the government.
"“Students are accused of being ‘anti-nationals’ for disagreeing with government policies and peacefully protesting against them. This is a good time to remind the government that the Supreme Court of India in 2018 said that ‘dissent is the safety valve of a democracy.’”" - Avinash Kumar, Executive Director, Amnesty International India.
The statement said that many students who had participated in Anti-CAA protests have either been arrested or jailed under ‘draconian anti-terror laws or subjected to intense intimidation and harassment as they are called in for interrogation during the COVID-19 pandemic.’
Calling the Citizenship Act ‘bigoted’ and one that discriminates on the basis of religion, the statement called for the piece of legislation to be repealed.
. Read more on India by The Quint. Pandemic Is Special, Not Edu: Singhvi Tells SC on Final-Yr ExamsStop Criminalising Dissent, Release CAA Protesters: Amnesty India . Read more on India by The Quint.