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India Rejects US Human Rights Report to be “Deeply Biased”

India Rejects US Human Rights Report to be “Deeply Biased”

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NEW DELHI, Apr 25: India on Thursday termed the US State Department’s annual human rights report on India “deeply biased” and stated that it showed a “poor understanding” of the country.

The annual human rights assessment report by the State Department highlighted “significant” abuses in the north-eastern state of Manipur where an ethnic conflict broke out last year. It also mentioned the alleged attacks on minorities, journalists and dissenting voices across the country.

Speaking to the media, the Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said: “This report is deeply biased and reflects a poor understanding of India. We attach no value to it and urge you to do the same.”

The report said the local human rights organisations, affected communities and minority political parties censured Central government for the delay in action to stop violence and provide humanitarian assistance in Manipur embroiled in ethnic clashes.

The report also spoke about the income tax department raids at the office of British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). It said although the tax authorities described the searches as motivated by irregularities in the media house’s tax payments and ownership structure, the officials also seized equipment from journalists not involved in the organisation’s financial processes.

Referring to a BBC documentary on the 2002 Gujarat riots, the US State Department said: “The government invoked emergency powers to ban screening of the documentary, forced media companies to remove links to the video, and detained student protesters who organised viewing parties.”  The screening of the documentary was banned in India.

(Manas Dasgupta)



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