Amnesty International criticises India's sedition law, calls it 'crude'

Amnesty International criticised Indian Government for using the "crude, colonial-era" sedition law to "silence" its critics.

Amnesty International, a UK-based NGO (Non-Governmental Organisation) has criticised the Indian Government for its sedition law for using the “crude, colonial-era” sedition law to “silence” its critics. The human rights watch, in its annual report said, “Human rights activists and journalists (in India) faced intimidation and attacks from both state and non-state actors.”

The report further added that “the crude, colonial-era sedition law was unleashed to silence government critics.” The human right report highlighted issues ranging from demonetisation, caste-based violence to infiltration at Indo-Pak border.

“Caste-based violence and vigilante cow protection groups harassing and attacking people in states including Gujarat, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka in the name of upholding laws prohibiting the killing of cows were also highlighted as areas of concern,” the UK-based NGO said.

Secretary-General of Amnesty International, Salil Shetty said, “Today’s politics of demonisation shamelessly peddles a dangerous idea that some people are less human than others… Divisive fear-mongering has become a dangerous force in world affairs.”

He further asserted, “2016 was the year when the cynical use of ‘us vs them’ narratives of blame, hate and fear took on a global prominence to a level not seen since the 1930s.”

The report also claimed that the “tensions between India and Pakistan intensified following an attack by gunmen on an army base in Uri, Jammu and Kashmir. Jammu and Kashmir state witnessed months of curfew and a range of human rights violations by authorities.

“A ban on India’s largest currency bills, intended as a crackdown on the country’s black market, severely affected the livelihoods of millions,” it further added.

Amnesty International is a non-governmental organisation focused on human rights with over 7 million members and supporters around the world.