The Amnesty International India in a statement called on prime ministers of Bangladesh and India to address specific human rights concerns in their respective nations.
As both countries go to general elections within the next year, it is an opportune time for both leaders to reiterate their commitment to human rights, the organisation said in a press release.
Aakar Patel, executive director, Amnesty International India, said, ‘Prime minister Narendra Modi and prime minister Sheikh Hasina should uphold their commitment to human rights under national and international law. While Bangladesh has been exemplary in opening its doors to nearly a million Rohingya refugees, India’s reluctance to keep in 40,000 Rohingya refugees is disappointing. Indian authorities should follow suit by taking effective measures to protect Rohingya people escaping persecution and state violence. It is the shared duty of both nations to ensure refugees in their countries have supportive systems that is responsive to their needs. Governments in both countries have a duty to protect them from harm, especially in light of smear campaigns and widespread anti-refugee rhetoric.’
‘We urge prime minister Narendra Modi and prime minister Sheikh Hasina to ensure their governments hold rigorous investigations into fatal and near-fatal targeted attacks on historically and socially marginalised communities, as well as human rights defenders in India; and against Indigenous and secular activists in Bangladesh. Both leaders should ensure that space for expressing dissent is not compromised. This can be achieved when both countries have a free and independent press, where journalists are not intimidated, harassed and attacked, and repressive laws are not used to silence them,’ said Aakar Patel.
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