- India responded to UN's comments on its handling of Rohingyas Muslims
- India plans to deport all Rohingya refugees who fled Myanmar violence
- "I deplore current measures in India to deport Rohingyas": UNHCR chief
In response to comments at the UN's top human rights body about cow vigilante attacks and last week's shooting of journalist Gauri Lankesh, India's representative claimed "individual incidents are being extrapolated to suggest a broader societal situation. India is proud of its independent judiciary, freedom of press, vibrant civil society and respect for rule of law and human rights."
As Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Myanmar last week, his government reiterated that it wants to deport all Rohingya refugees who have left Myanmar in previous years. Some 40,000 Rohingyas have settled in India, and 16,000 of them have received refugee documentation, the UN estimates as violence against the ethnic minority spikes in the western region of Rakhine in response to growing insurgency.
Today, Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, the chief of the UNHCR said, "I deplore current measures in India to deport Rohingyas at a time of such violence against them in their country."
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights noted that Junior Home Minister Kiren Rijiju had reportedly said that because India is not a signatory to the Refugee Convention it "can dispense with international law on the matter, together with basic human compassion."
He also referred to the series of attacks on cattle traders and others by self-declared cow vigilantes, saying, "The current wave of violent, and often lethal, mob attacks against people under the pretext of protecting the lives of cows is alarming."
"People who speak out for fundamental human rights are also threatened," he said while bringing up the murder of Gauri Lankesh, who published a Kannada newspaper often critical of right-wing ideology.