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Brutal Crackdown On Student Protests Must End: Amnesty India

December 18, 2019 | By

Bengaluru: In response to the brutal crackdown on student protests across the country who are protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act, the Executive Director of Amnesty India, Avinash Kumar said: “Students have the right to protest. Violence against peacefully protesting students cannot under any circumstance be justified. Allegations that the police brutally beat up and sexually harassed students in Jamia Millia Islamia University must be investigated and those suspected of being responsible must be prosecuted. Student protestors in the Aligarh Muslim University were also allegedly beaten up with the media reporting that more than 100 students were injured and the police blocked ambulances from going inside the university to help the wounded students.  Article 19 of the Constitution of India guarantees the right to freedom of speech and expression and freedom of peaceful assembly.”

A view of police crackdown on students

“Arrests of peaceful protesters violate India’s obligations under international law, specifically the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to respect and protect the right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, set out in Article 19 and Article 21 of that treaty. As protests against the amended Citizenship Act spreads to college campuses across India, Amnesty India urges the Government of India and state governments to respect the right to dissent by peaceful protesters and review their approach in policing the protests in order to de-escalate the situation and prevent more lives being put at risk.  Police should only use lethal force in response to an imminent threat of death or serious injury, and only as a last resort”, reads the response issued by Amnesty International India’s official on December 16”.

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