Minreet Kaur: Scottish Government To Write To India Concerning Human Rights Abuses
Charandeep Singh, a Director with Sikhs in Scotland, welcomes the First Minister’s commitment to raising community concerns regarding the Farmers’ Protest
March 25, 2021 | 2 min. read
In a letter to Sikhs in Scotland, the Scottish Government shared that it will be writing to their Indian counterparts regarding human abuses and attacks on the rights to peaceful protest amidst the Farmers’ Protest.
“I understand this is a deeply distressing issue for many Sikhs in Scotland and we will write to the government of India outlining the Scottish Government’s concerns and our belief that the right to peaceful protest must be respected throughout the world,” said First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, MSP.
Earlier this month representatives from Sikhs in Scotland met with the Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for External Affairs, Mike Russell MSP, to raise the community’s concerns on the ongoing Farmers Protest which have resulted in widespread state violence and arbitrary crackdowns on journalists, activists, and farmers.
They also raised concerns over the ongoing case involving Scottish-Sikh Jagtar Singh Johal as he continues to be arbitrarily held in Indian custody. It has now been over 1,200 days since he’s been detained without any evidence or conviction.
“I welcomed the chance to hear first-hand the account about the concerns regarding protests, human rights, media freedom and the situation of women in agriculture. I look forward to hearing from Sikhs in Scotland again and to raising these issues with others,” said Russel after the meeting.
Charandeep Singh, a Director with Sikhs in Scotland, welcomes the First Minister’s commitment to raising community concerns regarding the Farmers’ Protest.
“We are pleased the First Minister has listened to the concerns of the Scottish Sikh community and will raise these directly with the Government of India,” he said.
As the world becomes increasingly aware of India’s deteriorating democracy under the Hindu nationalist BJP government, Singh believes that the international community needs to play a bigger role in applying scrutiny on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s actions.
“Our view is clear: upholding democratic rights such as the freedom of expression and peaceful protest does not weaken a country, they strengthen it. Journalists have been arrested, Internet access has been shut down, police violence has been documented and innocent farmers have been vilified. As a friend to India, the Scottish and British government can guide the Indian administration to actively engage with its citizens and uphold democratic principles,” he added
Minreet Kaur is an award-winning freelance journalist based in the UK. Daughter of the legendary skipping Sikh which won report of the year in 2020. She has written for BBC, Sky, The Independent, HuffPost, Al Jazeera, and The Tribune. She writes about religion, culture, communities, and human rights. You find Minreet on Twitter at @minkaur5.
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