Ahead of his meeting with President Donald Trump, Amnesty International has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, raising concern over human rights violations in the US. As an ally of the United States, India has a responsibility to raise concern over human rights violations, the international rights watchdog said in a letter dated June 24 to the prime minister, urging him to take up the matter with the representatives of the US government. It also appealed to the prime minister to talk to his US counterpart and raise the issue of accountability of Dow Chemical and Union Carbide Corporation towards the victims and survivors of the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy.
The PM should call on the US government to ensure that Dow and UCC comply with Indian court orders, it said. Dow Chemical, which bought Union Carbide Corporation in 2001, has allegedly evaded hearings in a case related to the tragedy at a Bhopal court. The Chief Judicial Magistrate’s court in Bhopal has already issued four notices, summoning Dow to explain why UCC never appeared before it. The notices were served under the mutual legal assistance treaty between India and the US concerning criminal matters.
Amnesty has asked Modi, who is himself facing flak over his silence on atrocities inflicted upon minorities, to call on the Trump administration to immediately revoke the executive order banning refugees and visa holders from Syria and five other Muslim-majority countries. It has also urged the PM to raise the issues of hate crimes targeting African-Americans, closure of the infamous Guantanamo Bay and a moratorium on executions to ensure that people with mental or intellectual disabilities are not subjected to the death penalty, pending its full abolition.
Modi is in Washington as a part of the second leg of his three-nation tour, which started in Portugal. This will be his maiden meeting with Trump. Both the leaders are expected to hold discussions on “strategically important” issues related to defence, economy and business.