Shared values between India-US are discrimination, bigotry, hostility towards refugees: Amnesty

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Published: February 24, 2020 12:56:15 PM

Trump, accompanied by his wife Melania, daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner as well as senior officials of his administration, landed in Ahmedabad on the first leg of his two-day visit to India. 

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The shared values between India and the US are “discrimination, bigotry, and hostility towards refugees and asylum seekers”, Amnesty International USA said in a joint statement with Amnesty International India ahead of US President Donald Trump’s visit to India on Monday.

Trump, accompanied by his wife Melania, daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner as well as senior officials of his administration, landed in Ahmedabad on the first leg of his two-day visit to India. “Anti-Muslim sentiment permeates the policies of both U.S. and Indian leaders. For decades, the U.S.-India relationship was anchored by claims of shared values of human rights and human dignity. Now, those shared values are discrimination, bigotry, and hostility towards refugees and asylum seekers,” Margaret Huang, Amnesty International USA’s executive director, was quoted as saying in the statement.

It was a reference to the anti-CAA protests in India, the internet lockdown in Jammu and Kashmir and the Muslim ban expansion by President Trump affecting Nigeria, Eritrea, Myanmar, Kyrgyzstan, Sudan and Tanzania, the statement said.

It added that Amnesty International USA’s researchers travelled to Lebanon and Jordan to conduct nearly 50 interviews with refugees that as a result of the previous version of the ban have been stranded in countries where they face restrictive policies, increasingly hostile environments, and lack the same rights as permanent residents or citizens.

The statement also came down hard on the Indian government, hitting out at the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) 2019 and saying it legitimises discrimination based on religious grounds. It criticised statements such as “identify them (the protestors) by their clothes” or “shoot the traitors” by Prime Minister Modi and his party workers. Such remarks “peddled the narrative of fear and division that has fuelled further violence”, it said.

“The internet and political lockdown in Kashmir has lasted for months and the enactment of CAA and the crackdown on protests has shown a leadership that is lacking empathy and a willingness to engage. We call on President Trump and Prime Minister Modi to work with the international community and address our concerns in their bilateral conversations,” Avinash Kumar, executive director, Amnesty International India said in the statement.

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