Amnesty International in an open letter to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, has called on the Canadian prime minister to raise six different issues, including the use of pellet-firing shotguns in Kashmir, during his visit to India. Daily Mail reported on Friday.
Trudeau is visiting India from February 17 to 23 and the letter lays out a number of pressing human rights concerns and related recommendations that “Amnesty International’s 300,000 supporters across Canada urge you [Trudeau] to raise all possible exchanges, including meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi”.
According to Amnesty International, the areas of concern are:
Threatened mass expulsion of Rohingya people from India;
Justice and accountability for the 1984 Sikh massacre;
Use of pellet-firing shotguns in Kashmir;
Demonisation of religious minorities;
Decriminalisation of consensual adult same-sex relations and Criminalisation of marital rape.
Referring to the use of pellet-firing guns in Kashmir Valley, Amnesty International urged the Canadian PM to call on Indian PM Modi to immediately ban the use of pellet-firing guns as a means of policing protests.”
The open letter states these pellet guns have killed, blinded and injured thousands of people in Kashmir. “People injured by pellet-firing shotguns have faced serious physical and mental health issues, including symptoms of psychological trauma,” the letter reads further.
The use of pellet shotguns in Kashmir Valley violates international standards on the use of force, states Amnesty International. They also urged PM Trudeau to “work with the state government of Jammu and Kashmir to set up independent investigations into cases of deaths or serious injuries caused by pellet firing shotguns”.
Hate crimes against Muslims have also been raised as a major concern by the human rights organisation. According to the letter, several hate crimes against Muslims were reported in different parts of India in 2017, stating that this has contributed to a growing sense of insecurity for many Muslims and increased religious tensions.
As such, the organisation urges PM Trudeau call on PM Modi to freely condemn hate crimes and work with state governments to end impunity for those responsible for hate crimes against Muslims. The letter also asks Trudeau to call on Modi to assure that Rohingya people living in India are not forcibly expelled and to explore opportunities for Canada and India to work together to pressure the government of Myanmar to end discrimination and violence against Rohingya people.
The 1984 Sikh massacre in India has also been raised as an issue of concern and it is urged that all those suspected of involvement in the 1984 killings, including those with command responsibility, are prosecuted.”