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Die Auswirkungen des UN-Urteils zu „Klimaflüchtlingen“

GDI Briefing - vor 12 Stunden 35 Minuten

Ende Januar entschied der Menschenrechtsausschuss der Vereinten Nationen über den rechtlichen Schutz von Menschen, die wegen der negativen Auswirkungen des Klimawandels auf der Suche nach einem Schutzort sind. Das Urteil bezieht sich auf den Fall von Ioane Teitiota aus Kiribati, einem kleinen Inselstaat im Pazifik, der als erster Staat aufgrund des steigenden Meeresspiegels zu verschwinden droht. Der UN-Ausschuss überprüfte den Fall und erkannte an, dass „ohne nationale und internationale Bemühungen die Auswirkungen des Klimawandels den Einzelnen in seinen Rechten verletzen könnten“. Ist diese Entscheidung nun ein echter Wendepunkt bei der rechtlichen Anerkennung von „Klimaflüchtlingen“?

Teitiotas Antrag auf Flüchtlingsstatus in Neuseeland wurde 2015 mit der Begründung abgelehnt, es gebe keine konkreten Beweise für lebensbedrohliche Umstände aufgrund von Klimawandel und Umweltzerstörung. Das neuseeländische Berufungsgericht stellte außerdem fest, dass Teitiotas Leben nicht unmittelbar gefährdet sei, da in Kiribati ausreichende Schutzmaßnahmen ergriffen worden seien. Das Gericht erkannte jedoch an, dass der Anstieg des Meeresspiegels infolge der globalen Erwärmung nicht nur die Nahrungsmittel- und Wassersicherheit bedroht, sondern auch zu gesellschaftlicher Instabilität in dem Inselstaat führt. Daraufhin reichte Teitiota Beschwerde beim UN-Ausschuss ein, der für die Prüfung von Menschenrechtsverletzungen zuständig ist. Dabei machte Teitiota geltend, dass Neuseeland sein Recht auf Leben verletzt habe, als es ihn und seine Familie in ihr Herkunftsland zurückbrachte.

Der UN-Menschenrechtsausschuss bestätigte die Entscheidung des neuseeländischen Gerichts. Einem Aufnahmestaat ist es nicht grundsätzlich untersagt, eine Person zurückzuschicken, die wegen der Auswirkungen des Klimawandels um Aufnahme bittet. Die Entscheidung des UN-Ausschusses betonte jedoch, dass es einem Aufnahmestaat nicht gestattet sein könnte, Menschen in lebensbedrohliche Situationen zurückzuführen. Wenn der Aufnahmestaat nicht hinreichend prüft, ob eine unmittelbare Bedrohung im Heimatstaat vorliegt, besteht die Gefahr, dass er gegen völkerrechtliche Grundsätze wie das der Nichtzurückweisung verstößt. Dieser Grundsatz bedeutet, dass niemand in ein Land zurückgeschickt werden darf, in dem er eine erniedrigende Behandlung und/oder einen anderen nicht wiedergutzumachenden Schaden erleiden würde. Die Entscheidung des UN-Ausschusses legt auch nahe, dass ohne angemessene Maßnahmen zum Klimaschutz und zur Anpassung an den Klimawandel sowohl auf nationaler als auch auf internationaler Ebene die Aufnahmestaaten andere internationale Normen (z.B. das Recht auf Leben) verletzen könnten. Dennoch hat der UN-Ausschuss Teitiota, auch wenn einige Medien das Gegenteil behaupteten, nicht als Klimaflüchtling bezeichnet, da der Fall nicht im Rahmen der Genfer Flüchtlingskonvention von 1951 behandelt wurde. Die Konvention erkennt Umwelt- oder Klimawandel nicht als Verfolgungsfaktor an.

Obwohl nicht bindend, ist die Entscheidung des UN-Menschenrechtsausschusses die erste, die sich mit dem Versuch befasst, jemandem aufgrund der Auswirkungen des Klimawandels den Flüchtlingsstatus zu gewähren. Sie erkennt an, dass Umweltzerstörung und Klimarisiken die Menschenrechte aufgrund des Anstiegs des Meeresspiegels beeinträchtigen. In dieser Hinsicht ist das Urteil von Bedeutung, denn es ist der erste Schritt in Richtung einer völkerrechtlichen Schutzverpflichtung, die auf den negativen Auswirkungen des Klimawandels und anderen Bedrohungen der menschlichen Sicherheit gründet, deren Auswirkungen nicht von der Genfer Flüchtlingskonvention von 1951 erfasst werden.

Angesichts der komplexen und vielschichtigen Natur von Zwangsumsiedlungen wird der Kausalitätsnachweis zwischen unmittelbarer Bedrohung und Klimawandel jedoch eine enorme rechtliche und politische Herausforderung für souveräne Staaten und zwischenstaatliche Einrichtungen bleiben. Die Zusammenhänge zwischen Klimawandel und menschlichen Migrationsmustern sind komplex und nicht immer eindeutig. Es bedarf weiterer Forschung, um die Auswirkungen des Klimas auf Migrationsströme genau zu verstehen. Daher stellt der Bezug auf Erklärungen und Resolutionen, die an die Bedeutung der Menschenrechte und ihre Anwendbarkeit auf „Klimaflüchtlinge“ erinnern, den praktischsten, flexibelsten und politisch gangbarsten Weg dar. Enorm wichtig ist auch, dass die internationalen politischen Instanzen viel stärker noch begreifen, dass Migration auch eine Anpassungsstrategie an die Folgen des Klimawandels sein kann. Das hat etwa die Task Force zu Vertreibung, die im Rahmen der Klimarahmenkonvention der Vereinten Nationen eingerichtet wurde, bereits anerkannt. Aber noch weitere Institutionen müssen dies verinnerlichen. Wenn Migration pauschal nur als negative Folge des Klimawandels begriffen wird, hilft dies Betroffenen wie Teitiota nicht.

Diogo Serraglio ist Jurist und Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellow am Forschungsprogramm "Umwelt-Governance und Transformation zur Nachhaltigkeit" am Deutschen Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE).

Benjamin Schraven ist Sozialwissenschaftler und wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter des Forschungsprogramms "Umwelt-Governance und Transformation zur Nachhaltigkeit" am Deutschen Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE).

Mariya Aleksandrova ist Klimaforscherin und  Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin des Forschungsprogramms "Umwelt-Governance und Transformation zur Nachhaltigkeit" am Deutschen Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE).

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A Strong Voice for Equal Opportunities

SNRD Africa - 23. Februar 2020 - 8:56
Radios and women entrepreneurs in rural Cameroon call for gender equality
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Ten new migratory species protected under global wildlife agreement

UN #SDG News - 22. Februar 2020 - 20:01
Asian elephants, jaguars and great Indian bustards were among 10 new species added to a global wildlife agreement on Saturday. 
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Restauration paysanne à l’Extrême Nord du Cameroun

SNRD Africa - 21. Februar 2020 - 17:48
Contribution au webinaire
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What going on with UN Reform?

Devex - 21. Februar 2020 - 11:30
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New partnership to defeat mosquito-borne diseases

Devex - 21. Februar 2020 - 11:30
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New Approaches to Scaling Private Sector Funding for Sustainable Development

OECD - 21. Februar 2020 - 10:57
By Sonja Gibbs, Managing Director & Head of Sustainable Finance, IIF This blog is part of the OECD Private Finance for Sustainable Development Conference Welcome to 2020–the “Decade of Delivery” for the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). While the international development community remains hard at work on solutions, success over the next decade will require … Continue reading New Approaches to Scaling Private Sector Funding for Sustainable Development
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C20 Defends Human Rights: Enough with Wrongful and Arbitrary Detention!

#C20 18 - 21. Februar 2020 - 9:59
The Civil Society 20 observes with great alarm and concern the deteriorating situation of human rights globally. Civil liberties and civic spaces are restricted in different countries of the world. The C20 as the premier voice of civil society in the G20 process, calls on all G20 nations to respect the human rights of dissidents, [...]
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Ghana: new jobs and better wages thanks to fair clothing

GIZ Germany - 21. Februar 2020 - 2:25
: Wed, 19 Feb 2020 HH:mm:ss
The textile industry is becoming increasingly important to Ghana. With the support of international companies, businesses are increasing production while promoting fair working conditions.
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Providing skilled support – as a refugee expert in Pakistan

GIZ Germany - 21. Februar 2020 - 2:25
: Wed, 16 Oct 2019 HH:mm:ss
International cooperation offers a wide range of employment opportunities. Judit Demjén has been working as a refugee expert in Islamabad since 2018.
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Review of public financial management diagnostics for the health sector

ODI - 21. Februar 2020 - 0:00
This paper reviews public financial management and health diagnostic tools for public service delivery.
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On World Social Justice Day, the UN labour agency  says ‘put people and planet first'

UN #SDG News - 20. Februar 2020 - 23:48
Reduce inequality around the world, the United Nations labour agency urged on Thursday, World Social Justice Day.
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Tackling Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) at the United Nations: what will the FACTI Panel deliver?

Global Policy Watch - 20. Februar 2020 - 22:19

Download UN Monitor #13 (pdf version).

By Elena Marmo

On 28 January 2020 the President of the General Assembly (PGA), Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, and the President of ECOSOC, Mona Juul announced a new initiative: “a high-level panel on international financial accountability, transparency and integrity (FACTI)”. This joint endeavour is framed as a means to target and recover assets for investment in the Sustainable Development Goals.

At present, the UN estimates the financing gap to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) totals a staggering $2.5 trillion. Proponents of a robust and strong agenda on tackling illicit financial flows (IFFs) suggest that this gap could in part be closed by addressing the various forms of illicit financial flows that divert or “rob” governments of vital public resources that could and should be invested in public goods to achieve the SDGs.

Since the adoption of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) in 2015, the definition and regulation of illicit financial flows has been a contentious topic, played out in the annual Financing for Development Forum and UN GA Second Committee on financial and economic matters. While this new FACTI Panel responds to a long-standing and well-documented concern, it is being met with reluctance from a number of Member States, potentially with interests in limiting regulation on tax havens, financial secrecy and profit shifting.

Announcing the FACTI Panel

As noted by the PGA, the initiative will be “a high-level panel on international financial accountability, transparency and integrity (FACTI) as an impetus to ongoing efforts to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.” In his remarks, the PGA framed this high-level panel as a response to the General Assembly Resolution 74/206 on IFFs, with the aim to not only address this issue, but also “strengthen good practices on asset return in order to foster sustainable development”.

Further, the PGA noted:

“financial integrity is pivotal if we are to sustain the efforts to address the challenge of sufficiency in financing…The lack of financial integrity is a cross-border problem that requires inclusive multilateral action.”

The President of ECOSOC similarly emphasized the importance that the high-level panel deliver:

“At every Financing for Development Forum (FFD Forum), ECOSOC outcome documents have addressed, and recommitted us, to eliminating illicit finance. We are keen to show real progress.”

Composition, Focus and Timeline for the FACTI Panel

The President of ECOSOC highlighted the expected timeline for the FACTI panel, enumerated in the Terms of Reference (ToR) released on the PGA’s website. The panel will publicly launch on 2 March 2020 at UN Headquarters in New York. At the joint briefing of ECOSOC and the GA, the PGA announced, FACTI “will be co-chaired by Her Excellency Helle Thorning-Schmidt, the former Prime Minister of Denmark, and the former Prime Minister of Niger, His Excellency Ibrahim Mayaki".

The ToR recognizes IFFs are a “global problem that requires a global solution” and the need to focus on “all types of illicit finance – from criminal, corrupt or commercial activities”. It details various issues such as “…financial transparency, tax matters, combatting bribery and corruption, preventing money laundering and returning stolen assets”. In particular it calls for a “rethinking and redesigning” of international frameworks related to financial accountability, transparency and integrity, which is “critical to financing the Sustainable Development Goals”.

This recognition of the responsibility for addressing externalities inherent in a hyper-globalized international financial order places emphasis on regulation: “in a world of cross-border trade, investment and finance, there are limits to the ability to raise resources and enforce integrity through domestic action alone”.

The FACTI panel’s objectives are to:

  • Review current challenges and likely future trends and their relationship to the existing international legal and institutional frameworks related to financial accountability, transparency and integrity;
  • Identify gaps in the legal and institutional architecture related to financial accountability, transparency and integrity, especially where universality has not yet been achieved;
  • Make recommendations for:
    • Updating existing international frameworks related to financial accountability, transparency and integrity;
    • The creation of new DRAFT international frameworks, where warranted;
    • Governance arrangements to match the challenges; and
    • Proposals to strengthen international cooperation that will enhance capacity to implement the recommendations.

The panel will be comprised of 15 members and two co-chairs, “drawn from academia, policymakers, civil society, and the private sector, with due consideration to geographic and gender balance”. Over the next year, the panel will hold four meetings of up to three days each, presenting an interim report at the ECOSOC High-level Segment in July and final report at UNHQ in January 2021. The panel is also planning a series of regional consultations in October-November 2020.

Mixed Responses from Member States to the FACTI Panel

There was considerable push back when the FACTI panel was announced, mainly from the same Member States that rejected language on IFFs in the GA Second Committee in October 2019 during negotiations on A/RES/74/206.

The Resolution’s emphasis on involving the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and its insistence on the “return of stolen assets” and on criminal activity (theft and terrorism) reflects the lack of a universally agreed upon definition of “Illicit Financial Flows”. While many see IFFs as a term to address cross-border and extraterritorial issues related to tax avoidance and trade malpractice, others make an effort to restrict the definition to issues of domestic corruption, embezzlement and theft of cultural assets. The Resolution as a result reflects this in an effort to achieve consensus amongst the Second Committee’s membership.

A similar emphasis on corruption and stolen assets dominated the discussion at the joint ECOSOC and GA briefing when the FACTI panel was announced. Several Member States expressed discontent regarding the panel’s inception and scope, among them the European Union, United States, United Kingdom, Lichtenstein, and Switzerland. Those very much in favor of the panel included Guyana on behalf of the G77 and China, Pakistan, Morocco, Denmark, Finland, Nigeria, and Norway.

The representative of Guyana, on behalf of the Group of 77 and China welcomed the panel: “We reiterate that illicit financial flows reduce the availability of resources for financing sustainable development and negatively impact the economic, social and political stability and development of societies, especially in developing countries.” Nigeria also highlighted the “seemingly indifference of the international community to take concrete measures to abolish financial secrecy, make profits shifting illegal, and assure that of attrition of proceeds of illicit financial flows”.

The representative of Denmark, whose former Prime Minister will co-chair the panel, framed the panel as an opportunity to change the direction of action on IFFs: “now, as we enter the decade of action, it is clear that we need to do more, not only faster, but also to do it differently”. Finland emphasized that “we must strengthen our tax bases and prevent tax evasion” while Norway echoed this sentiment with the warning that “cross-border corruption and crime, mis-invoicing or trade and services and tax evasion threaten to derail the entire development process. Although there is no definitive definition of illicit financial flows, greater awareness of this issue has shown that there are definitive ways of stopping these flows”.

The representative of Pakistan noted that the panel’s focus would help in “filling the gap under the existing legal regime of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption” and would support “eliminating tax havens and…promoting equitable distribution of profits earned by multinational business”.

Not all Member States, however, view the panel as a means to fill a gap in the regulatory architecture. The European Union (EU) presented a critique of the panel, with emphasis on the lack of consultation to Member States in identifying the panel’s priorities. The EU suggested any “work on financial integrity and illicit financial flows has to be closely linked to UN bodies dealing with these issues, such as the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, the UN Convention Against Corruption and its policy making body, the Conference of State Parties”.

This was supported by the United States (US): “we do not believe that there is a clear mandate and think the creation of this panel sets an unfortunate precedent”. The US along with the United Kingdom called for the panel to consult with and avoid duplication of work in the UN Convention Against Corruption, the Financial Action Task Force, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, the OECD and the G20.

This is reminiscent of statements during the negotiations in the Second Committee on IFFs reflecting differences between a focus on existing frameworks (primarily on corruption and stolen assets) and efforts to broaden the policy space to address IFFs in the form of tax havens, corporate tax avoidance, profits shifting and financial secrecy that undermine public resource mobilization for sustainable development.

Lichtenstein drew attention to the various compromises required among Member States to achieve consensus on A/RES/74/206, suggesting “the panel itself should reflect those views in particular that have helped sustain this consensus over time.” Further, Lichtenstein enumerated, “the panel should avoid the duplication of work that is being done in other formats or standard setting bodies. In past discussions, we have consistently cautioned against undermining the existing legal framework in the fight against corruption. In particular, the UN Convention Against Corruption, and we will continue to engage for the integrity of that framework”.

In response to Member State comments, the PGA and ECOSOC President remained resolute in their decision to move forward with the FACTI Panel, and released the ToR with additional detail on the composition and mandate. The PGA promised Member States: “I can assure you that FACTI panel is not a closed-door process. It is about financial transparency.”

The post Tackling Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) at the United Nations: what will the FACTI Panel deliver? appeared first on Global Policy Watch.

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More than $1 billion pledged for post-earthquake recovery in Albania

UN ECOSOC - 20. Februar 2020 - 21:45
The international community has pledged $1.25 billion to help Albania recover from a devastating earthquake during a European Union-led donors’ conference in Brussels.  
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Protected: South-South Exchange on ICT4Ag — Indian Drones Meet African Tractor Apps

SNRD Africa - 20. Februar 2020 - 18:14
There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.
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#98: Financial Secrecy Index: who are the world's worst offenders?

Tax Justice Network - 20. Februar 2020 - 16:58

In this special extended Taxcast, Naomi Fowler takes you on a whistle-stop guided tour on an express train around the world, looking at the worst offenders selling secrecy services. What can nations can do to protect themselves and their populations from the corruption that results from financial and legal secrecy?

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C20 Face to Face Meetings

#C20 18 - 20. Februar 2020 - 16:26
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Reciting the constitution

D+C - 20. Februar 2020 - 15:45
Muslim women are leading India’s nation-wide movement to protect the constitution

Winter nights are cold in New Delhi, the national capital. Nonetheless, a large number of women have been staying at a protest camp in Shaheen Bagh, a south-eastern neighbourhood, for over two months. Braving chilly winds, sitting on rugs on the road, with just a tarpaulin sheet over their heads, the women show courage and resilience.

Shaheen Bagh has become a national symbol, and similar camps have popped up in many places. Not all participants are Muslim, but many are. Provocateurs have tried – but failed – to trigger violence several times. Nonetheless, at least two dozen protestors have allegedly been killed in police violence in various Indian states, with BJP-run Uttar Pradesh, the most populous state, topping the list with 19 deaths.  

How the women articulate their cause is impressive too. Alima, a young mother with a baby in her arms, told me in Shaheen Bagh: “If we do not protest today, we might lose our citizenship tomorrow. Our constitution gives us the power to fight for our rights. We cannot allow Modi to change our constitution. People of all religions co-operated to give us this constitution.”

The women have ample reason to be concerned. Current government policies indeed add up to putting at risk the citizenship of many poor Muslims who lack proper documents. The recent Citizenship Amendment Act and plans for an National Register of Citizens show this quite clearly (see box). Indeed, the informal marginalisation of the Muslim community is increasingly giving way to targeted Islamophobic action by the national government. The founders who wrote the constitution wanted India to be a pluralistic and democratic nation. By constrat, the politics practiced by ruling party BJP in the past six years gives enough evidence that it wants India to be a Hindu nation.

Many cities have seen huge rallies opposing discriminatory legislation in recent weeks, often with hundreds of thousands of participants. People of all communities were involved. There is no doubt, however, that Muslim women are playing a leading role. Their protest camps have become permanent symbols of non-violent resistance. 

The self-confident assertiveness of Muslim women was iconic right from the start of what fast became a nation-spanning movement. When, in mid-December, the police attacked peacefully rallying students at a Delhi-based university with tear gas and batons, two female students in hijab, Ladeeda and Ayesha, confronted officers to protect a male friend. Video clips of their brave intervention went viral (see my interview with them, which includes footage), and in a matter of few hours, thousands of students across university campuses in India were protesting against police brutality. 

Muslim women are often considered an oppressed group who are taught to be submissive. This image is prevalent not only in India, but the Indian government has a particular pattern of faking concern for their fate. In Shaheen Bagh, however, Muslim women in headscarves are proudly holding up the national flag. They recite the preamble of the constitution, demand “azadi” (freedom), and refuse to be treated as second-class citizens. Fearless women in hijab are thus challenging the prime minister, undermining his carefully crafted strong-man image. Some are old, some are young, and most are homemakers protesting for the first time.

To what extent the movement will succeed in forcing the government to backtrack remains to be seen. What is obvious, however, is that the constitution still enjoys mass support. The majority of Indians know that India is a diverse nation and cannot be anything else. The BJP won its dominant parliamentary majority with only about 38 % of the vote in last year’s general election. In absolute numbers, that share amounts to half of the Hindu population at most.

To tell by the results of the recent assembly elections in Delhi, the BJP’s grip on India may be weakening. Modi’s party won a little over 10 % of the seats. It had tried to mobilise anti-Muslim sentiments, for example, by stoking fear of Shaheen Bagh protests being geared to establishing an Islamic state.

It is encouraging that most people in Delhi did not buy that hateful propaganda. The plain truth is that the protest movement is firmly based on India’s constitution, and that the majority of India’s citizens appreciate our constitution.

 

Arfa Khanum Sherwani is senior editor with the independent news website TheWire.
Twitter: @khanumarfa
TheWire: https://thewire.in/

Update, 21 February 8 am Frankfurt time: We added the numbers of killed protestors in the second paragraph.

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Muslims’ grievances in Modi’s India

D+C - 20. Februar 2020 - 15:05
How India’s government is targeting the country’s largest minority

The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) grants refugees from Pakistan, Afghanistan or Bangladesh a fast track to Indian citizenship if they fled for religious reasons. The problem is that the CAA explicitly excludes Muslims, even though Islamic minority groups such as Shias or Ahmadias often suffer hardship in the countries concerned. India’s constitution forbids faith-based discrimination, but the government does not care.

The CAA fits a pattern. In the second half of last year, the national government pioneered a scheme to identify illegal immigrants with a particular focus on Bangladeshi Muslims in the state of Assam (see my comment in the Debate section of D+C/E+Z e-paper 2019/11). There are plans to roll out the scheme all over India. The buzzwords are National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR) (see blogpost on D+C/E+Z website). Poor people who lack proper birth certificates or similar documents would be at risk of losing their citizenship. As most Indian Muslims tend to belong to low income groups, they would be affected in particular.

Since Modi first became Prime Minister in 2014, harassment of – and violence against – Muslims has mostly been informal, though certainly systematic. For example, Hindu-supremacists, who argue that cows are holy to them, have accused Muslims having eaten beef and killed them. After Modi’s party, the BJP, again won general elections last year, repression has increasingly become official government policy.

For example, the national government stripped Kashmir, previously the only Muslim-majority state, of its special rights and turned it into two separate union territories under its direct control. Large parts of Kashmir have not had access to the internet since August 2019. Recently, it was reported that the Kashmir police was using the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act against those who are using a VPN (virtual private network) or proxy servers to access social media websites. According to the government, this was done to stop ‘‘misuse of social media sites by miscreants to propagate the secessionist ideology and to promote unlawful activities’’.

It adds to the worries that India’s independent Supreme Court recently cleared the way for a Hindu temple in Ayodhya on the very plot of land where the historic Babri Mosque stood until 1992. It was torn down by a mob of Hindu fanatics. The event triggered deadly riots all over India, as well as Pakistan and Bangladesh. The Supreme Court case concerning what to do with the land had been pending for decades. Hindu supremacists regularly demanded that the temple must be built (see my article in the Focus section of D+C e-Paper 2018/05). (aks)

 

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