Defend India’s rights to participate in peaceful protests

People protesting peacefully against India’s new citizenship law are facing a brutal crackdown by the Indian Government. More than 1000 people have been arrested and over 5000 detained. Internet services have been shut down in many parts of the country, and at least 30 people have been killed.

Sign the petition urging India’s Prime Minister to respect people’s right to dissent and participate in peaceful protests.

In December 2019, the Indian Government passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) that discriminates on the basis of religion, particularly Islam. Hundreds and thousands of people took to the streets in protest of the law and many were met with police brutality, arbitrary detention under repressive or colonial laws and ill-treatment in detention.

People in India continue to face threats to their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly and association. The authorities continue the use of legislations that prohibits the gathering of more than 4 persons and imposes a blanket shutdown on internet services. Excessive force, including police firing and lathi (baton) charge, is further used to deter largely peaceful protests. With this approach, India stands in absolute violation of international human rights laws and standards.

Sometime earlier, the Prime Minister had said, criticism makes a democracy strong. Yet, he continues to maintain a deafening silence as peaceful protests are crushed violently across the country, including in his own constituency of Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.

Join us in urging Prime Minister Modi to respect people’s right to dissent and to stop the crackdown on peaceful protests in India.

Sign the petition demanding Prime Minister Narendra Modi to:

  1. Unequivocally condemn the excessive police and vigilante violence used on peaceful protestors and drop the charges against the peaceful protestors.
  2. Ensure peaceful protestors detained and arrested are treated with dignity and respect in line with international human rights standards.
  3. Take necessary measures to establish a fully independent investigation into reports of excessive use of force towards protestors and vigilante violence and ensure those guilty of perpetrating violence are prosecuted.

The Republic of India was built on the foundation of peaceful protests. Without dissent and resistance, there would have been no India to speak of. We urge you to immediately take action to protect the people’s right to express dissent peacefully.