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Protesters 'detained, attacked' in Delhi for observing UN-sponsored human rights day

By Our Representative 

The Delhi Police on December 10 detained hundreds of protestors who had gathered near Jantar Mantar in Delhi to oppose the refusal of the police permission to the civil rights group Campaign Against State Repression (CASR) for holding a public meeting to mark the occasion of the Human Rights Day.
Calling it a “grave violation of democratic rights”, CASR said in a statement, “The gathering, comprised of students, lawyers, farmers, mazdoors, women, LGBTQ persons and children”, were marching towards Jantar Mantar but were met with barricades and a large cohort of Delhi Police and paramilitary personnel.
Claiming that the protesters were “brutally attacked”, it said, “Women and LGBTQ persons were particularly targeted, with men constables dragging them by the hair and physically assaulting many.”
“The paramilitary personnel also utilized brute force on the detained protestors, leaving many protestors with bloody injuries. The detained protestors were taken to the Police station”, it added.
CASR had decided to observe the 76th anniversary of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) on December 10 for which a police permit was filed on 28th November 2023. It was rejected at 9.30 pm on 9th December with less than 24 hours notice.
Cancellation of this event at such short notice ensured that it is not contested in courts before the envisaged protest/programme’s time lapses, it said.
According to CASR, “India is a party to United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as the Geneva Convention”, yet discourse on this day about human and democratic rights in India was “curtailed.”
Stating that “this is becoming a concerning practice”, CASR said, earlier, on 15th March 2023, police had cancelled a protest againt alleged media blackout in Kashmir at the Gandhi Peace Foundation in Delhi.
In fact, CASR said, programme venues are “coerced into rejecting permissions for events on democratic rights”, calling it an “alarming development”. It added, “To engage in such a practice on the occasion of Human Rights Day itself is a sheer mockery of the Indian people’s democratic rights and India’s international law claims.”



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