SPECIAL SESSION OF HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL

  • Apart from the upcoming Universal Periodic Review of India at the Human Rights Council (HRC), Indian diplomacy is faced with an additional challenge as Germany’s Foreign Minister AnnalenaBaerbock has demanded a special session of the council on Iran’s crackdown on peaceful protesters.
  • In a series of social media messages, Ms. Baerbock announced on October 26 that Germany would push for a special sitting of the global human rights body to discuss the human rights status of Iran.
  • “The brutal repression must not remain without consequences for those responsible. Among other things, we support a special human rights council [session] and will support NGOs in documenting crimes.
  • We will expand our projects in the area of human rights, among other things, and provide places in our protection programmes for particularly vulnerable Iranian people from the areas of culture, science, media and civil society,” Ms. Baerbock said.

India’s stand

  • The protests in Iran began after the reported custodial killing of Kurdish-Iranian activist MahsaAmini on September 16.
  • The protest that broke out against this backdrop has continued across the country since then. India, a member of the council, has, however, refused to condemn the violence against unarmed protesters so far.
  • The Hindu has learned that the Indian side believes the timing of the German Minister’s demand for a special sitting has come at an inconvenient phase as the session for the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) will be held from November 7 to 18.

Squeezing in the agenda

  • Apart from India, the session will cover Bahrain, Ecuador, Tunisia, Morocco, Indonesia, Finland, the United Kingdom, Algeria, the Philippines, Brazil, Poland, the Netherlands, and South Africa.
  • Sources indicated that given the fact that 14 countries will undergo the UPR during the session, it is very difficult to squeeze in a discussion on Iran’s human rights scenario.
  • Germany will require the support of the Western bloc at the council (approximately 17 countries) to force the global body to have a debate and as a leading power, it is most likely to receive such a support.
  • However, Germany has not followed up Ms. Baerbock’s announcement with further actions, adding to a sense of suspense here about the next move from the Western bloc on Iran.
  • A high-decibel Western campaign against Iran at the council is expected to exert pressure on India as a similar situation was evident during the recent western bid to have a special discussion on the status of Uighur Muslims of Xinjiang in China which was narrowly defeated.
  • While the Western members voted for the special discussion, India voted against the move.
  • Uttarakhand’s Uniform Civil Code committee sifts through four lakh suggestions, plans more outreachResponses to ‘One law for all’ cover a range of subjects, from ‘reverse inheritance’ and banning polygamy and polyandry to same age of marriage for men and women; most comments received by panel from tribal belts and rural and hilly areas

SOURCE: THE HINDU, THE ECONOMIC TIMES, PIB

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