What is India in every way

B9-0078 / 2020

European Parliament resolution on the 2019 Law Amending Indian Citizenship Law

(2020/2519 (RSP))

The European Parliament,

- having regard to its previous resolutions on India,

- with reference to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

- having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (IPBPR),

- having regard to the International Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination,

- with reference to the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration,

- having regard to the Declaration of December 18, 1992 on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities,

- with reference to the Indian Constitution,

- having regard to the EU-India Strategic Partnership launched in 2004,

- having regard to the Council Conclusions of 10 December 2018 on an EU Strategy on India,

- based on Rule 132 (2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas the 2019 Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, which amends the 1955 Indian Citizenship Act, dated Sept. or was adopted by the two houses of the Indian Parliament on December 11, 2019;

B. whereas the new law will improve the naturalization process to obtain Indian citizenship for undocumented migrants and refugees belonging to the religious minorities of Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jaina, Parsees and Christians, from persecution fled in the neighboring countries of Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan and entered India by 31 December 2014 at the latest, reduced from eleven to five years; whereas foreign migrants can generally apply for Indian citizenship after a total residence period of twelve years;

C. whereas, according to the Government of India's amended legislation, the aim is to create legal certainty in India - a kind of positive discrimination - for members of persecuted religious minorities from the three neighboring countries mentioned, where Islam is the state religion;

D. whereas the new law has sparked debate and has been criticized for being selective and not giving Muslims the same access to the rules as members of other religious groups; whereas the spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights issued a statement on December 13, 2019, stating that the new law was fundamentally discriminatory and that it clearly reflects India's obligation under the Indian Constitution and international treaties To grant equality before the law undermines;

E. whereas Amnesty International India has determined that the new law does not apply to other persecuted minorities, including Muslim populations such as the Rohingya in Myanmar / Burma, the Ahmadis and Hazara in Pakistan, and the Bihari Muslims in Bangladesh;

F. whereas the adoption of the new law has sparked protests across India, particularly at universities; whereas two dozen people are reported to have been killed, many injured and arrested in clashes with security forces; whereas police crackdowns, often brutal, are reported;

G. whereas critics believe that the new law undermines the secular nature of the state and violates the constitution, in particular Article 14, which guarantees the right to equality before the law, and Article 15, which guarantees everyone before Protects against discrimination based on religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth;

H. whereas the Supreme Court of India has started examining petitions on the new law to assess its compliance with the Constitution and has given the government 40 days to respond to these petitions;

I. whereas the strategic partnership between the European Union and India is based on shared values ​​of democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights, the commitment to a rules-based world order and effective multilateralism, sustainable development and the common interest, to further deepen bilateral cooperation, which has continuously improved in all respects since the EU-India summits in 2016 and 2017;

1. Expresses concern about the new law and the numerous potential negative effects on India's international reputation and internal stability;

2. Respects the efforts of the Indian government to stand by members of persecuted religious minorities living in India from neighboring Muslim countries and to regulate their legal status; believes, however, that it will prove counterproductive and discriminatory if certain rules are introduced for selected persecuted minorities and other, less favorable rules apply to other persecuted minorities; Points out that an effective national asylum and refugee policy should be fundamentally fair and holistic and apply to all people in need of protection;

3. Calls on the Indian government to examine the new law and its implications in the spirit of equal treatment and non-discrimination and in light of the country's international obligations;

4. Condemns the violence and brutality that has been shown in several regions of India following the adoption of the new law; Recalls the particular responsibility of law enforcement agencies to act with restraint and allow peaceful protests;

5. Notes that the new law is under review by the Supreme Court of India and that the Government of India has been given 40 days to respond to petitions; Trusts that a Supreme Court decision will provide more clarity on the new law and its compatibility with the Indian Constitution and with its international obligations;

6. Calls on the VP / HR to continue a constructive dialogue with India on all aspects of cooperation and on political and human rights;

7. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Member States, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the President of India, the Government of India, the Prime Minister of India and the Indian Parliament.