HRW Urges India to Keep Rights Promises

Posted June 6th, 2011 at 5:55 am (UTC-5)
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Human Rights Watch has called on India to live up to its legal and moral commitments, following the South Asian nation's election last month to the United Nations Human Rights Council.

The New York-based human rights organization says the “current culture of impunity” that protects Indian public officials from prosecution for violating human rights stands in the way of India fully realizing its commitments.

HRW called on India to protect its citizens' right to freedom of expression by repealing “archaic” sedition laws that are used to “silence dissent.”

The group also urged India to protect the rights of children, women and other vulnerable groups. The rights organization also called for the repeal of an Indian law that criminalizes consensual sex between adults of the same sex.

HRW's South Asia director, Meenakshi Ganguly, said India needs to modernize its foreign policy to reflect its status as the world's largest democracy. Ganguly said, as India's regional and global influence grows, India has “a chance to shine on the world stage.”