European Parliament Takes Stand Against Human Rights Violations in Manipur, India: Prioritizing Accountability and Democracy
East and South Asia Human Rights Researcher
Global Human Rights Defense
The violence in Manipur, India has triggered further reactions by the international community. The European Parliament has adopted an urgent resolution discussing the violation of human rights in India, with a particular focus on the state of Manipur (Bureau, 13 July 2023). This development is significant as it highlights the growing concern regarding "Hindu majoritarianism" in India (Bureau, 13 July 2023).
The ongoing armed conflict in Manipur, which began on May 3, 2023, has claimed the lives of over 120 people and has been characterised by violence along ethnic and religious lines (Bureau, 13 July 2023; Balachandran, 13 July 2023). The conflict has resulted in the destruction of property, displacement of over 40,000 people, and targeted attacks on Adivasis (indigenous peoples) through aerial bombings (Bureau, 13 July 2023).
The European Parliament strongly condemns the acts of violence, loss of life, and destruction of property in Manipur (Balachandran, 13 July 2023). It denounces the nationalistic rhetoric deployed by leading members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and calls on the Indian government and local authorities to allow unhindered humanitarian aid, conduct independent investigations, and mediate tensions impartially (Balachandran, 13 July 2023). The resolution emphasises the need to repeal the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and restore internet access (Balachandran, 13 July 2023). The European Parliament's resolution serves as a recommendation to member states and sends a clear message of support for addressing human rights issues in India (Balachandran, 13 July 2023). It calls for placing human rights and democratic values at the heart of engagement with India, establishing regular EU-India Human Rights Dialogues, and informing the European Parliament of progress made (Balachandran, 13 July 2023). While the resolutions are not legally binding, they reflect the growing concern in the West about human rights and democracy, aiming to hold India accountable and maintain a balance between geopolitical interests and the promotion of fundamental rights (Balachandran, 13 July 2023).
The European Parliament's adoption of an urgency resolution addressing the human rights violations in Manipur, is highly significant for the promotion and protection of human rights. By condemning the acts of violence, loss of life, and destruction of property in Manipur, the resolution demonstrates a commitment to upholding the fundamental rights of individuals affected by the ongoing armed conflict. Furthermore, the resolution's emphasis on the need to repeal the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and restore internet access highlights the importance of safeguarding civil liberties and ensuring accountability for human rights abuses. By calling for regular EU-India Human Rights Dialogues and advocating for human rights and democratic values to be at the core of engagement with India, the European Parliament underscores the significance of prioritising human rights in international relations and encourages transparency, independent investigations, and impartial mediation to address the situation effectively. This resolution serves as a reminder of the global community's responsibility to promote and protect human rights, even when it involves balancing geopolitical interests with the principles of human rights and democracy.
F.P.J. Bureau. (13 July 2023). Delhi News: EU Parliament Voices Concern Over Human Rights Violation In India. The Free Press Journal. Available at <https://www.freepressjournal.in/india/delhi-news-eu-parliament-voices-concern-over-human-rights-violation-in-india>.
P.K. Balachandran. (13 July 2023). European Parliament Discusses Human Rights In India – Analysis. Eurasia view. Available at <https://www.eurasiareview.com/13072023-european-parliament-discusses-human-rights-in-india-analysis/>.