Bachelet: Muslim Minorities Face Harassment in India

김동수 기자 / 기사승인 : 2019-09-30 19:33:19
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[스페셜경제= Dongsu Kim] Michele Bachelet, in her annual report to the UN Human Rights Council on Geneva last Wednesday has cautioned India against “divisive policies” that both not only “undermine economic growth” but is also “marginalising vulnerable people in an already unequal society.”

As reported by Al Jazeera, Bachelet said that most of the minorities facing harassment were Muslims who, after coming from a historically disadvantaged position, had only continued to suffer under Indian regime, experiencing “disturbing” numbers and cases of hate crime.

According to her report, most of these hate crimes include assault, rape, and murder, crimes against them that had only gone worse in 2018. Looking at the numbers closely, the report lifted the data from English and Hindi media on the matter and found that about 218 incidents of hate crime were committed last year, and most of the targets of these crimes were either lower-caste Dalits (accounting for 142 of the incidents) and Muslims (accounting for 50 of the incidents).

So why has this been going on? It has something to do with how the incidents are seen in Indian culture. Because these hate crimes are not considered as specific offenses, the country does not recognize the crimes as grievous as they should normally be.

According to Aakar Patel, who works as an executive director for Amnesty India, this so-called “culture of impunity for hate crimes” become prevalent because even political leaders themselves do not address the matter as seriously and do not speak up or make reforms in order to lessen them.

"Legal reforms that enable recording of hate crimes and strengthen accountability must be a priority for any government that comes to power following the upcoming general elections," Patel suggested.

However, Kavita Krishnan, an activist in New Delhi, also pointed out that the UN chief, Bachelet, should have not seen the hate crimes as a big deal only when India’s economy was getting all the worse for it. She claimed that “the UN human rights chief should be concerned about this [hate crime rates] irrespective whether it affects economic growth or not.”

미첼 바첼레트 유엔 인권대표, 인도의 이슬람 소수 민족 차별적 정책 비난

[스페셜경제= 김동수 기자] 유엔 인권대표 미첼 바첼레트가 인도의 취약계층을 괴롭히는 분열적인 정책에 대해 경고했다.

인도 앰네스티의 전무로 일하고 있는 아카르 파텔에 따르면, 소위 "혐오 범죄에 대한 불순종 문화"는 정치 지도자들조차도 그 문제를 심각하게 다루지 않고 그들을 줄이기 위해 목소리를 높이거나 개혁을 하지 않기 때문에 만연하고 있다고 한다.

파텔은 "증오 범죄 기록을 가능하게 하고 책임감을 강화하는 개혁은 다가오는 총선에 이어 집권하는 모든 정부에게 우선되어야 한다"고 제안했다.

그러나 뉴델리의 활동가인 카비타 크리슈난은 또한 인도의 경제가 악화되고 있을 때에만 유엔 사무총장 바첼레트가 증오범죄를 큰 일로 보지 말았어야 했다고 지적했다. 그는 "유엔 인권위원장은 경제 성장에 영향을 미치든 말든 이 증오 범죄율에 대해 걱정해야 한다"고 주장했다.

[저작권자ⓒ 스페셜경제. 무단전재-재배포 금지]

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