India: UN Experts Warn of Increased Violence Ahead of the 2024 Election

United Nations human rights experts “sounded the alarm” over reports from India of attacks on minorities, media and civil society. They urged the Indian government to take action ahead of the country’s election in the first half of 2024.

“We are alarmed by continuing reports of attacks on religious, racial and ethnic minorities, on women and girls on intersecting grounds, and on civil society, including human rights defenders and the media,” the UN experts said, warning that the situation is likely to worsen if left unaddressed. 

Furthermore, the experts called on India to improve their communication with UN bodies, noting that of the 78 communications sent by the UN human rights experts over the past five years, only 18 replies from the Indian government were made public. 

The experts also expressed regret over the fact that since 2017, there have been 15 active pending requests by UN human rights experts for country visits to which they have not yet received a reply from the Indian government. 

“In light of continuing reports of violence and attacks against religious, racial and ethnic minorities, and other grave human rights issues, and the apparent lack of response by authorities to concerns raised, we are compelled to express our grave concern, especially given the need for a conducive atmosphere for free and fair elections in accordance with the early warning aspect of our mandates,” the experts concluded.

For the full statement, please visit the website of the OHCHR.