Geneva — The United Nations Human Rights (UNHR) office has called India’s controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAB) that excludes Muslims from citizenship as “fundamentally discriminatory in nature” and called for a review.
UNHR spokesperson Jeremy Laurence said, “we are concerned that India’s new Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 is fundamentally discriminatory in nature.”
“The law does not extend the same protection to Muslim migrants as to six other religious minorities fleeing persecution, thereby undermining India’s commitment to equality before the law, enshrined in its constitution,” he added.
UN Chief Antonio Guterres said, “the UN is closely analysing the possible consequences of India’s amended Citizenship Act.”
“We understand the new law will be reviewed by the Supreme Court of India and hope it will consider carefully the compatibility of the law with India’s international human rights obligations,” Laurence said.
As per the new Citizenship Bill, the followers of Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Parsi and Christian religions who escaped from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014 and facing religious persecution there will be granted Indian citizenship.
It was passed by the upper house of parliament called Rajya Sabha on Wednesday and by the lower house of parliament called Lok Sabha on Monday.
Among the 1.9 million illegal migrants in India, 1.4 million are non-Muslims while half-a-million are Muslims. As per the bill, the Muslims migrants will be repatriated to their respective countries while the non-Muslims will be granted citizenship, which has angered the Assam’s population who fear that forcing the illegal migrants into their ranks will deprive their rights.