Safoora Zargar’s arrest violated human rights agreement singed by India: UN

New Delhi: UN Human Rights Council’s Working Group against Arbitrary Detentions (UNWGAD) has said that the arrest of Jamia Millia Islamia student and anti-CAA activist Safoora Zargar was a violation of the Universal declaration of human rights and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which India is a party.

In a report, UNWGAD said that Zargar was deprived of ”liberty” contravening “universally recognized human rights, in particular the right to freedoms of opinion, expression and peaceful assembly” and several articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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The body also called on the government to ensure a “a full and independent investigation” of the case and measures against those responsible for the “violation of her rights”. Zargar had said she was allegedly made to sign blank sheets of paper, the conditions of her incarceration, alleged discrimination, and curbing her right to protest.

This is the second opinion related to India adopted at the 89th session. The UN body had also criticised India for the arrest and detention of British businessman and AgustaWestland scam accused Christian Michel. India had rejected the opinion claiming that it was based on “limited information” and “biased allegations”.

In a statement, Zargar thanked the UN body for “taking cognizance” of the case, and called her case part of an “unfortunate trend”.
“I am lucky and thankful and at the same time hope that the situation for all human rights defenders will improve in future and that all political prisoners be immediately released, unconditionally,” Zargar’s statement added, according to The Hindu’s report.

The Delhi Police had arrested Zargar on 10 April 2020. They had claimed that she was ”allegedly one of the main conspirators and main instigators in the riots” that swept through north-east Delhi last year in February. She finally got bail on June 2020 from the Delhi high court on humanitarian grounds. She was 23 weeks pregnant at that time.

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