Iran presses IAEA for independent, impartial approach

Untold India March 6, 2022

Tehran: Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian has highlighted the need for an independent, professional and impartial approach by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to Tehran, according to the Foreign Ministry here.
Abdollahian made the remarks during a meeting on Saturday with visiting Rafael Grossi, director general of the UN nuclear watchdog, where he also stressed the importance of strengthening the agency’s relations and cooperation with Iran in areas beyond oversight and inspection of nuclear facilities, including supporting Iran’s peaceful nuclear industry, reports Xinhua news agency.
During the meeting, the two sides described the cooperation between the IAEA and the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) as positive and successful.
In his earlier press conference with Mohammad Eslami, head of the AEOI, Grossi said they have “decided to try a practical, pragmatic approach” to the remaining specific issues that need to be resolved.
The Vienna talks and the Iran-IAEA cooperation are interrelated, he noted, adding it will be difficult to reach an agreement in the Austrian capital if Iran and the IAEA do not agree on safeguards issues.
Iran and the remaining parties to the 2015 nuclear deal, formally known as the JCPOA, are currently involved in negotiations in Vienna seeking to settle disputes on the revival of the agreement.
Iran signed the JCPOA with world powers in July 2015.
However, former US President Donald Trump pulled out of the accord in May 2018 and reimposed unilateral sanctions on Iran, which prompted the latter to drop some of its nuclear commitments one year later and advance its halted nuclear programme.

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Freedon House rates India ‘partly free’ again, read here what does it say on apathy of Muslims, judiciary, love jihad

Untold India March 6, 2022

By Hasan Akram
Freedom House, a non-profit organisation funded by the US government, rated India ”partially free” for the second time. In its report, the group highlighted issues related to human rights violations, targeting of Muslim and other minority communities, farmers, crackdown on journalists and activists and Pegasus snooping case.
Read here what does the Freedom House’s latest report say about judiciary, Muslims, love jihad theory and crackdown on journalists in India.
On judiciary
Several key Supreme Court rulings in recent years have been favorable to the BJP, including the 2019 decision allowing the construction of a Hindu temple on the site of a historic mosque, and a 2020 decision to deny bail to a scholar and prominent critic of Modi who was charged with supporting a banned Maoist group.
Lower levels of the judiciary suffer from corruption, and the courts have shown signs of increasing politicization.
In 2020, the president appointed a recently retired chief justice to the upper house of Parliament, a rare move that critics viewed as a threat to the constitutional separation of powers.
On CAA, political rights of Muslims
The political rights of India’s Muslims continue to be threatened. In December 2019, Parliament adopted the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which grants special access to Indian citizenship to non-Muslim immigrants and refugees from neighboring Muslim-majority states. At the same time, the government moved forward with plans for the creation of a national register of citizens. Many observers believe that the register’s purpose is to disenfranchise Muslim voters by effectively classifying them as illegal immigrants. Importantly, Muslims disproportionately lack documentation attesting to their place of birth. Undocumented non-Muslims, meanwhile, would be eligible for citizenship through a fast-track process under the CAA.
The citizenship status of nearly two million residents of Assam remains in doubt after a citizens’ register was finalized in the northeastern state in 2019. In 2021, detention camps continued to be constructed for those expected to be declared illegal residents. Assam is home to a significant Muslim minority population, as well as many people classified as members of scheduled tribes.
On love jihad theory
In 2020 and 2021, several BJP-led states passed or proposed laws meant to stem the alleged practice of “love jihad”—a baseless conspiracy theory according to which Muslims marry Hindu women with the goal of converting them to Islam. The legislation effectively created obstacles to interfaith marriages and raised the risk of legal penalties, harassment, and violence for interfaith couples.
On targeting of Siddique Kappan and other journalists
A Muslim journalist, Siddique Kappan, remained in detention after his October 2020 arrest for attempting to cover the alleged gang rape of a Dalit woman. In addition to criminal charges, journalists risk harassment, death threats, and physical violence in the course of their work. Such attacks are rarely punished, and some have taken place with the complicity or active participation of police. Five deadly attacks on journalists were reported in 2021, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists—the highest figure for any country.

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