Brussels, March 20 : The Chairperson of European Union Parliament’s committee on human rights, Marie Arena has said that the EU must talk about human rights in India before establishing broader economic ties with it in the form of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
Marie Arena, briefing a joint meeting of the European Parliament Commission and the European External Action Service, sharply criticised India’s human rights record. She said, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party has sown the seeds of hatred in the Indian society and arrested opponents on a large scale.
Marie Arena also took to Twitter to highlight the human rights violations, saying that situation is deteriorating in India. “Freedom-killing laws are passed to limit the work of civil society and to exclude minorities from Indian society,” she wrote.
“The EU must demand that India respects its human rights obligations, which must be a pre-condition for strengthening of economic relations, but also the release of prisoners of conscience, defenders as well as the cancellation of freedom-killing laws,” she said.
“India must release all political prisoners and respect basic human rights,” she said, adding that there should be a local human rights dialogue at the EU-India Summit in Porto, Portugal, in May, which is an integral part of last year’s Strategic Partnership Agreement.
FTA’s terms include human rights and the United Nations has published two reports on human rights violations in Kashmir. Amnesty International and other organisations have reiterated their demands for the protection of minorities in India. All these questions must be answered before the May summit in Portugal, Arena said.