Request to Sanction Indian Officials
The Case for Sanctions
On 25 October 2022, ACIJ made a submission to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, recommending that three individuals – Yogi Adityanath, Om Prakash Singh and Sanjeev Tyagi be made ‘designated persons’ under the Autonomous Sanctions Regulations 2011 (Cth). This would make them subject to targeted ‘Magnitsky-style’ sanctions for their involvement in serious abuses of human rights in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India.
Violent crackdowns on protesters were common across India following the introduction of the discriminatory Citizenship Amendment Act in December 2019. Police crackdowns were particularly brutal in the state of Uttar Pradesh in northern India.
There is extensive evidence of torture and the inhuman treatment of persons detained during the protests as well as of extrajudicial killings by police in what are known as “encounter killings”.
ACIJ worked with affected groups to document the responsibility borne by each of the three named individuals for human rights violations in Uttar Pradesh.
Our 75-page submission set out the relevant evidence of the individual’s respective involvement in violations of the right to life and the right not to be subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. It argued that domestic accountability for these abuses is highly unlikely and that efforts by survivors and the families of victims to seek justice in India have been met with intimidation, threats and harassment by police.
Given the lack of any prospects of justice in India and ongoing obstacles to accountability at the international level, ACIJ’s submission calls on the Australian government to make use of its targeted human rights regime and to sanction individuals who are responsible for serious abuses of human rights in Uttar Pradesh.
On 22 May 2023, ACIJ filed a follow-up submission to the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, urging again that three individuals be sanctioned for their involvement in serious abuses of human rights in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. This update notes a steady increase in the number of extrajudicial killings in so-called “encounters” with police. It also finds that impunity for these human rights abuses continues unabated.
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