Two years since Article 370: A major success for the NDA?

  Two years after Indian parliament revoked the autonomous status of Jammu and Kashmir, Prime Minister Narender Modi’s government seems to have succeeded in bringing the region under its direct control.On 5 August 2019, a proposal to abolish Article 370 and 35A implemented in Kashmir was introduced by Home Minister Amit Shah in the Rajya Sabha. After which President Ram Nath Kovind also approved it after the resolution was passed in the Rajya Sabha. After getting approval from the President, Article 370 and 35A were abolished from Jammu and Kashmir. After this big decision of the central government, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh were separated and divided into two separate union territories.   After the abrogation of Article 370 and 35A, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had said, 'Now our country can move forward on the path of peace and development.' He said that this step will further strengthen the policy of zero tolerance towards terrorism. Shah exuded confidence th

EU issues sanctions over China over the Uighur Controversy

Due to China’s continued prosecution of the Uighur Muslims residing in the Xinjiang region, the EU has now stepped in and issued sanctions against Chinese officials as a demarche in International Human rights affairs. EU has been quite spry in acting against Human Rights Violations which was reflected in its sanctions against Russia after the arrest of opposition leader Alexey Navalny. This is part of the new Human Rights violation regime under which abuses in different countries and regions are monitored and subsequently acted upon. Under the EU sanctions, four officials and 1 entity have been sanctioned.

The four officials are Zhu Hailun, a former secretary of Xinjiang's Political and Legal Affairs Committee; Wang Junzheng, Communist Party secretary of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps and deputy secretary of Xinjiang's party committee; Wang Mingshan, a member of the party standing committee in Xinjiang; and Chen Mingguo, director of the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau.

The entity sanctioned is the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps Public Security Bureau, which the EU said: "is responsible for serious human rights violations in China, in particular, large-scale arbitrary detentions and degrading treatment inflicted upon Uighurs and people from other Muslim ethnic minorities."

"The sanctions signal the EU's strong determination to stand up for human rights and to take tangible action against those responsible for violations and abuses. The violations targeted today include the large-scale arbitrary detentions of, in particular, Uyghurs in Xinjiang in China, repression in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances in Libya, torture and repression against LGBTI persons and political opponents in Chechnya in Russia, and torture, extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions and killings in South Sudan and Eritrea," the bloc said in a release.

After such actions, China has repudiated any accusations about human rights violation in the Xinjiang region and dismissed it as purely based on lies and disinformation, disregards and distorts facts, grossly interferes in China's  internal affairs, flagrantly breaches international law and basic norms governing international relations, and severely undermines China-EU relations.

As retaliation, China has imposed sanctions on 10 EU officials and blaming them for spreading misinformation and demeaning the image of China
While Beijing has been active in declining any accusations of human rights abuse, many NGOs, journalists and former detainees have pointed out the horrible condition present over there. The Uighur Human Rights Project (UHRP) based off of Washington has been keen in pointing out that those who reside in those camps have been a victim of torture, rape, political indoctrination and forced sterilisation. The US department of State has called this crackdown on Uighurs as ‘genocide’.

There has been staggered flow of information from the Xinjiang region since a long time but recently the Chinese authorities locked down borders, forced out foreign journalists reporting about the happenings over there as a measure for containing Covid-19 spread. Additionally, information about the region has been scrubbed off of Internet.
The terming of this behaviour as genocide would hurt the legacy of Xi Jinping and would push the EU to take the approach put forward by USA through economic sanctions and boycotting the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

Since 2017, there has been a massive ‘reeducation’ campaign carried on by the Chinese authorities, scholars estimate that over a million people detained by camps, some transferred to prison and some put to work in factories.

The curb on flow of information from the region made it challenging for Xinjiang researchers to prove systemic implementation and intent for the most explosive allegations, including torture and rape in the camps.  

The lack of clarity is clearly hurting calls of action by activists. Some are pushing for a boycott of the Olympics, with the slogan "Close the camps or lose the Games."

However, activists believe Western governments discussing issues such as sanctions or an Olympic boycott would pressure Beijing but would not immediately aid Uyghurs.

— Mayank Mishra 



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