India has called on Canada to prevent misuse of freedom of expression, disallow activities of groups promoting extremism, prevent attacks on places of worship of religious minorities, and work to address hate crime in the country.
This comes during a meeting in Geneva in November where Canada’s human rights record were examined for the fourth time by the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group.
The UPR Working Group, which carries out a regular assessment of the human rights records of all UN Member States, consists of 47 member states of the UN Human Rights Council. However, when it comes to reviewing human rights records for any country, each one of the 193 UN Member States can participate.
With diplomatic relations between India and Canada at an all-time low, Indian diplomat Mohammed Hussain, in his remarks at the council, urged Canada to “further strengthen the domestic framework to prevent misuse of freedom of expression for inciting violence and disallow activities of groups which are promoting extremism.”
New Delhi at the UN also asked Canada to “effectively prevent attacks on places of worships of religious and racial minorities” as well as “strengthen legislative and other measures to address hate crimes and hate speech”.
Moreover, India took the opportunity to also direct Canada to stand up for indigenous rights and stop any discrimination against the community. “Put an end to structural discrimination against children belonging to indigenous groups. And address disparities in access to services by all children,” the Indian diplomat added.
In the session, a total of 14 countries were reviewed and the delegation of Canada was led by Minister of Justice and Attorney General Arif Virani.
India-Canada row worsens
This comes as Canada continues with its inaction on Khalistani terrorists brewing on its soil, with the latest being a threat issue against an Indian airline by Sikh for Justice’s Gurpatwant Singh Pannun.
After Canada’s “baseless” and unprecedented accusations against India in connection to Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who was gunned down outside a Gurdwara in Canada in June, Indian High Commissioner to Canada Sanjay Kumar Verma also took a swipe at the country.
Raising questions over Canada’s grave allegations, he urged the nation to show evidence against India proving it is involved in the Nijjar’s killing. In an interview with Canadian platform The Globe and Mail on Friday (Nov 3), Verma said, “There is no specific or relevant information provided in this case for us to assist them in the investigation.”
(With inputs from agencies)