MEP warns Brexit could put an end to human rights campaign in Kashmir

Written by Martin Banks on 26 August 2016 in News

UK MEP Anthea McIntyre has warned that Brexit could hinder efforts to help end human rights abuses in Kashmir.

Anthea McIntyre | Photo credit: European Parliament audiovisual

The deputy also called on Britain and the EU to address the issue, saying they "must both increase pressure on the Indian government to end human rights abuses in Kashmir."

Her demand coincides with publication of a report by Brussels-based Human Rights Without Frontiers (HRWF), a leading rights NGO, which outlines areas where it says religious minorities are under threat.

It says the "most dangerous" countries for religious minorities are Iran, China and North Korea, while among the groups "most targeted" are Falun Gong practitioners in China.


In highlighting the case of Kashmir, McIntyre has listed recent instances of violent oppression including rape, arrest, murder and indiscriminate use of birdshot against protesters.

The Tory deputy said she wanted to send a "strong message of condemnation" over what is happening in Kashmir, and called on the government of India to "end this occupation, stop the persecution and, crucially, to remove the immunity of its military from prosecution for their crimes."

McIntyre, who co-chairs the European Parliament's Friends of Jammu Kashmir group, was a keynote speaker at recent seminar in the UK on the issue.

She has also warned that Britain's decision to leave the EU would create fresh challenges for the human rights campaign.

The ECR group member explained: "Most members of the friends group are British; but we will be leaving within a few years because of the referendum."

She added, "The group therefore must be turned into a truly international cross-party group before then, so that its work will continue effectively post-Brexit.

"In addition, outside the EU, the UK will be entirely responsible for our own foreign policy, so we must encourage our own government to be strong.

"We must say to India - of course we want to trade with you, but not at any price. We must tell them they are not abiding by the Geneva convention. We must make it clear we will not stand by and see them continuing to maim, to blind and to kill."

Meanwhile, in a separate report, HRWF has highlighted alleged rights abuses in Thailand, which recently approved a new constitution in a referendum.

The NGO cited the case of 25-year-old Jatupat Boonyapatraksa, who is continuing his hunger strike at a Thai prison in protest against the country's "broken justice system."

Jatupat was arrested on 6 August for distributing anti-constitution flyers. HRWF has joined campaigners in asking Thai people to write postcards calling for the government to drop charges against him.

Several MEPs, including Charles Tannock and David Martin, have been critical in the past of the human rights situation in Thailand.


About the author

Martin Banks is a senior reporter for the Parliament Magazine

Interested in this content?

Sign up to our free daily email bulletins.


Share this page



Related Articles

Issue 462 | 09 October 2017
16 October 2017

Cécile Kashetu Kyenge Interview, Gender Equality, Health and Safety, Future of Food, Spirit Drinks Regulation, Brexit, Energy Labelling, Plastics Strategy, 5 questions with Antanas Guoga and more...

It's time for all EU member states to ratify Istanbul convention
11 October 2017

It’s time for all member states to ratify the Istanbul convention, so that violence against women can be tackled at EU level, writes Anna Maria Corazza Bildt.

Cécile Kashetu Kyenge: We need to think about immigration in extremely rational terms
11 October 2017

Cécile Kashetu Kyenge talks overcoming racism, EU-Africa relations, and why Europe’s migration challenge doesn’t constitute a crisis.

Related Partner Content

The need to counter extremist propaganda more effectively
13 December 2016

There are different reasons why people believe in extremist ideologies or join extremist groups, explains Alexander Ritzmann.

Preventing radicalisation in schools
9 March 2017

We shouldn’t forget the importance of empowering educators in the fight against radicalisation, argue Alexandra Korn and Alexander Ritzmann.

What Europe can do to resolve the Qatar crisis
20 July 2017

If Europe is serious about fighting terrorism and extremism, the institutions of the EU need to be more actively engaged in the current situation involving Qatar, argues Richard Burchill.