New Democrats fight for human rights in India « Canada’s NDP

December 1, 2022 at 8:15 am  Federal, Politics

OTTAWA — On Thursday, NDP MP Heather McPherson (Edmonton-Stratchona) and NDP MP Blake Desjarlais (Edmonton-Griesbach) along with Dr. Jaspreet Bal, Vice President of the World Sikh Organization and Fatema Abdalla, Advocacy Officer of the National Council of Canadian Muslims, called on the Liberal government to engage in a diplomatic boycott of G20 activities in Kashmir, India. The call comes in response to the Liberal government’s inaction to condemn India’s BJP government’s discriminatory anti-minority laws.

“Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Dalits, the LGBTQ community, women and Indigenous people (Adivasi) all deserve to be safe, and to be treated with respect,” said McPherson. “It’s unacceptable that the Liberal government stays silent while minorities are under threat of ethnic cleansing. That’s why New Democrats put out a strong statement today standing up for human rights and urging the government to hold a diplomatic boycott of India’s G20 activities in Kashmir.”

New Democrats are demanding the federal government reject any G20 activities planned in Kashmir and refuse to attend while the Indian government continues its human rights abuses.

“While increased trade ties in the Indo-Pacific region are important, Canada cannot turn a blind eye to the deteriorating plight of minority communities in India,” said Tejinder Singh Sidhu, President of the World Sikh Organization of Canada. “The Indian government has consistently ignored its duty to safeguard human rights and minority communities, including the Sikh community, have felt the effects. Canada can and must do more to hold India accountable.”

“We welcome this statement from the New Democratic Party and MP McPherson, highlighting our major asks,” said Fatema Abdalla, Advocacy Officer from National Council of Canadian Muslims. “As a country that claims to protect, promote and defend human rights, we can no longer sit silent as these major violations continue.”

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