2020 Human Rights Report:
The US State Department, in its 2020 Human Rights Report, pointed out several Human Rights Issues in India.
- The report, which is submitted each year to the US Congress, is retrospective and contains a country-wise discussion of the state of human rights.
- Earlier in March 2021, Freedom in the World 2021 report had downgraded India’s status from ‘Free’ to ‘Partly Free’.
- India has also been classified as an “electoral autocracy” in the annual report named Autocratisation Goes Viral of Sweden-based Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) Institute.
Harassment of Journalists:
- The harassment and detention of journalists critical of the (Indian) government in their reporting and on social media, has continued, although the government generally respected the freedom of expression.
- It mentioned restrictions on the press, including violence, threats of violence, or unjustified arrests or prosecutions against journalists.
Accessing Private Data:
- The government’s requests for user data from Internet companies had increased dramatically.
- The government made 49,382 user data requests in 2019 from Facebook, a 32% increase from 2018. Over the same period, Google requests increased by 69%, while Twitter requests saw a 68% increase.
Arbitrary Deprivation of Life:
- The report highlighted the case of custodial deaths in Tamil Nadu.
- The report takes note of the April 2020 detention of protesters against the citizenship laws and various other incidents under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act 1967.
- The Detention of politicians under the Jammu & Kashmir’s Public Safety Act 1978, was also mentioned.
Restrictive Rules and Lack of Investigation:
- Overly restrictive rules on non-governmental organizations, restrictions on political participation, widespread corruption at all levels in the government, lack of investigation of and accountability for violence against women, and forced and compulsory child labor, as well as bonded labor.
- Tolerance of violations of religious freedom; crimes involving violence and discrimination targeting members of minority groups including women based on religious affiliation or social status.