The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) have submitted a detailed report to the United Nations Human Rights Committee, examining the human rights situation in India, specifically concerning the Naga people. The report, titled “Submission on the Implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR),” was prepared for the 141st session of the Committee, scheduled from July 1 to 23, 2024.

India, a signatory to the ICCPR, faces scrutiny over its treatment of the Naga ethnic group, who inhabit northeastern India and northwestern Myanmar. Historically independent, the Nagas’ homeland was divided between India and Burma following British colonization. Since India’s independence in 1947, the Nagas have pursued self-determination, leading to periodic peace negotiations with the Indian government.

The UNPO report highlights the failure to implement the promises and agreements made to the Naga people, including the 2015 Framework Agreement. It noted that centralized control by the Indian government and neglect of these agreements, compounded by ongoing militarization under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), have hindered the realization of Naga rights.

The report called for urgent reforms, including the repeal of the AFSPA, which grants extensive powers to the Indian military in “disturbed areas,” leading to numerous human rights abuses. The UNPO advocates for replacing the AFSPA with legislation that upholds human rights standards and ensures accountability.

The UNPO urged the Indian government to initiate and support independent investigations into all reported incidents of violence involving Naga victims. It added that these investigations should be conducted by impartial bodies to ensure transparency and credibility.

It recommended India to engage in genuine, inclusive dialogue with Naga representatives to address their aspirations for self-determination and territorial integrity.

It recommended that thorough, independent investigations into human rights abuses be ensured including the 2021 Nagaland killings (Mon), and hold perpetrators accountable under civilian jurisdiction.

It recommended that the transparent and participatory peace processes that respect the rights and dignity of all stakeholders, including indigenous peoples like the Nagas be facilitated.

It urged for the protection of human rights defenders, journalists, and activists who document and report on the situation of the Nagas.

Further, it recommended a cease on the arbitrary arrests and detentions of NSCN members. It also called for ceasing all retaliatory actions against Naga activists for their human rights work, including the issuance of LOCs and passport seizures.

The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) is an international, nonviolent and democratic membership organization. Its Members are indigenous peoples, minorities, unrecognized States and occupied territories that have joined together to defend their political, social and cultural rights, to preserve their environments and to promote their right to self- determination. The Naga people are represented in the UNPO by the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN-IM). They have been a member of the UNPO since 1993.

MTNews Desk

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