Thursday, 13 February 2020
India: Human Rights
Again, it is very disappointing that the government's refused to consider what is an important issue occurring with an important partner of ours. The Greens have been very disturbed by the passing of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act in India in December. For those people who aren't aware, it's a bill that legalised the granting of Indian citizenship based on religion but specifically excluded the Muslim community. This is a hugely concerning development, not only because it's created the legal grounds to strip millions of Muslims of the fundamental right to equal citizenship but because, together with India's National Register of Citizens, it might render many Indian Muslims stateless. Not only that, but the Indian government's also suppressed legitimate protest about these new laws. This is a very concerning development and one that the Australian government should make its voice very clear on. We should speak up so that the world's largest democracy might reverse this discriminatory decision.
In line with longstanding practice, motions that cannot be debated or amended should not deal with complex foreign policy matters. The creation and implementation of domestic laws is an internal matter for sovereign countries. The Australian government values a diverse and inclusive India while acknowledging that it is for individual countries to decide whom they recognise as citizens. We affirm our support for the democratic right to peaceful protest. The Citizenship (Amendment) Act is the subject of vigorous debate in India in which politicians, the media and the public are taking part.