ASSAM: Millions stare at Uncertain Future
AI INDIA RELEASE - BENGALURU/NEW DELHI
Responding to the National Register of Citizens (NRC) list published today, Arijit Sen, Programmes Manager, Amnesty International India said:
“Amnesty International India is concerned that the NRC process in Assam may render a significant number of people stateless. It is possible that the process will arbitrarily deprive people, who have lived in India for decades, of their nationality. We urge the government to extend the time period for appeals and to ensure that all appeals are processed in transparent and non-discriminatory manner. Care should be taken to ensure that families are not torn apart, and appropriate legal aid should be provided to those who are at risk of losing their nationality.”
“The fate of those who may lose their nationality, as a consequence of this process, is unclear. India does not even have an agreement with other countries, particularly Bangladesh, on deportation. It is crucial that the government make public their plan for dealing with those at risk of being rendered stateless and ensure that their rights are not violated.”
At present, the National Register of Citizens (NRC) is being updated in the Indian state of Assam to identify ‘illegal immigrants’. The people of Assam were asked to establish their citizenship by providing specific documents, which prove that they or their family lived in the country before 24 March, 1971. The draft final list of persons declared as citizens under the NRC process has been released on 30 July 2018. This list has excluded four million people.
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