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US “2020 Human Rights Report” flags curbs on Indian media

What is the News?

The US State Department released the “2020 Human Rights Report” also known as “2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices”.

About 2020 Human Rights Report:
  • Firstly, the Human Rights Report is an annual report.  Each year the US State Department submits it to the US Congress.
  • Secondly, the report is retrospective and contains a country-wise discussion on the state of human rights.
  • Thirdly, the report is based on the rights listed under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Key Findings of the Human Right report Related to India:
  • Human Rights Issues in India: India has several human rights issues including:
    1. Unlawful and arbitrary killings;
    2. Restrictions on freedom of expression and the press including violence, threats of violence, or unjustified arrests or prosecutions against journalists;
    3. Restrictions on political participation;
    4. Widespread corruption at all levels in the government;
    5. Tolerance of violations of religious freedom
    6. Crimes involving violence and discrimination targeting members of minority groups including women based on religious affiliation or social status.
  • Requests for Data from Social Media Companies: The government’s requests for user data from Internet companies increased dramatically. In 2019, the Government made 49,382 user data requests from Facebook, a 32% increase from 2018. Over the same period, Google requests increased by 69% while Twitter requests saw a 68% increase.
  • Improvement in Situation in J&K: The report noted that there was an improvement in the human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir. The government is taking steps to restore normalcy in J&K by gradually lifting some security and communications restrictions.

Source: The Hindu

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