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UK: India will be 'real test' of foreign policy under new strategy

‘The UK needs to go beyond fine phrases and take a principled stand’ - Kate Allen

Responding to the UK government’s publication today of an Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy, Kate Allen, Director of Amnesty International UK, said:

“China and other serious foreign policy challenges aren’t going to go away, but in many ways the real test of this review will be India.

“Ministers speak out regularly about human rights setbacks in China, Russia, Myanmar or Iran, but say almost nothing about India despite a rapidly deteriorating human rights situation.

“In India, civic space is increasingly restricted, with human rights defenders at real and growing risk amid a government-fostered climate of intolerance and reprisal. 

“Last year, Amnesty India was forced to close its operations after sustained harassment from the authorities.

“When the Prime Minister visits India next month we’d like to see him speaking plainly - including publicly - about the need for Narendra Modi’s government to halt the alarming decline in respect for human rights in India.

“Concepts like ‘open societies’ are all well and good, but the UK needs to go beyond fine phrases and take a principled stand against the actions of world leaders like Prime Minister Modi. Otherwise, it risks trading away its influence or acting in a way which lends international cover for continued human rights abuses.”

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