It’s been a week since the police entered the campus of Jamia Millia Islamia following a protest, which has since spurred many more protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act not just in the country, but worldwide.
On Saturday, 50 Indians protested against the CAA in Helsinki, Finland. Indians protested at the Helsinki Railway Station, which also saw the presence of Indians from other parts of Finland such as Vaasa, Tampere, Turku and Lappeenranta.
The protest saw Indians raise slogans, and also denounce police action at Jamia Millia Islamia and the Aligarh Muslim University. The protest, which lasted two hours, was concluded with a reading of the Preamble of the Constitution.
The protesters also carried out a signature campaign, which saw responses from over 100 Indian students and working professionals in Finland.
The statement by these signatories stated that the Act is “blatantly discriminatory”, and that the government has repeatedly promised to implement the National Register of Citizens. “The CAA combined with NRC is extremely dangerous because Indian residents belonging to certain religious groups can be sent to existing and planned detention camps if they are not able to prove their citizenship. As significant sections of the Indian population are poor and have no such documentation, they can be rendered stateless by this law and create a massive refugee crisis,” the statement said.
Furthermore, it added that dissent is the bedrock of a democracy and is critical, and that the right to protest must be protected by governments.
“The police must always be restrained in its actions against the citizens of a democratic country. Instead, the police have brutally beaten up many young, unarmed and peaceful student protestors in several universities, including calculated and inhuman attacks on students studying in the library of a university, solely to inspire fear and terror,” it adds.
Adding that the Act and the Indian Government’s actions “violate multiple human rights enshrined in the Constitution of India, such as in Article 14, as well as the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights”, the signatories said that they were deeply concerned about the “growing anti-democratic, authoritarian, and highly discriminatory actions of the current Indian government.”
They condemned the manner in which the Act was passed, and demanded that student protestors be allowed to continue their peaceful demonstrations, and that mobile network shutdowns must be stopped immediately.