India’s new Citizenship Act and national register of citizens are inspired by “paranoia”

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF QUARTZ INDIA)

 

REUTERS/RUPAK DE CHOWDHURI
Same-same, but different.
DIVIDED WE FALL

India’s new Citizenship Act and national register of citizens are both inspired by “paranoia”

By Manavi Kapur

India’s contentious Citizenship Amendment Act, which was cleared by parliament last week, has sparked violent protests across the country, for more than one reason. While there is anger that the legislation is discriminatory against Muslims, there are also fears of an influx of settlers.

The legislation aims to fast-track citizenship for persecuted Hindus, Parsis, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, and Christians who arrived in India before Dec. 31, 2014, from Bangladesh, Pakistan, or Afghanistan. For the immigrant religious minorities, the law effectively amends India’s Citizenship Act, 1955, which required an applicant to have resided in India for 11 years.

The upheaval in most of the country, is due to the exclusion of Muslims from the list. Rohingya Muslims fleeing from Myanmar, for instance, will not be given citizenship under the new law. Likewise, for Sri Lankan Tamils. Several people took to the streets in West Bengal, Kerala, and Goa, and some protests turned violent. In Delhi, police allegedly resorted to tear-gas shells, guns, and batons to push back protesters at Jamia Millia Islamia university.

In the northeastthough, the resistance to the legislation has a different hue.

The NRC piece

In Assam, which shares a border with Bangladesh, people fear an ethnic, and demographic shift due to an influx of immigrants—regardless of their religion. Violent protests in state capital Guwahati led the Indian government to shut down the internet in the state on Dec. 11.

Citizens here are also concerned about the controversial National Register of Citizens (NRC), which requires people to produce documents of ancestry to be enlisted as Indian citizens. This exercise, undertaken by prime minister Narendra Modi’s government in Assam between February 2015 and August this year, was meant to “throw out infiltrators.”

The final list of citizens, published on Aug. 31, excluded nearly 19 lakh residents of Assam, including Hindus.

Ever since, India’s home minister Amit Shah has hinted at the possibility of a nationwide NRC. Shah referred to “illegal immigrants” as “termites” in April, and the citizenship act is now being seen in the context of the planned nationwide NRC.

By all accounts, the NRC in Assam only seems to have deepened the divide between the different cultural groups in the state, bringing back memories of the unrest of the 1980’s. This was a time when Assamese-speaking residents of the state feared being overpowered by Bengali-speaking Bangladeshi immigrants after Bangladesh’s liberation in 1971.

Some commentators have equated the NRC with ethnic cleansing, much like what the Rohingya Muslims of Myanmar faced. The fear is that a nation-wide NRC could only prove disastrous where residents could be profiled on the basis of their religions and stripped of their citizenship overnight.

Citizenship Act and NRC

Protesters believe that the exclusion of Muslims and a nationwide NRC are products of the same school of thought. The paranoia against “outsiders” and “infiltrators” rings strong in both narratives, though by the government’s own estimates, the citizenship act will help a little over 31,000 people.

Given the exclusionary privileges, those protesting believe that the new law will only be used to polarize Indian communities, especially Hindus, against Muslims. On Dec. 11, just before the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) was cleared, over 700 activists, academicians, and filmmakers wrote a letter to the Indian government expressing grave concern over these two proposed laws. “For the first time there is a statutory attempt to not just privilege peoples from some faiths but at the same time relegate another, Muslims, to second-rate status,” they wrote.

The new law, they wrote, also went against the tenets of the Indian constitution. “The CAB is at odds with Constitutional secular principles and a violation of Articles 13, 14, 15, 16 and 21 which guarantee the right to equality, equality before the law and non discriminatory treatment by the Indian state,” they wrote.

Brazil: Bolsonaro undermines Brazilian leadership in Latin America

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF BRAZIL’S 247 NEWS)

 

For political scientist, Bolsonaro undermines Brazilian leadership in Latin America

The direction of international policy practiced by President Jair Bolsonaro undermines Brazil’s international insertion, says Ibmec political scientist Christopher Mendonça

Bolsonaro Diplomacy Ribs Latin America
Bolsonaro’s diplomacy ribs in Latin America (Photo: Alan Santos / PR)
 

Sputnik: According to political scientist Christopher Mendonça, it is daunting that Brazil’s influence on Latin American politics is declining, but this picture is worsened by Jair Bolsonaro’s far-right government and the foreign policy it adopts. 

“Brazil since the end of the Cold War, in the transition from the 1980’s to the 1990’s, has been aiming to be a leader in the region given the almost absence of the United States in our bloc. It is important to emphasize that the presidents who came to the redemocratization had a major role in the constitution of Brazil as a power and leadership, especially in the Southern Cone, “says Ibmec’s professor of international relations in an interview with Sputnik Brazil. 

Mendonça says Bolsonaro breaks the principle of nonintervention in other countries’ internal affairs when he expresses preference in extraneous electoral processes, as when he said that Brazil would suffer from waves of refugees if the left returned to power in Argentina and also when it elected its preferred candidate. in the election of Uruguay.

Luis Lacalle Pou, Bolsonaro’s favorite, was eventually elected president of Uruguay, but rejected the support of the Planalto occupant. Already in Argentina, the fans had no effect and leftist Alberto Fernández will occupy Casa Rosada. Bolsonaro had publicly supported current president Mauricio Macri, who was defeated at the polls. 

“Unconventionally, Brazil has publicly stated in foreign policy positions [in favor of] more right-wing regimes,” says Mendonça. 

The Ibmec professor points out that “for the first time in recent history,” a Brazilian president does not greet the president of Argentina for the election and also refuses to participate in his inauguration. 

India: ‘We put fear of law into hearts of criminals’: UP DGP OP Singh

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF INDIA’S HINDUSTAN TIMES)

 

‘We put fear of law into hearts of criminals’: UP DGP OP Singh

UP Police took stock of the situation and decided to mount a very aggressive posture towards criminals and gangs.

LUCKNOW Updated: Sep 17, 2019 05:47 IST

Shishir Gupta
DGP Singh single-handedly commands the largest police force in the world.
DGP Singh single-handedly commands the largest police force in the world. (HT FILE)

For a state police chief, who was once blooded in the badlands of western UP, 59-year-old-O P Singh is totally opposed to medieval instant justice and is a stickler for discipline. As he single-handedly commands the largest police force in the world, DGP Singh spoke to Shishir Gupta in Lucknow on various aspects of policing. Excerpts:

How is the law and order situation right now in comparison to the past years ?

When I took over two years ago, I found that there was systematic destruction of police institutions in the past decade. Maintenance of law and order had gone haywire, criminal activities were on the rise. The people of the state were on tenterhooks with huge questions over women safety. The rate of cyber crime was up. We took stock of the situation and decided to mount a very aggressive posture towards criminals and gangs. We put the fear of law into the hearts of gangs and criminals in each district by not only raiding their houses but engaging them upfront. In the past two years, we have rounded up not less than 10,000 criminals and, using Section 14 (1) of the Gangster Act, we seized property worth Rs 197 crore of these mafia dons. This has never been done in the past. We neutralised no less than 96 gangsters who were carrying rewards on their heads. This gave a strong message to the public at large that UP Police meant business. In fact, thanks to the heat mounted by us, a number of criminals surrendered in court.

So do the numbers show that the crime in the heinous category has gone down?

Yes, yes. It is has certainly gone down. If you look at the statistics, you will see a decline of 25% in dacoity, in robbery there is a decline of 30% in the loot category, and in murders there is a decline of 12%. Secondly, we have been successful in conducting religious processions in peace — be it Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul-Azha, Dusshera and Muharram. Besides this, we conducted the Kumbh Mela very successfully as well as the 2019 General Elections.

Have you been able to control indiscipline and corruption in your force?

Transforming the behaviour of policemen is a big challenge, particularly when the force is three lakh strong. I am sorry to say incidents do happen that dent the image of the police, as in Siddharthnagar (where a man was thrashed by local police on September 13). I have made it very clear to my force that if the policemen are going to be rewarded for good work, their unprofessional conduct will also be punished.

Do you have any numbers to say that you have punished police officials for unprofessional conduct?

I have punished not less than 400 officers and men. They were dismissed from service after due process of law. This was also the case in Siddharthnagar.

So what happened in Siddharthnagar and what did you do about it?

In Siddharthnagar, the police got information that there was a minor scuffle between two persons of the same community. The police reached the spot and, according to the local thana, the chap who was caught was drunk. My sub-inspector and constable beat him mercilessly in front of almost 50-60 people, but the worst part is that the five-year-old daughter of the victim was also standing there. I feel this act was inhuman. When I saw the video being circulated on the social media, I ordered suspension of the errant personnel and registration of a case against them. The SHO of the area has also been suspended.

Under what provision of law have you booked the errant sub-inspector?

The two police personnel have been charged with attempt to murder. Nobody will be spared. Police are not above the law. Discipline must be maintained.

Why does UP police act like the imperial force of the past? Is it lack of training, discipline or failure of command and control?

You are partly right as there has been a lot of indiscipline in the past. In the past decade, the UP police have been known for very wrong reasons. But in the past two years, there has been a massive change through expert-led workshops and training programmes. In fact, a third party assessment-cum-audit found that there has been a 40% improvement in police behaviour in the past two years. I believe this assessment as the Siddharthnagar incident cannot tarnish the entire force.

How has been your action on crime against women?

We have taken very strong measures. First, we have created anti-romeo squads, which are still functioning very effectively. More than 37 lakh people have been given warnings by these anti-romeo squads. They intensively patrol all vulnerable routes. We are also going for safe city projects in future. Strength of UP 100 vehicles has been increased, their routes have been re-designated. The response time of UP 100 has been reduced from 23 to 11 minutes.

Are you using technology in this?

Yes and that too in a big way. UP 100 has been integrated with fire services, ambulances, 1090 (women safety) and railways. So if you are travelling in a railway compartment and feeling uncomfortable, you just have to tweet or call UP 100 for action to be taken.

After your action in Siddharthnagar, many of your peers will feel that this will lower the morale of forces. Will you continue to punish errant policemen?

Absolutely. As the police chief, I am responsible for security of 23 crore people in the state. Nobody, including the police, will be allowed to take the law into their hands. Inhuman acts on the part of policemen will be punished.

A crime which is localised to perhaps one square kilometres is now projected 1000 times all over the place. How do you handle this public outrage generated by social media?

In the past two years, we have been using the social media platforms in a big way. We can call ourselves pioneers in the country and have bagged five to six awards for this innovative work. Apart from the Karnataka police, we are the only police force licensed to use Twitter Sewa. Our social media platform is much more interactive and through this we have been able to control crime and redress grievances. We have busted fake news. We have a social media cell in all of our 75 districts. I myself monitor the social media platform at the headquarters with the help of a number of senior officers.

Fake news sometime leads to communal violence, arson and mayhem. Are you able to make these platforms accountable, considering majority of them have servers outside the country?

In some instances, we have taken action by registering a case as also informing the platforms on whose servers the fake news is being distributed. We have also arrested persons propagating fake news. We verify videos posted on social media through non-political digital volunteers, 250 of whom have access to each police station. We immediately repudiate fake news. We have also appointed coordinators in foreign countries too. For instance, we have a lady in the United Kingdom who has been acting as a coordinator for the NRI (Non-Resident Indian ) handle used to sort out problems faced by their kith and kin back home.

UP was notorious for communal riots. Have you been able to control it?

Absolutely. For the last two years, there has been not even a single case of communal riots. Whenever we have a problem of a communal nature, we immediately attend with minimum response time.

How have you been able to control terror and religious radicalisation in the state?

The state was affected by terror activities from 2005 to 2010 and maybe as late as 2016, when we killed a terrorist in an encounter. We have contained terror due to strong police emphasis on this aspect through actionable intelligence as well as the support of central agencies. In the past 18 months, we have had good catches too. Two persons were arrested recently from Deoband on the allegation of their links with the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed/ Indian Mujahideen terror group.

We also busted a case of terror funding. So far as radicalisation is concerned, we have been acting in a subtle manner. For example, we caught a youth from Rampur, who was about to leave for Jammu and Kashmir six months ago to participate in terror activities. I myself interrogated the radicalised youth.

What are your police modernisation plans?

We will have one forensic science lab in each of our 18 police ranges. Chief minister Yogi Adityanath has already cleared the proposal for a forensic science and police university in Lucknow. So far as cyber crime is concerned, we have two police stations—Lucknow and Noida—dedicated to this new age crime and have requested the government for six such dedicated stations. We intend to have a cyber crime police station in all the eight zones. For the first time, we have appointed an IG exclusively looking after cyber crime with a state-of-the-art laboratory in Lucknow. Very soon, we will have a cyber hub in Noida through the PPP model on the lines of Karnataka.

First Published: Sep 17, 2019 03:52 IST

In a message to Bolsonaro, Celso de Mello says ‘MP does not serve governments, people, ideological groups’

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF BRAZIL’S 247 NEWS AGENCY)

 

In a message to Bolsonaro, Celso de Mello says ‘MP does not serve governments, people, ideological groups’

Minister Celso de Mello, the oldest of the Federal Supreme Court defended on Thursday (12) the independence role of the prosecutor. The STF dean stated that the prosecution cannot serve governments or ideological groups. The prosecution should not be the servile representative of anyone’s sole will or basic instrument of minority law offense, “said the minister.

Jair Bolsonaro and Celso de Mello
Jair Bolsonaro and Celso de Mello (Photo: PR | STF)

247 – Minister Celso de Mello, the oldest of the Federal Supreme Court, defended on Thursday (12) the independence role of the Public Prosecution Service. The dean of the STF stated that the Public Prosecution Service cannot serve governments or ideological groups, informs O Globo .  

The statement was made at the last session in which Attorney General Raquel Dodge participated in the Court. She will be replaced by Deputy Attorney Augusto Aras, who will still be subject to Senate sabbath.  

“The prosecution does not serve governments, people, ideological groups, is not subordinate to political parties, does not bow to the omnipotence of power or the wishes of those who exercise it. The prosecution should not be the servile representative of the will either. of anyone, or a basic instrument of minority offense, “said the minister.  

The dean also said that the MP acts to protect “a huge mass of citizens, forest people and children of nature unfairly persecuted with predatory greed of those who violate the law.”

7 Crazy Laws From Countries Around the World

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

7 Crazy Laws From Countries Around the World

Laws enacted by government officials are supposed to keep citizens safe and countries in order. But what happens when some of these laws are completely crazy? From laws prohibiting the use of undergarments to laws about life after death, here’s a list of some of the craziest laws from around the world.

Italy

Credit: Luis Padilla/Shutterstock.com

In the city of Rome, goldfish are not allowed to live inside bowls. In order to keep pets healthy and happy, a law was created to ensure better treatment of dogs, cats and even pet goldfish. As a result, goldfish must reside within a full-sized aquarium, a luxurious upgrade from the traditional goldfish bowl.

Scotland

Credit: Ondrej Deml/Shutterstock.com

In Scotland, choosing to wear underwear can have consequences. According to The Scotsman, if you are wearing underwear beneath your kilt, you can be fined two cans of beer. It’s safe to say that this isn’t a strictly enforced rule, but Scots may want to stock up on beer, just in case.

Portugal

Credit: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.com

Portugal, a popular seaside destination, has a law against urinating in the ocean. Presumably, this law was made to protect the quality of the water at crowded beaches, but we have to wonder how this law is enforced? If you find a short line at the beach bathroom in Portugal, there may be some lawbreakers in your midst.

Singapore

Credit: WAYHOME studio/Shutterstock.com

Since 1992, gum chewing has been banned in Singapore. The country has also banned littering and jaywalking. Oh, and when you use a public toilet, you are legally required to flush it. All of these laws are an effort to keep the country clean and welcoming for its residents and visitors, so we can’t complain about them too much.

Poland

Credit: Nicescene/Shutterstock.com

Winnie the Pooh, the beloved storybook character, was banned from a public playground in Poland due to the bear’s crude way of dressing. This is because Winnie the Pooh does not wear pants. Pooh’s outfit was deemed “inappropriate” by city council members, and children are no longer allowed to bring any items bearing Winnie the Pooh’s likeness to the town playground.

Japan

Credit: Patrick Foto/Shutterstock.com

In Japan, those extra pounds you gain around the holidays could get you into big trouble. This is because it’s illegal to be fat in Japan. In order to enforce the law, Japanese higher-ups have a mandatory waistline maximum for anyone over the age of 40. According to Pri, a man’s waistline measurement cannot exceed 33.5 inches, while a woman’s waistline cannot exceed 35.4 inches.

Greece

Credit: Kaspars Grinvalds/Shutterstock.com

In 2009, Greece went as far as creating a law to ban certain types of footwear. High heels are not allowed to be worn at archeological sites around the country. Apparently, the fashionable ladies’ footwear was causing major damage to the Odeon in Athens and lawmakers decided to take a precautionary measure to protect the country’s historical monuments.

Going anywhere unarmed is dangerous, ignorant and uncaring

Going anywhere unarmed is dangerous, ignorant and uncaring

 

I am a person who is a firm believer in the second amendment of our Constitution. I am also a big believer in gun safety issues. I also believe that all people who choose to have a gun should be required to go through gun safety classes before they can carry it outside of their home. The politicians on the liberal side of the Democratic Party seem to want to take everyone’s firearms away making everyone except themselves (they always have armed body guards around themselves) open an easy targets for a demented criminal. The government is never going to be able to get the guns away from all the bad folks in this country as most of them are bought outside of our Nations laws. I am writing this a couple of days after the two demented ass hats shot up a bunch of unarmed people in El Paso and Dayton plus only about 10 days after the shooting at a festival in California.  All of these cowardly attacks on innocent people are disgusting and pure evil. Personally I don’t go anywhere without a firearm on me because contrary to many peoples beliefs of (I never thought it could happen here) such evil can happen anywhere at any time. I just came back from getting groceries at my local Wal-Mart and the whole time I had a firearm on me, if someone had come into the store and started shooting at people I would have done my best to end them ASAP before they could add to their body count. Waiting on someone with a gun (Police) to get there could easily cost several dozen lives. People like myself are not a threat to anyone, we are simply free security for the stores, markets or churches we are at. Guns are not what kill people it is only the sick demented horses asses who choose to shoot unarmed people. Think about the coward who shot those people in El Paso, when the guns showed up, he surrendered. People need to have guns on them when they go out in public, if you don’t have the training, make it a priority to get the training. Learn how to protect yourself, your family and the other innocent people who are around you. Wise up America, if you are disarmed you might as well put a neon target on your chest because these issues are not going to stop until we the people put an end to these cowards. Being a coward yourself, only gets you and your loved ones dead before your/their time.

TRF-4 accepts Lula’s request and orders PF to explain visit restrictions

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF BRAZIL 247 NEWS)

 

TRF-4 accepts Lula’s request and orders PF to explain visit restrictions

Appeal filed by the defense of former President Lula was accepted by the TRF-4 and the Federal Public Prosecutor and the Federal Police have 48 hours to explain the restrictions imposed on visiting lawyers.

Conjur – The federal court partly accepted former President Lula’s request, given the new visiting rules for his lawyers. Nivaldo Brunoni, summoned judge of the Federal Regional Court of the 4th Region, ordered the Federal Public Prosecutor to provide the requested information within 48 hours. 

Until recently, Lula could meet with his lawyers daily from 9 am to 11:30 am in the morning, and from 2 pm to 5:30 pm in the afternoon, from Monday to Friday. But an internal Federal Police rule decreased contact to one hour a day. 

Lula’s defense, made by lawyers Cristiano Zanin and Valeska Teixeira, from Teixeira e Martins, called for the old scheme to be reinstated. However, the process is stalled, as the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office requested a list of all Lula’s visitors in order to make an opinion. 

The attorneys filed an HC in the TRF-4 and the summoned judge then ordered the Federal Police to give the MPF the list within 48 hours. 

“I defend the injunction to order that the court of First Instance give impetus to the case within 48 hours, in order to urge the police authority to provide the information required by the Federal Prosecutor to later decide as it sees fit,” he said. the judge in the decision.

UAE Hopes for Foundation of Sudan Constitutional System

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

UAE Hopes for Foundation of Sudan Constitutional System

Friday, 5 July, 2019 – 10:00
UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash. Reuters file photo
Asharq Al-Awsat
The United Arab Emirates congratulated Sudan on Friday after its military council and opposition reached a power-sharing deal.

“We hope that the next phase will witness the foundation of a constitutional system that will strengthen the role of institutions with broad national and popular support,” UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said in a Twitter post.

He said the UAE would stand with Khartoum in “good times and bad times.”

Sudan’s ruling generals and protest leaders reached an agreement on the disputed issue of a new governing body, in a breakthrough power-sharing accord aimed at ending the country’s months-long political crisis.

“The two sides agreed on establishing a sovereign council with a rotating military and civilian (presidency) for a period of three years or little more,” African Union mediator Mohamed El Hacen Lebatt told reporters.

Brunei Sultan backtracks on death penalty for gay sex

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF SHANGHAI CHINA’S SHINE NEWS)

 

Brunei sultan backtracks on death penalty for gay sex

AFP

AFP

 In this file photo taken on April 3, 2019, Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah delivers a speech during an event in Bandar Seri Begawan.

Brunei’s sultan has announced death by stoning for gay sex and adultery will not be enforced after a global backlash, but critics yesterday called for harsh sharia laws to be abandoned entirely.

In a speech late on Sunday, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah said a moratorium on capital punishment that already applies to Brunei’s regular criminal code would also extend to its new sharia code, which includes death by stoning for various crimes.

The code, which also punishes theft with the amputation of hands and feet, fully came into force last month in the small sultanate on Borneo island, making it the only country in East or Southeast Asia with sharia law at the national level.

The move sparked anger from governments and rights groups, the United Nations slammed it as a “clear violation” of human rights while celebrities led by actor George Clooney called for Brunei-owned hotels to be boycotted. In a televised address, the all-powerful sultan made his first public comments about the furore and took the rare step of addressing criticism, saying there had been “many questions and misperceptions” regarding the sharia laws.

“Both the common law and the sharia law aim to ensure peace and harmony of the country,” he insisted, according to an official translation of his speech.

Some crimes in Muslim-majority Brunei including murder and drug-trafficking were already punishable with death by hanging under the regular criminal code, which is enforced alongside the sharia code, but no one has been executed for decades.

Scope for remission

Hassanal said that “we have practiced a de facto moratorium on the execution of death penalty for cases under the common law. This will also be applied to cases under the (sharia penal code), which provides a wider scope for remission.”

But rights groups said the announcement did not go far enough.

“It really doesn’t change anything,” Matthew Woolfe, founder of rights group The Brunei Project, said. “This announcement does nothing to address the many other human rights concerns about the (sharia code).”

The maximum punishment for gay sex between men under the sharia code is death by stoning, but perpetrators can also be sentenced to lengthy jail terms or caning. Women convicted of having sexual relations with other women face up to 40 strokes of the cane or a maximum 10-year jail term.

Whipping and jail terms, as well as severing of limbs for theft, under the new code were not affected by the sultan’s announcement.

It was not clear how far other sharia punishments would be enforced.

The sultan also vowed in his speech that Brunei would ratify the United Nations convention against torture which it signed several years ago.

Mercadante: Lula Can Already Be Released, It Is A Right That The Law Ensures

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF BRAZIL 24/7)