India: ICJ’s submission to the Universal Periodic Review highlights concerns about the death penalty, impunity and more

Ahead of the 41st Session of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in November, the International Commission of Jurists made a submission to the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) on the UPR of India.

In our submission, we raise concerns about the following issues:

  • crackdown on human rights defenders;
  • impunity and accountability;
  • death penalty;
  • human rights of minorities;
  • international human rights instruments and engagement with UN Special Procedures.


The ICJ calls upon the Working Group and the HRC to recommend to the Indian authorities the following:

  • Repeal or amend the UAPA in line with fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution of India as well as international law and standards. In particular, repeal or amend provisions on anticipatory bail and default bail to bring them in line with constitutional and international law and standards;
  • Release all HRDs who are arbitrarily detained under overbroad national security laws;
  • Conduct a thorough and consultative review of Indian law with a view to reforming provisions that limit freedom of speech and expression in a manner inconsistent with international human rights law;
  • Repeal the FCRA and ensure laws regulating non-governmental organizations are not used in an arbitrary or discriminatory manner against NGOs critical of the government and to silence dissent;
  • Repeal the AFSPA and other state and central level laws that similarly violate international human rights law;
  • Conduct prompt and independent investigations in all instances disclosing credible evidence of gross violations of human rights perpetrated by or with the alleged involvement of the security forces; hold perpetrators to account, and respect the rights of victims, including to compensation, including in the Manipur extrajudicial execution cases;
  • Repeal section 197 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, and other sanction provisions; and grant permission to investigate and prosecute in all pending applications relating to allegations of gross human rights violations;
  • Immediately declare a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty for all crimes and in all circumstances; commute all death sentences;
  • Amend the Citizenship Amendment Act to guarantee that there is no discrimination based on national origin or religion in access to citizenship;
  • Become a party to the above-mentioned international human rights treaties and to the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol and facilitate the visits of all UN Special Procedures.


Download a PDF version of the submission:


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