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QUESTION NO.2116 FREEDOM OF SPEECH IN UNIVERSAL PERIODIC REVIEW

March 15, 2017

LOK SABHA
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO.2116
TO BE ANSWERED ON 15.03.2017

FREEDOM OF SPEECH IN UNIVERSAL PERIODIC REVIEW

2116. SHRI A. ARUNMOZHITHEVAN :

Will the Minister of EXTERNAL AFFAIRS be pleased to state:

(a) whether India’s recent track record in protecting freedom of expressions is expected to come under close scrutiny in the United Nation’s next Universal Periodic Review in 2017;

(b) if so, the details thereof;

(c) whether a recent human rights watch report prompted Holland to point at India’s human rights record; and

(d) if so, the details thereof and the steps taken by the Government in this regard?

ANSWER
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
(SHRI M. J. AKBAR)

(a) & (b) India’s national report for the Universal Periodic Review (UPR)-III would be reviewed on the 4th May, 2017 and the same would be adopted on the 9th May, 2017 during the 27th Session of UPR Working Group to be held from the 1st to 12th May, 2017. Hence, it is not possible at this stage to indicate what issues will be raised during India’s UPR Report in May, 2017. The UPR mechanism is the ‘peer review’ mechanism established under the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). Under this peer review members of the United Nations review each other’s progress in advancing Human Rights in their respective jurisdiction, share best practices, and offer technical assistance.

(c) & (d) Human Rights Watch is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) and there is no legal obligation to act on the basis of the report.

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