In her speech to the Council, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights deplored the excessive use of force against unarmed protesters in several countries.
In Iraq, live ammunition has repeatedly been used against unarmed protestors, resulting in over 450 deaths since October. Security forces have also detained thousands of people in the context of protests, without regard to due process; some have reportedly suffered ill-treatment. Unresolved political and economic grievances lie at the heart of the current wave of protests, and I encourage the Government to meaningfully address these demands instead of responding with violence.
In India more broadly, the Citizenship Amendment Act adopted last December is of great concern. Indians in huge numbers, and from all communities, have expressed – in a mostly peaceful manner – their opposition to the Act, and support for the country's long tradition of secularism. I am concerned by reports of police inaction in the face of attacks against Muslims by other groups, as well as previous reports of excessive use of force by police against peaceful protesters.