FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 1, 2008
The Honorable Condoleezza Rice
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C St. NW
Washington, DC 20520
Dear Secretary Rice,
It has come to our attention that the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Mr. Narendra Modi is once again planning to apply for a visa to enter the United States. We urge the State Department not to allow Mr. Modi to enter the country under any conditions, as the circumstances under which he was denied a visa in 2005 remain largely unchanged, and the minority communities in his state continue to face systematic human rights violations.
The United States should not unwittingly be the platform from which these unrepentant and yet ascendant forces in India exploit the opportunity to rally the support base among Indian Diaspora communities and raise international legitimacy and standing. It would be dangerous at this juncture of Indian political process to give Mr. Modi that long denied and therefore much coveted window.
Not only was Mr. Modi responsible for the deaths of over 2,000 Muslims and the displacement of 200,000 more, but six years after the Gujarat-state sponsored violence, the Muslim community in Gujarat is subjected to a devastating economic and social boycott, institutionalized at every level. Most have received little, if no compensation for the deaths of loved ones and loss of property; thousands are still displaced, without homes, work, or access to decent schools for their children. At the level of the courts too, Muslims in Gujarat have received little justice, barring a few exceptions; and the few that have managed to push their cases forward have met with threats, physical harm and harassment.
As recently as April 2008, Mr. Modi enacted the anti-conversion law in Gujarat that effectively bars religious conversions, thereby crippling the provisions of religious freedom in the state.
In a recent expose by the investigative magazine Tehelka, the Gujarat state prosecutor appointed by Mr. Modi was captured on video confessing to protecting the perpetrators of the 2002 violence. Further, one of the accused involved in the killings, confessed to Mr. Modi having transferred several court judges as to protect him from any convictions.
Noting the prejudice extending at every level of the state apparatus, the Supreme Court ordered cases related to the 2002 massacres to be moved out of Gujarat.
Mr. Modi has not only expressed no remorse for the 2002 violence; but he has continued to justify them, as he has a spate of extra judicial killings (fake "encounter killings") by his police. And, the state continues to persecute civil society groups who have been trying to speak up for the victims under very difficult circumstances.
Attached please find the reports of human rights organizations and related references on Gujarat.
Coalition Against Genocide
Bureau of Democracy
Human Rights and Labor
Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs
Democracy and Global Affairs
The Coalition Against Genocide includes a diverse spectrum of organizations associated with Indian Americans that have come together in response to the Gujarat Genocide to demand justice and accountability. This letter has been endorsed by the following constituent organizations of the Coalition Against Genocide:
1. Alliance for a Secular and Democratic South Asia (ASDSA)
2. Association of Indian Muslims of America (AIM)
3. Campaign to Stop Funding Hate (CSFH)
4. Coalition for a Secular and Democratic India (CSDI)
5. Dalit Freedom Network (DFN)
6. Dharma Megha Inc.
7. Friends of South Asia (FOSA)
8. Gujarati Muslim Association of America (GMAA)
9. Hindu Vaishnava Center for Enlightenment
10. India Development Society
11. India Foundation Inc.
12. Indian Buddhist Association
13. Indian Muslim Council-USA (IMC-USA)
14. Indian Muslim Educational Foundation of North America (IMEFNA)
15. Indian Muslim Relief & Charities (IMRC)
16. International Service Society
17. International South Asia Forum-NY (INSAF-NY)
18. Muslim Vohra Association
19. Muslim Youth Awareness Alliance (MYAA)
20. Non-Resident Indians for Secular and Harmonious India (NRI-SAHI)
21. Seva International
22. Sikh American Heritage Organization (SAHO)
23. South Asian Progressive Action Collective (SAPAC)
24. Supporters of Human Rights in India (SHRI)
25. Vedanta Society of East Lansing
Dr. Hyder Khan
Five years on - the bitter and uphill struggle for justice in Gujarat
Amnesty International Report, published on March 2007, 19 pages.
India: A pattern of unlawful killings by the Gujarat police
Amnesty International Briefing, published on May 24, 2007, 15 pages.
India: Gujarat Chief Minister Endorses Unlawful Killings
Human Rights Watch, December 7, 2007
Gujarat state fails to protect women from violence
Amnesty International Report, published on 27 January 2005
DISCOURAGING DISSENT: Intimidation and Harassment of Witnesses, Human Rights Activists, and Lawyers Pursuing Accountability for the 2002 Communal Violence in Gujarat
Human Rights Watch Report, published September 2004, 30 pages.
(Transcript of Gujarat Advocate General Arvind Pandya confessing to protecting the perpetrators of 2002 Gujarat massacres, captured on a hidden camera by Tehelka Magazine in a recent expose)
VIDEO CONFESSION: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9KlevWeYrE
"After Killing Them, I Felt Like Maharana Pratap"
(Transcript of Babu Bajrangi's confessions caught on a hidden video camera by Tehelka Magazine in a recent expose)
VIDEO CONFESSION: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfnTl_Fwvbo