HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL 25TH SESSION (03-28 MARCH 2014)
Resolution A/HRC/25/L.20 as orally revised - The promotion and protection of human rights in the context of peaceful protests
Statement by India
1.India supports the call by South Africa for a vote on this resolution. India is a democratic country with respect for the rule of law. The Constitution of India guarantees as fundamental rights, the freedom of speech and expression as well as the freedom to peaceful assembly,including peaceful protests. At the same time, the Constitution also recognizes that reasonable restrictions can be imposed on enjoyment of these rights. It may be also noted that the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights also refers to admissibility of restrictions as long as they are not unreasonable or arbitrary. In fact, all countries have such restrictions in practice and in law, and this must be recognized in the resolution of this kind.
2. This resolution in unbalanced and does not give due recognition to relevant provisions of the ICCPR, ICERD and CRC. Instead, it gives a fragmented picture of the environment in which peaceful protests operate.The resolution also fails to acknowledge the responsibility of protesters to operate peacefully within the national legal framework and ensure that such protests do not turn violent resulting in destruction of property or any loss of life.
3. OP 7 of the Resolution,which refers to the rights of children to the freedom of peaceful assembly and expression,has drawn upon article 15 of the CRC. However, this right should be seen in conjunction with Article 12.1 of the CRC which states that “States Parties shall assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child, the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child”. OP7 as it exists is therefore incomplete.
4. The resolution also does not condemn violence norrefer to peaceful management of assemblies by all stakeholders. The resolution ignores these aspects, as just mentioned, and is unbalanced.
5. India has therefore supported the tabled amendments. Since these amendments were not accepted, we are constrained to vote against the resolution.