Friday, December 8, 2023

Controversial Indian citizenship law requires refugees to provide evidence of religious affiliation

Indian Muslim women protesters shout slogans during a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act on the outskirts of Mumbai.

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India has tightened its citizenship law for migrants coming from neighbouring Muslim-countries. Under the new controversial Citizenship Amendment Act, which has sparked widespread protests in the world’s largest democracy, asylum seekers from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan must provide evidence of their religious beliefs.
Applicants belonging to the Hindu, Sikh, Christian, Buddhist, Jain, Bahai, or Zoarastraian faiths will also need to provide documents confirming that they legally entered India on December 31, 2014, or earlier. In order to gain citizenship, they also need to confirm that they are seeking asylum due to religious persecution in their countries of origin.
The Indian Parliament passed the Citizenship Act on December 11, 2019, a decision that has sparked mass protests against the controversial law. Rights groups have argued that the law is illegal because it violates India’s secular constitution by making citizenship contingent on the basis of religion.

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