The South Asia Collective Online Bulletin #3

Main Page | Latest Developments in South Asia | SAC Impact Stories

Greetings from the South Asia Collective (SAC). We are a group of human rights activists and organisations from across South Asia, working since 2015 to document the condition of the region's minorities, and to help develop local capacity.

This is the fourth edition of our Online Bulletin, providing an overview of significant minority-related news developments that have transpired in the region since 15th July 2020. Events till July were covered in the third edition of our Bulletin, available here. In this edition, we also profile nine local-level initiatives that SAC has begun to support across the region, each seeking to address and mitigate minority-specific impacts of the devastating COVID-19 pandemic.

The SAC Online Bulletin is put together by researchers from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. It aims to be an informative update on the situation of minorities and minority rights in South Asia. Click here to sign up to receive future editions of the Bulletin.

During the period under review, South Asia’s various minority groups continued to face violent targeting and discrimination from non-state actors and, in some cases, from state actors. Across all countries in the region, these acts have been followed by state failures to hold perpetrators to account and uphold the rule of law.

In Afghanistan, peace negotiations with the Taliban have raised fears among civil society actors, and among minorities, of the gains of the past two decades being put to risk. Simultaneously, its Hindu and Sikh minorities continued their exodus out of the country. In Bangladesh, even as a landmark court verdict paved the way for minority women to enjoy full inheritance rights, violent targeting of the Hindu and indigenous peoples communities continued. In India, repression of dissent against authorities escalated further, in the form of a number of high-profile arrests, and restrictive legislative measures. And as the country’s various minority groups continued to face violent attacks, a court verdict in a decades-old dispute gave Hindu supremacists an almost-indomitable victory over secular forces. In Indian-administered Kashmir, the body count of extreme militarisation continued to rise. Nepal witnessed continued attacks on Dalits and, as in the rest of the region, a sharp rise in violence against women. Pakistan saw a major spike in anti-Shia sentiment and persecution, and a horrific incident of rape galvanised women across the country to hit the streets in protest. Abduction, forced conversion and marriage of minority girls continued. And in Sri Lanka, further consolidation of power by the majoritarian ruling coalition after a landslide victory in parliamentary elections raised fears among the country’s Tamil and Muslim communities.

For these and other stories that have impacted or have the potential to impact South Asia’s minorities, click here.

Main Page | Latest Developments in South Asia | SAC Impact Stories

The contents of this Online Bulletin are the sole responsibility of The South Asia Collective and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union or Norad.
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