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The growing scandal of Muslim concentration camps

28 7 0

Internment is a well-tried and deeply mistrusted tool of reactionary governments. It involves large groups of people – often entire communities including women and children – being locked up without trial.

Historically, the practice has given rise to its own sinister vocabulary, notably such terms as “concentration camps”. They are firmly associated with numerous crimes against humanity, not least of all mass murder. Little wonder, then, that Article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “No-one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.”

None of this has stopped the proliferation of such institutions in parts of the world where ruthless administrations are specifically targeting Muslims. Their widespread use by the current Indian government – one infested with prejudice against Islam – is of particular concern.

A camp being built in Goalpara, in the remote northeast of India, is designed for at least 3,000 people to be herded inside. Beyond living quarters and medical facilities, it is likely to be completed with watchtowers, high walls, reams of wire, and all the other paraphernalia of the traditional concentration camp.

Goalpara is said to be one of 11 camps being erected to cope with the thousands of people in the tea-growing state of Assam who are being detained for not having Indian citizenship documentation. Many are migrants who have arrived from Muslim-majority Bangladesh next door, while others are Muslims who have lived legally in Assam for most of their lives. They are simply not wanted anymore, so will be interned indefinitely until further notice.

READ: My heart aches for Myanmar and Kashmir; for........

© Middle East Monitor