India to Canada: Stop misuse of freedom of expression to ‘glorify terrorists’

India on Friday said it wanted the Justin Trudeau government in Canada to ensure that freedom of expression is not misused in that country to incite violence and to glorify as martyrs individuals who are considered terrorists by New Delhi.

This statement was delivered at a session of the universal periodic review of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva by India’s deputy permanent representative Virander Paul during the “Canada – Interactive Dialogue”.

The message in the form of a “recommendation”was significant in the context of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s controversial visit to India in February and continuing concerns over anti-India elements in Canada campaigning for Khalistan and holding events to reportedly hail individuals considered terrorists by New Delhi.

Pro-Khalistan banners seen at an event in Toronto, Canada, in April 2018.

Paul said India’s six recommendations to Canada included one “strengthen framework to prevent misuse of freedom of expression to incite violence and glorify terrorists as martyrs”.

He also asked the Trudeau government to “stop racial profiling and other discriminatory practices by the police and security agencies”.

During his visit that was dogged by controversy, Trudeau insisted that Canada stood for a “united India”. He also denied  allegations that Sikh ministers in his government were supporters of Khalistan.

Other recommendations included implementing “existing measures effectively for improving gender equality with a view to enhancing women’s participation in decision making, full time employment and equal pay for equal work”.

“Remove inequality and discrimination faced by persons with disabilities in realisation of right to education, work, employment, healthcare, affordable housing and other basic needs,” the recommendations said.