Amnesty International has called on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau to put human rights issues on their bilateral agenda, as Trudeau begins his India tour later this week. The two leaders will discuss strengthening ties between India and Canada.

Amnesty International has written to both Prime Ministers ahead of the visit. The briefings sent by Amnesty International India and Amnesty International Canada raise key human rights concerns in both countries, and call on the leaders to recognize that progress toward ensuring justice, liberty and equality for all must be placed at the core of bilateral engagement and cooperation.

Text of the letter sent to Prime Minister Modi reads:

Dear Prime Minister,

I write to you on behalf of Amnesty International India, which is part of the Nobel Peace Prize winning Amnesty International global human rights movement. Amnesty International India's vision is for every person in India to enjoy the rights enshrined in the Constitution of India and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We are independent of any political, economic or ideological interests and are funded mainly by contributions from individual supporters. On several projects we seek to work with government authorities, including Ministries, elected representatives and the local police.

Sir, I am reaching out to you today, ahead of Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s visit to India on 17 February 2018, to present a briefing highlighting human rights concerns regarding Canada. As a close ally of Canada, India has a responsibility to discuss human rights concerns with Canada and secure meaningful commitments for its improvement. Amnesty International India urges you to raise these concerns in your discussions with Prime Minister Trudeau and representatives of the Government of Canada.

In this regard, please find attached the following documents for your perusal,

1. Amnesty International briefing (3 pages) highlighting the human rights concerns for your kind consideration.

2. Amnesty International’s 2018 Human Rights Report Card and Agenda for Canada. We would welcome an opportunity to meet with you or your officials ahead of Canada PM’s visit to discuss these concerns and recommendations further.


Executive Director
Amnesty International India

Text of the letter sent to Prime Minister Trudeau reads:

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,

We are writing to you in advance of your official visit to India later this month to lay out a number of pressing human rights concerns and related recommendations that Amnesty International’s 300,000 supporters across Canada urge you to raise in all possible exchanges, including your meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The relationship between Canada and India is an important one and the ties between our countries are numerous, deep and longstanding. It is vital that in a spirit of mutual support, such a relationship give serious attention to pursuing all possible avenues for strengthened respect and regard for human rights. As such, Amnesty International is also reaching out to Prime Minister Modi, urging that he and other members of his government raise recommendations for human rights improvement in Canada with you and other Canadian officials during meetings and discussions held during this upcoming visit.

We have attached a short briefing paper to this letter, highlighting six areas in which we believe interventions from the government of Canada and you personally at this time would be timely and significant. Those areas of concern are:

  • threatened forced mass expulsion of Rohingya people from India;

  • justice and accountability for the 1984 Sikh massacre;

  • use of pellet-firing shotguns in Kashmir;

  • demonization of religious minorities;

  • decriminalization of consensual adult same-sex relations; and

  • criminalization of marital rape.

We would welcome an opportunity to meet with you or your officials in advance of your trip to discuss these concerns and recommendations further.


Alex Neve
Secretary General
Amnesty International Canada (English Branch)

Geneviève Paul
Directrice générale par intérim
Amnistie internationale Canada francophone