Commission Question – I have recently been contacted by a constituent who expressed grave concern about the continued detention of members of the Sikh community in India over matters which were political, and not criminal, in nature. What discussions has the EU had with the Indian Government on the continued detainment of Sikh political prisoners who have served their sentences, and what steps are being taken to ensure their release?

Question to the Commission for written answer P-001122/2015

Jonathan Arnott (EFDD)

Subject: VP/HR – Sikh political prisoners

I have recently been contacted by a constituent who expressed grave concern about the continued detention of members of the Sikh community in India over matters which were political, and not criminal, in nature. What discussions has the EU had with the Indian Government on the continued detainment of Sikh political prisoners who have served their sentences, and what steps are being taken to ensure their release?

Answer given by High Representative/Vice President Mogherini (25.3.2015) E-001122/2015

The EU is closely following the situation of religious minorities in India and holds regular contacts with their representatives, including the Sikh Community.

Through the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights we support access to justice. Recently, the EU has been funding two projects in India (including Punjab) aimed at strengthening national human rights institutions and achieving effective justice in order to empower human rights defenders and bring relief to prisoners in conflict states. The EU regularly holds a Human Rights Dialogue with India and the situation of religious minorities is also addressed in that context.

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