Joint-statement on Modi's visit to Australia

To mark Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Australia, over 30 organisations from Australia, New Zealand, North America, the Middle East and Europe, have signed a joint statement to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on human rights and climate justice issues that are interconnected with India’s policies and actions.

These organisations that have signed the statement below comprise a diverse mix of faith-based, justice-oriented, human rights, union, and trade groups.

We, the undersigned organisations and individuals, representing a broad cross-section of Australian society and International Allies, have come together to raise our concerns about the detrimental impact that the policies and actions of Mr Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are having on the majority of Indians, the repercussions this is having in the Indo-Pacific region and the world environment. Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Australia provides an opportunity for Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Foreign Minister Penny Wong to address key issues with their Indian counterparts.

We believe that constructive bilateral talks with India should cover human rights abuses, growing inequality, climate action, the breakdown in media and judicial freedom, and reducing regional tensions and disputes.

Considering the range of damaging policies that the Indian government, under Prime Minister Modi’s leadership, is inflicting on its citizens and the environment, we the undersigned urge the Australian government to:

  • Call on the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues to investigate India’s discrimination against Indian Muslims, Dalits and other minorities and report their findings to the UN Human Rights Council,
  • Review the Future Fund’s holdings in Adani companies and order a thorough ASIC investigation into Adani Group companies operating in Australia given the serious evidence of accounting fraud, stock manipulation and money laundering presented by Hindenburg Research and subsequent media investigations, including accounting irregularities related to Adani’s Carmichael coal project, and
  • Ensure an ongoing structured human rights dialogue between Australia and India as a core pillar of our bilateral relationship.

Good friends tell each other hard truths.

A meaningful, long term relationship between Australia and India must be based on mutual respect for human rights, media freedom, judicial independence, equality, open government, and a shared commitment to free and fair multiparty democracy.