Asia Subcommittee to Hold a Hearing on Human Rights in South Asia
Congressman Brad Sherman, the Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Asia, announced that the Subcommittee will soon hold a hearing on “Human Rights in South Asia.”
“We have invited Acting Assistant Secretary Alice Wells, who oversees State Department policy towards South Asia, Sam Brownback, the Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, and other State Department officials, and we seek to accommodate their schedules. We also expect to hear from private human rights activists on the issues,” said Congressman Sherman.
In July, the Subcommittee held a hearing on human rights in Southeast Asia. The Subcommittee also anticipates holding a hearing later this year on human rights in China, which will focus in large part on events in Hong Kong and the internment of the Uighur minority.
The hearing on “Human Rights in South Asia” will focus on a number of subjects. The Subcommittee will review the treatment of the Rohingya by the government of Burma (Myanmar) and credible accusations that this minority is subject to ethnic cleansing and genocide. The Subcommittee had the opportunity to review this situation in July as the plight of the Rohingya affects both the South and Southeast Asia regions.
The hearing will also focus on the Kashmir Valley, where many political activists have been arrested and daily life, the internet, and telephone communications have been interrupted. The hearing will also review the humanitarian situation in Kashmir. Are people able to get food, medical care, etc?
“I had an opportunity to meet with Americans from Kashmir Valley just a week ago in the San Fernando Valley, along with my colleague Congressman André Carson (D-IN). We heard stories of difficulties encountered by my constituents and others, and the fears they have for their loved ones. I look forward to learning more about human rights in Kashmir,” said Congressman Sherman.
The hearing will also focus on the Tamils of Sri Lanka, the human rights situation in Sindh, the East Bengali in India, the Ahmadis in Pakistan, and other religious minorities.
On Friday, Congressman Sherman addressed human rights in China, Sri Lanka, and Sindh in an address at a National Press Club event for the International Day for the Victims of Enforced Disappearances.