COUNCIL of INDIAN MUSLIMS (UK)
Open letter to the UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw MP regarding Modi
23 March 2005
Rt. Honourable Jack Straw MP
Foreign & Commonwealth Office
Kings Charles Street
London SW18 2AH
Dear Mr Foreign Secretary,
Re: Narendra Modi
It was on August 11, 2003 that we had to request you to declare the Chief Minister of Gujarat Mr Narendra Modi as a persona non grata. In support of our request we had produced excerpts from a commentary of the BBC that, referring to a leaked report compiled by the British High Commission in New Delhi said:
"A senior British High Commission official in India who reported on these 'riots' to the Foreign Office in London wrote: these pogroms 'had all the hallmarks of ethnic cleansing and that reconciliation between Hindus and Muslims is impossible while the chief minister remains in power.' And it, 'far from being spontaneous, was planned, possibly months in advance, carried out by an extremist Hindu organisation with the support of the state government.'" (emphasis added) (http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/south_asia/newsid_1951000/1951471.stm
Amnesty International's report released in January this year refers to most horrific sexual violence and humiliation meted out on Muslim women in Gujarat in 2002. Earlier India's own National Commission of Human Rights, Concerned Citizen's Tribunal and several foreign bodies had produced damning reports on the crimes committed by Modi's governmental machinery.
In our letters of 11, 13 and 14 August 2003 we had produced excerpts from the venomous speeches of the criminal Chief Minister of Gujarat that established clearly his role in instigating anti-Muslim violence in Gujarat.
Mr Foreign Secretary, we had drawn your attention towards the fact that being a party to the Genocide Convention, 1957 and Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court 1998, Britain had the obligation to prevent and punish international crimes such as genocide and crimes against humanity.
In addition, there are a number of resolutions by the United Nations Security Council and General Assembly generally calling upon all states, to bring to justice those responsible for crimes under international law, including genocide and crimes against humanity. Legal scholars and experts opine that "the application of international law as part of the law of the land means that, subject to the overriding effect of statute law, rights and duties flowing from rules of customary international law will be recognized and given effect by English courts without the need for any specific act adopting those rules into English law". (Oppenheim's International Law, 9th edition)
Unfortunately, your office had then responded with a very official and diplomatic rejection of our request as it had found all the reports, even the one compiled by British High Commissioner himself, as "insufficient grounds" to refuse visa to Modi.
Now that the United States has accepted these grounds as sufficient to revoke visa for Modi, can we expect the British Government to use these grounds also as sufficient to refuse entry to Modi in Britain.
We hardly need to emphasise the fact that there are 165,000 Indian Muslims in England the majority of who are of Gujrati origin. Neither do we need to create your awareness (as your Blackburn and Darwen constituency has many Gujrati constituents), that many Muslim Gujrati's have been directly or indirectly affected by the pogroms organised by Modi. Let us remind you that among the victims of Modi's Hindutva there were three British nationals. Surely if Modi is allowed to be welcomed by a bunch of fascists in Britain, it would be tantamount to insensitivity and indifference to the pain of their relatives and without doubt such a move will be like rubbing salt on their wounds.
Lastly, during our last meeting at your offices, We had provided you with video tape evidence of Narendra Modi's words from a televised documentary in which he stated that the British Government agenda was to spread lies. We ask you whether it is in the British interest to allow such a person to visit the UK as our guest?
Mohamed Munaf Zeena
COUNCIL of INDIAN MUSLIMS (UK)
66c Cazenove Road, Stoke Newington, London N16 6AA UK Tel: 020 8806 1147 Fax: 020 8806 6859,
www.coim.org.uk , Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information please contact Munaf Zeena on 07956335384 q