US, Germany, and UN weigh in on Kejriwal’s arrest; India says ‘internal matter’

Arvind Kejriwal.

Amidst the recent arrest of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, both the United States and Germany have weighed in on the matter, advocating for fair and transparent legal processes. Additionally, a spokesperson from the United Nations has also expressed hopes for the protection of rights in India.

In a press briefing on Thursday, Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson for Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, stated, “What we very much hope that in India, as in any country that is having elections, that everyone’s rights are protected, including political and civil rights, and everyone is able to vote in an atmosphere that is free and fair.”

Dujarric’s remarks came in response to questions regarding the political unrest in India following Kejriwal’s arrest and the freezing of bank accounts belonging to the Congress party.

The United States, despite objections from India and the summoning of its diplomat, has reiterated its stance, emphasising the importance of fair and transparent legal proceedings.

Matthew Miller, spokesperson for the US State Department, commented, “We continue to follow these actions closely, including the arrest of Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal. We are also aware of the Congress party’s allegations that tax authorities have frozen some of their bank accounts in a manner that will make it challenging to effectively campaign in the upcoming elections. And we encourage fair, transparent and timely legal processes for each of these issues.”

Similarly, Sebastian Fischer, spokesperson for Germany’s foreign office, stated on Friday, “We assume and expect that the standards relating to independence of judiciary and basic democratic principles will also be applied in this case.”

India’s External Affairs Ministry strongly opposed the remarks from both countries, reaffirming that the situation is an internal matter. The ministry summoned senior US diplomat Gloria Berbena and previously summoned German deputy chief of mission Georg Enzweiler to protest against the German Foreign Ministry’s comments regarding Kejriwal’s arrest.

Earlier this month, in response to US criticism about the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, India reiterated that it was an internal matter. Furthermore, clashes between India and Germany over legal actions involving Indian opposition leaders and civil society have occurred multiple times over the past three years.

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