South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR), a regional network of human rights defenders, joins thousands of people across the globe who stand for humanity to express outrage and condemnation at the appalling violence in Gaza, unprecedented anywhere in the world in this century. The violence has continued for over 30 days resulting in the mass destruction of lives and property and where a humanitarian crisis of massive proportions has been deliberately created to augment the military assault.

This brutal retaliation by the Israeli military to the Hamas violence of 7th October 2023 where reportedly around 1400 Israelis were killed and 220 taken hostage has now gone far beyond the initial justification.  SAHR is deeply concerned that in this relentless assault against Gaza, with the support of major world powers, over 10,0000 Palestinians including over 4000 children have been massacred so far. Gaza is today being described as a “Graveyard of Children” by the UN Secretary General with the world standing witness to this genocidal barbarity. Silence to this gross violation of human rights as a “collective punishment” of civilian population by the international community questions the core values of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as we approach its 75th anniversary.

While SAHR stands firmly against any kind of terror attacks, especially against innocent civilians of any community, it recognizes the decades of historical injustices and apartheid against the Palestinian people and calls for the urgent need for a just and political resolution. SAHR respects the State of Israel’s right to defend its citizens and territory while reiterating that the State of Israel is bound by an absolute obligation to comply with international law and international humanitarian law. We further call for the adherence to the latest UN Resolution adopted by 120 responsible countries calling for a ceasefire and cessation of hostilities and upholding legal and humanitarian obligations.

SAHR notes that in the several decades of suffering of the Palestinian people due to the illegal occupation of Gaza, labeled as an “Open Prison”, and settler policy of Israel, the international community has absolutely failed to protect the rights and safety of the people of Gaza to date. We advocate for the immediate need to address the root causes and reiterate that a political solution is the only way to end this lengthy occupation. SAHR notes that a two-state solution which would secure a homeland for the Palestinians and a secure territory for the people of Israel should be negotiated promptly. Peace in the region essentially balances on an effective political solution to this long-standing issue and as proven throughout history, violence breeds further violence and would never lead to peace and stability.

SAHR in solidarity with the global and regional human rights community demands from Israel and its supporters to immediately end this catastrophic and horrific assault, paving way to a lasting ceasefire to save lives and allow for urgent and emergency humanitarian aid and services to the affected areas and people.  It calls upon the world leaders to pressure the Government of Israel to end the siege on Gaza and facilitate a ceasefire and peace process. Simultaneously, SAHR demands that Hamas immediately release the Israelis taken as hostages and firmly urges the relevant authorities from both Palestine and Israel to adhere to international law and international humanitarian law to ensure civilian lives are protected.

On behalf of the members of South Asians for Human Rights

Dr. Roshmi Goswami

Sushil Pyakurel
Bureau Member