WEA to host UN side event on human rights crisis in Manipur, India


For more information contact Markus Hofer, [email protected]

The World Evangelical Alliance, on behalf of a coalition of NGOs, will host a United Nations Human Rights Council side event entitled “The Crisis in Manipur and Implications for Human Rights in India” on Tuesday, September 19, at 4:00 p.m. Geneva time (2:00 p.m. GMT).

Wissam al-Saliby, director of the WEA’s Geneva office, will serve as moderator for the event, which will be broadcast live on YouTube at https://youtube.com/live/O5aF0k22HN0. The in-person location is Room XXV, Building E, Palais des Nations.

“Since May 2023,” al-Saliby explained, “the state of Manipur in India has witnessed large-scale violence primarily against the tribal Christian Zo people (Kuki, Zomi, Hmar tribes) that has led to at least 180 deaths, rampant sexual violence, and hundreds of churches and thousands of homes being demolished or burned down. An estimated 70,000 people remain internally displaced.”

Al-Saliby also noted that Muslim homes and businesses were targeted, with six people being killed, in a July 2023 rally in Nuh, a small city south of New Delhi.

“As the 2024 elections in India draw close,” he stated, “our side-event panel will discuss accountability for violence and how to prevent incitement and further violence against ethnic and religious minorities.”

The panelists include:

  • Reem Alsalem, UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women and girls, its causes and consequences
  • Florence N. Lowe, founding president of the North American Manipur Tribal Association (NAMTA)
  • Hena Zuberi, director of advocacy for Justice for All, who co-chairs the India Working Group at the International Religious Freedom Roundtable

In addition, Mr. Nury Turkel, commissioner at the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, will provide a pre-recorded video message.

The WEA, which holds consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council, is serving as co-organizer of the side event along with the following organizations that do not hold ECOSOC consultative status: Open Doors International, Indian American Muslim Council, Hindus for Human Rights, Justice for All, International Commission for Dalit Rights, and North American Manipur Tribal Association.