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More than 800,000 people around the world have opposed the removal of millions of people from Assam’s citizen list, which risks rendering them stateless, stated a release issued by Avaaz, a global campaign network.

The recent announcement of four million deletions is down from 13 million people left off the provisional list just seven months ago.

The release of the updated National Register of Citizens (NRC) is facing much greater international scrutiny than previous draft lists, following the launch of Avaaz’s global campaign echoing concerns of UN Rapporteurs and experts, the release stated.

Ricken Patel, executive director of Avaaz, said, “The international community is fighting to stop a process that is alarmingly on track to potentially render millions of people stateless, and vulnerable to indefinite detention, violence or worse.”

Assam’s deletion of people from India’s citizenship rolls, in particular Bengali Muslims, bears stark parallels with Myanmar’s removal of Rohingya rights and protections in 1982, the release added.

This is partly why experts, including Genocide Watch and several UN Special Rapporteurs have warned of the dangers of this NRC process.

Days after 13 million people were left off a draft NRC list in December of last year, Assam’s Chief Minister, Sarbananda Sonowal said, “the people who are declared foreigners will be barred from all constitutional rights, including fundamental and electoral.”

Despite assurances of legal recourse for people excluded from the list, the NRC’s claims and objections period is riddled with problems, the release added.

Avaaz is a U.S.-based nonprofit organization launched in January 2007 that promotes global activism on issues such as climate change, human rights, animal rights, corruption, poverty, and conflict.

The UK based newspaper The Guardian considers it as “the globe’s largest and most powerful online activist network”.
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