UNHCR expresses concern over the citizenship issue in Assam

UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi has expressed concern over the publication of a National Register of Citizens that may put 1.9 million people in India’s north-eastern state of Assam at risk of becoming stateless.

In a statement on Sunday, he said any process that could leave large numbers of people without a nationality would be an enormous blow to global efforts to eradicate statelessness.

UN High Commissioner appealed to India to ensure that no one is rendered stateless by this action, including by ensuring adequate access to information, legal aid, and legal recourse in accordance with the highest standards of due process.

He urged India to take steps that mitigate the risk of any individual being left stateless as a result of the NRC update in Assam or similar processes that may take place in other states of the country.

He called on the authorities to refrain from detaining or deporting anyone whose nationality has not been verified through this process.

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