SEATTLE, WA: Human rights supporters on Tuesday marched towards The Gates Foundation headquarters and delivered a petition with over 100,000 signatures opposing its decision to award Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The group opposed the award, slated to be delivered on September 24 in New York City during Modi’s trip to the United States, amid ethnic violence, oppression of religious minorities, and human rights abuses in India and occupied Kashmir (IOK) on the behest of Modi.
Launched by interfaith coalition ‘Justice For All’ as part of their ‘Stop Genocide’ project earlier this month, the petition quickly gained national and international attention.
“The Muslim community, interfaith advocates, and humanitarians all across the country have joined this cause because Modi has been encouraging mass-violence against Muslims for decades,” said Abdul Malik Mujahid, Chair of Justice For All.
“By honouring Modi, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is compromising their own goal of setting the moral tone for global humanitarianism. They should rescind their award and take a stand against systematic oppression that can lead to outright genocide.”
The Gates Foundation has already been criticised for their decision to award Modi, with the South Asian Americans and Allies in Philanthropy writing an open letter regarding the matter.
Three Nobel Peace laureates also sent a letter directly to Gates and his wife Melinda, highlighting how Modi turned India into a dangerous and deadly place for Muslims.
However, it is sticking by their decision, saying Modi is receiving the award for “the progress India is making in improving sanitation, as part of its drive toward the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”