Who will win elections in Punjab 2019

dish

REASONS FOR DECISION:

I. Procedure

1. The complainant, an Indian citizen, filed an application for international protection on April 27, 2019 under the identity XXXX, born on XXXX, after unlawful, smuggling-assisted entry into the Austrian federal territory.

2. In the first questioning carried out the following day by an organ of the public security service, the complainant alleged, in summary, that he belonged to Sikhism and came from the Punjab, where his parents also lived. He went to school in his home country for 10 years and speaks Punjabi.

The complainant stated that in July 2018 he made the decision to travel to Europe because he could not find work in his country of origin. In September 2018 he finally flew legally from Delhi to Serbia with his Indian passport. This was said to have been taken from him in Serbia by a Pakistani smuggler named in more detail. The complainant also gave details of his further travel route: he reached Croatia via Serbia and Bosnia, where he was rejected at the border. After spending almost six months in a camp in Bosnia, he came to Italy and finally to Austria. However, he did not apply for asylum in any of these countries. He likes life and the standard of living in Austria and wants to stay here.

When asked about his reason for fleeing, the applicant stated that he met people in the temple on a Saturday who had been talking about Khalistan. On Sunday he then sat on chairs with others on the street and shouted "Long live Khalistan" while others shouted "Long live India". He was then verbally abused and beaten by the police. When he got home, his parents suggested that he report the police officer who hit him. The complainant had also done this. He was simply not treated well by the police there and therefore fled. If he returned he would definitely have to go to jail.

Before the first interview, the complainant stated that he had given false information about his identity when submitting the application. He was born XXXX and on XXXX.

3. On April 28, 2019, the complainant was also given a procedural order in accordance with Section 15b AsylG in conjunction with Section 7 (1) VwGVG and ordered that from now on he had to take permanent accommodation in Quartier XXXX in XXXX.

4. On May 2nd, 2019 the complainant was questioned in front of the Federal Office for Immigration and Asylum (BFA) to check his identity and stated that his name was XXXX and that he was born on XXXX in District XXXX, in the state of Punjab, in India and was an Indian citizen. The originally incorrectly recorded name and the year of birth were the result of a misunderstanding and his nervousness when the police picked it up. He had already corrected this at the first interview.

An Indian passport was issued to him in his home district in 2014, but it was confiscated from him by a smuggler along with his credit card on the way from Serbia to Bosnia.

The complainant further stated that his mother tongue was Punjabi, but that he also spoke English and Hindi. He is a Sikh and belongs to the Punjabi ethnic group. He is healthy, single and has no children. His parents would still live in his specified hometown and he had no siblings. He also speaks to his mother on the phone frequently. As a result, the complainant also gave his telephone number and username in a social medium.

When asked about his escape, he stated that he drove from his hometown to Delhi in September 2018 and from there finally flew to Serbia, where he encountered a tug. Then the complainant again described the escape route described above.

When asked about this, the complainant described his school career in detail and stated that he had not found a job after graduating in 2010. He also applied to the police.

5. Immediately after the questioning for the identity check, the complainant was questioned before the BFA about the actual asylum procedure. The complainant essentially stated that he had traveled alone from his home country and that he had no particularly close relationship with anyone in Austria. Austria was his travel destination because life is better here.

When asked again about his reason for fleeing, the applicant stated that his mother was a Sikh and his father was a Hindu. In April or May 2018, in a Sikh temple in XXXX, he discussed Khalistan, a republic of its own for Sikh, with a group of boys of the same age. After this discussion he was in favor of creating a state of his own. The next day, a Sunday, he and a friend went to a parade in a place mentioned on the border with Pakistan. There the people would have shouted "Long live India" while he shouted "Long live Khalistan". There were police officers standing behind him who - without saying much - dragged him away. He was then asked for his name and place of residence and why he shouted "Long live Khalistan" with a "Hindu name". He told the police that this was none of their business and that India had not done anything for him so far and that he would be better off in his own Sikh state. One of the policemen was then very angry and slapped him. As a result, the complainant also became angry and pushed the police officer away. The policeman slapped him again, whereupon he slapped the policeman. An army officer observed the dispute and finally settled it. The complainant then apologized to the army officer, but not to the police officer.

Then he drove home with his friend on his motorcycle, where he told his mother everything. She advised him to report what he wanted to do the next day, but he didn't know what the policeman's name was. A policeman at the police station in XXXX then said he should take a seat in the waiting room until he was called. He would have been there for more than three hours when the policeman with whom he had an argument came in. The policeman then threatened him. The complainant reported this to the other police officers on site and identified them as the one who slapped him. The police refused to take his report on the record. The complainant then went home and told his parents everything that had advised him to forget what had happened.

After three or four days, the police called him to come over. He assumed that it was about the argument with the police officer. But there was a break-in near the police and they wanted to ask him about it. But he was only asked for his name and was then able to go home again. The complainant was then repeatedly called by the police whenever there were crimes in the locality. He always had to go to the police, where he was asked for his name and where he was. This went on for one to two months and he had been to the police station over 20 times. His mother then suggested that he leave the country.

When the complainant went to the police station again - after a phone call - at the end of July 2018, the policeman in the said conflict was there. There was a fight between the two. The policeman grabbed his arm and fell to the ground. He then got up again and pushed the policeman away. The policeman then slapped him and he also hit the policeman. Another policeman then settled the dispute. The complainant had also been threatened by the police officer and his days were numbered. When he got home, his mother advised him again to leave the country as he was their only child.

Then he no longer lived at home, but always found accommodation with different friends. But he was always in his home district. At the end of August he then lived with a friend in District XXXX. He did not file another complaint because he was frustrated. In August 2018, the said police officer looked for him at his parents' home and also asked friends about his whereabouts. At that time, however, he had no contact with his parents, but only found out about the events through his aunt.

In India he thought that Serbia was like other European countries and that he would easily find a job there. However, the country did not meet his expectations, which is why he went on to Bosnia. He was there for a week with a smuggler who advised him to stay in a camp. He did that for three to five months before he got to Italy by car. From Italy he then took the train to Austria.

After the applicant left the country, he learned that the policeman came to his home about every two weeks and asked where the applicant was. In Serbia he also toyed with the idea of ​​returning to India, but his mother told him that the policeman was still looking for him. The latter then also learned that the complainant had left the country. The policeman had threatened that when he returned he would see "what's going on". The police officer wanted to take revenge because the complainant had insulted and hit him. At that time, the complainant decided not to return to India. In Italy he was also afraid that the policeman would find out where he was from fellow Punjab compatriots who were staying there. Therefore, he also traveled on to Austria.

This is the only reason for his application for international protection. The complainant was afraid of returning to his home country because of these incidents.

When asked why he had not sought protection from persecution in another part of his home country, the applicant stated that he was born and raised in XXXX. It therefore makes no difference whether he goes to another part of India or abroad.

Apart from the one policeman, there is no danger in his home country when he returns. He is also ready to return to India if the Austrian government guarantees that his life will not be in danger there. In 2020 there would also be a referendum on Khalistan in India. If he was in India at that time, he could become a victim. Although he did not publicly support Khalistan, he knew that people who did so would have had problems.

At the end of the survey, the complainant was brought to the attention of the current country information sheet of the state documentation on India for the purpose of making a statement in this regard.

6. On May 10th, 2019, the complainant was questioned again in front of the authority concerned, in the presence of his legal advisor, with regard to possible documents to establish his identity. He stated again that his original documents had been confiscated by a smuggler in Serbia and that he had no other documents. He also has no contact with his family. He tried to call, but no one answered. When asked about this, the complainant stated that he had applied to the police once in mid-2010. He has applied several times for jobs in the private sector, e.g. with a security service. But he also didn't have that much time because he worked in agriculture for his parents. He doesn't want to work in Austria, he wants to study. To do this, he first wants to learn German, then he wants to decide on a subject.

When asked after a possible response to the country information handed out at the last interview, the complainant stated that he could not read it because it was in German. These were not brought closer to him during the legal advice. The complainant was given the opportunity to submit a written statement.

Finally, the complainant stated that he had no evidence to support his allegations, but there was a video on the Internet showing an Indian police officer beating a citizen.

7. On May 14, 2019, the authority in question received a handwritten statement from the complainant, in which he noted that the country information sheet handed out to the state documentation did not contain any information about the conflict with regard to an independent Khalistan. In order to check his reasons for fleeing, it is therefore necessary that the authorities concerned carry out further investigations in India.

8. With the decision of the authority concerned dated May 25, 2019, Zl. 1227819103-190429726, the complainant's application for international protection in accordance with Section 3 (1) in conjunction with Section 2 (1) no I.) and according to § 8 Abs. 1 in conjunction with § 2 Abs. 1 Z 13 AsylG with regard to the granting of the status of beneficiary of subsidiary protection in relation to the country of origin India (point II.) Rejected. According to § 57 AsylG, the complainant was not granted a residence permit for reasons worthy of consideration (point III.) According to § 10 para. 1 no. 3 AsylG in conjunction with § 9 BFA-VG, a return decision was issued against him in accordance with § 52 para. 2 no. Point IV.) And furthermore determined in accordance with § 52 Paragraph 9 FPG that the deportation of the complainant to India is permissible according to § 49 FPG (point V.). According to Section 55 (1) to (3) FPG, the period for voluntary departure is 14 days from the return decision becoming final (point VI.). Finally, the complainant was instructed to take accommodation in the district mentioned in more detail in accordance with Section 15b (1) AsylG (ruling point VII.).

The Federal Office for Immigration and Asylum found the following on the general situation in the country of origin:

"1. Latest Events - Integrated Brief Information

KI from March 6, 2019, current events in the Kashmir conflict (relevant for Section 3.1./regional problem area Jammu and Kashmir).

On February 26, 2019, India penetrated Pakistani airspace for the first time since the war in 1971 and launched an attack in retaliation for the suicide attack on February 14, 2019 [note: see KI in LIB India on February 20, 2019] a training camp of the Islamist group Jaish-e-Mohammad outside the city of Balakot (Balakot region, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Pakistan). This is outside the contested region of Kashmir (SZ February 26, 2019; see FAZ February 26, 2019b, WP February 26, 2019). India is convinced that the suicide attack on February 14 was planned and supported from Pakistan (NZZ February 26, 2019).

The details of the effects of the bombing differ: While Indian authorities report that almost 200 (CNN News 18 26.2.2019) terrorists, trainers, commanders and jihadists were killed and the camp completely destroyed, the Pakistani military confirms the air strike ( DW 26.2.2019), however, announces that the Indian planes hastily got rid of their bomb load near Balakot in order to escape immediately from the Pakistani fighter jets. According to Pakistani information, there is neither a large number of victims (Dawn 02.26.2019; see FAZ 02.26.2019a), nor would infrastructure have been hit (DW 26.2.2019).

Observers were skeptical that this military strike could actually have hit a large number of terrorists in one place. Residents of the village of Balakot told the Reuters news agency that they were startled by loud explosions in the early morning. They said that only one person was injured and no one was killed. They also stated that there had indeed been a terror camp in the area in the past. However, this has now been converted into a Koran school (FAZ 26.2.2019b).

The Pakistani armed forces reportedly shot down two Indian fighter planes over Pakistan on February 27, 2019 and confirmed the arrest of a pilot. A spokesman for the Indian government confirms the shooting down of a MiG-21 (standard February 27, 2019). The Indian pilot was handed over to the Indian authorities on March 1st, 2019 at the Wagah border crossing. The Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan described the release as a "gesture of peace" (March 1st, 2019).

Pakistan closed its airspace completely on February 27, 2019 (Flightradar24 February 27, 2019) and reopened its airspace on March 1, 2019 for flights to / from Karachi, Islamabad, Peschawar and Quetta (also Lahore on March 2) (Flightradar24 February 27, 1/3 / 2.3.2019; see AAN 1.3.2019). The entire airspace was - with restrictions - on March 4th. released (Dawn 6.3.2019; see Dawn 4.3.2019b).

On March 2nd, 2019 it was reported that at least seven people had been killed and ten others injured in firefights in the Kashmiri border area. According to Indian media reports, a 24-year-old woman and her two children were killed by artillery fire and eight other people were injured in the Indian part of the conflict region.According to the Pakistani security forces, a boy and another civilian and two soldiers were killed and two other people were injured in the Pakistani part of Kashmir. The armies of the hostile neighbors had repeatedly fired at various points across the de facto border between the parts of Kashmir controlled by Pakistan and India since March 1, 2019 (Presse March 2, 2019). On March 3, 2019 both sides reported that the situation along the "Line of Control" was relatively calm again (Reuters March 3, 2019).

The Pakistani Minister of Information confirmed on March 3, 2019 that decisive action against the extremist and militant organizations Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) with their charity wing Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation (FIF) was imminent. This approach would be in accordance with the National Action Plan (NAP). The decision to do so was long before the attack on Indian security forces on February 14th. fallen and only now been released. The decision was not made under pressure from India (Dawn 4.3.2019a).

Swell:

* AAN - Austrian Aviation Network (1.3.2019): Pakistan partially opens the airspace again,

http://www.austrianaviation.net/detail/pakistan-oeffnet-den-luftraum-wieder-teilweise/, accessed on March 4th, 2019

* CNN News 18 (February 26, 2019): Surgical Strikes 2.0: '200-300 Terrorist Dead',

https://www.news18.com/videos/india/surgical-strikes-2-0-200-300-terrorist-dead-2048827.html, accessed on February 26, 2019

* Dawn (February 26, 2019): Indian aircraft violate LoC, scramble back after PAF's timely response: ISPR, https://www.dawn.com/news/1466038, accessed on February 26, 2019

* Dawn (4.3.2019a): Govt plans decisive crackdown on militant outfits,

https://www.dawn.com/news/1467524/govt-plans-decisive-crackdown-on-militant-outfits, accessed on March 4th, 2019

* Dawn (4.3.2019b): Pakistan airspace fully reopened, says aviation authority, https://www.dawn.com/news/1467600, accessed on 6.3.2019

* Dawn (6.3.2019): Airlines avoiding Pakistan's eastern airspace, making flights longer,

https://www.dawn.com/news/1467798/airlines-avoiding-pakistans-eastern-airspace-making-flights-longer, accessed on 6.3.2019

* DW - Deutsche Welle (February 26, 2019): Indian jets fly air raid in Pakistan,

https://www.dw.com/de/indische-jets-fliegen-luftangriff-in-pakistan/a-47688997, accessed on February 26, 2019

* FAZ - Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (26.2.2019a): India flies air strikes in Pakistan,

https://www.faz.net/aktuell/politik/ausland/lösungen-fliegt-angätze-gegen-mutmassliche-islamisten-in-pakistan-16060732.html, accessed on March 4th, 2019

* FAZ - Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (26.2.2019b): Pakistan: We reserve the right to react to India's attacks, https://www.faz.net/aktuell/politik/ausland/indische-luftwaffe-verletzt-den-pakistanischen -luftraum-16061769.html, accessed on March 4th, 2019

* Flightradar24 (February 27, 2019; additions on March 1, 2019 and March 2, 2019):

Tensions between India and Pakistan affect air traffic, https://www.flightradar24.com/blog/tensions-between-india-and-pakistan-affect-air-traffic/, accessed on March 4th, 2019

* NZZ - Neue Züricher Zeitung (February 26, 2019): The spiral of escalation is turning,

https://www.nzz.ch/meinung/haben-bombardiert-pakistan-spirale-der-eskalation-draht-ld.1462893, accessed on February 26, 2019

* Presse, die (2.3.2019): Kashmir: Seven dead in shots at the border between India and Pakistan, https://diepresse.com/home/ausland/aussenpolitik/5588780/Kaschmir_Sieben-Tote-bei-Schuessen-an-Grenze -of-India-and-Pakistan, accessed March 4th, 2019

* Reuters (3.3.2019): India-Pakistan border quiet but Kashmir tense amid militancy crackdown,

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-india-kashmir-pakistan-idUSKCN1QK093, accessed on March 6, 2019

* Reuters (March 4th, 2019): Pakistan adds flights, delays reopening of commercial airspace,

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-india-kashmir-pakistan-airports/pakistan-adds-flights-delays-reopening-of-commercial-airspace-idUSKCN1QL0SH, accessed on March 5, 2019

* Standard, der (February 27, 2019): Pakistan shoots down Indian fighter jets, premier warns of "great war", https://derstandard.at/2000098654825/Drei-Tote-bei-Absturz-von-indischem-Militaerflugzeug-in- Cashmere, accessed March 4th, 2019

* SZ- Süddeutsche Zeitung (February 26, 2019): India bombs Pakistani part of Kashmir,

https://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/haben-pakistan-luftangriff-1.4345509, accessed on February 26, 2019

* WP - The Washington Post (February 26, 2019): India strikes Pakistan in severe escalation of tensions between nuclear rivals, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/pakistan-says-indian-fighter-jets-crossed-into- its-territory-and-carried-out-limited-airstrike / 2019/02/25 / 901f3000-3979-11e9-a06c-3ec8ed509d15_story.html? utm_term = .ee5f4df72709, accessed on February 26, 2019

* Zeit, die (March 1st, 2019): Pakistan releases Indian pilots, https://www.zeit.de/politik/ausland/2019-03/kaschmir-konflikt-pakistan-indischer-pilot, accessed March 4th, 2019

KI on February 20th, 2019, suicide attack on Indian security forces Awantipora / District Pulwama / Kashmir on February 14th, 2019, firefight in Pinglan / District Pulwama / Kashmir on February 18th, 2019 (relevant for Section 3.1./ regional problem zone Jammu and Kashmir).

At least 44 people were killed in a suicide attack (TOI February 15, 2019) on Indian security forces in the Goripora area near Awantipora in the Pulwama district in Kashmir. Dozens were injured (IT February 15, 2019).

As reported by the police, an off-road vehicle loaded with around 350 kilograms of explosives exploded on a highway in the Pulwama district (DS 14.2.2019). The target of the attack was a convoy of 78 buses of the paramilitary police force Central Police Reserve Force (CRPF), which was traveling on the strictly guarded road between the cities of Jammu and the capital of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, Srinagar (DW 14.2.2019). The Pakistani terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) claimed the attack for itself (ANI February 14, 2019).

The group, which originated in Pakistan, has areas of retreat there and uses Kashmir as an arena for their acts of violence. India assumes that the terrorists are supported by circles within the Pakistani military (SZ February 15, 2019).

According to local officials, the bombing was the worst attack in the embattled region in three decades (TNYT 02/14/2019).

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke of a "vile attack" on Twitter, describing the dead as "martyrs" and further announcing that "the sacrifices made by our courageous security forces will not be in vain. "(DS 14.2.2019). While Pakistan rejects allegations behind the suicide attack, the Indian government calls on Pakistan to take action against the group (DS February 15, 2019).

In an action by the Indian security forces in connection with the bomb attack, five members of the Indian security forces, three militants and one civilian were killed in a firefight between militants and the Indian army in Pinglan in the Pulwama district on February 18, 2019. At least seven security guards were injured. According to the police, the killed militants were members of the JeM who were involved in the attack on February 14, 2019 in nearby Awantipora (TIT February 18, 2019).

Following the announcement by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan that he would investigate India's allegations and his warning that Pakistan would take retaliatory measures against any Indian military action (TNYT 02/19/2019), India reacted violently by calling Islamabad “the nerve center of terrorism” "(TOI February 19, 2019). Tensions between India and Pakistan have intensified; both countries have called their ambassadors back for consultations (TNYT February 19, 2019).

Annotation:

According to its own statements, India responded in September 2016 to an attack on a military base in Kashmir, in which 19 Indian soldiers were killed, with a "surgical blow" in the Pakistani part of Kashmir. At that time, too, India blamed JeM for the attack (DS 14.2.2019).

Comment:

The situation on site will continue to be monitored and, if necessary, additional brief information will be provided.

Swell:

-

ANI - Asia News International (February 14, 2019): 12 CRPF personnel killed in terror attack in Kashmir, https://www.aninews.in/news/national/general-news/12-crpf-personnel-killed-in-terror -attack-in-kashmir20190214170929 /, accessed on February 14, 2019

-

DS - Der Standard (February 15, 2019): Pakistan rejects responsibility for terror in India,

https://derstandard.at/2000098045261/Pakistan- sucht-Verendung-fuer-Terror-in-Indien-von-sich, accessed on February 15, 2019

-

DS - Der Standard (February 14, 2019): Dozens of dead in an attack on Indian security forces in Kashmir, https://derstandard.at/2000098009156/Zwoelf-Soldaten-in-Kaschmir-durch-Anschlag-getoetet, accessed February 14, 2019

-

DW .- Deutsche Welle (February 14, 2019): Many dead in terrorist attack in Kashmir,

https://www.dw.com/de/viele-tote-bei-terroranschlag-in-kaschmir/a-47523658 Accessed February 14, 2019

-

IT - India Today (February 15, 2019): Kashmir terror attack: Pakistan says attack matter of concern, rejects India's charges | As it happened, https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/pulwama-awantipora-jammu-and-kashmir-terror-attack-live-1456117-2019-02-14, accessed on February 20, 2019

-

SZ - Süddeutsche Zeitung (February 15, 2019): The other election campaign, https://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/haben-und-pakistan-der-andere-wahlkampf-1.4331915, accessed February 17, 2019

-

TIO - Times of India (February 15, 2109): Pulwama terror attack: What we know so far,

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/67994287.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst, accessed January 18, 2019

-

TIT - The Irish Times (February 18, 2019): Four Indian soldiers among dead in Kashmir gun battle,

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/asia-pacific/four-indian-soldiers-among-dead-in-kashmir-gun-battle-1.3797668, accessed on February 19, 2019

-

TNYT - The New York Times (February 19, 2019): Pakistan Offers to Investigate Deadly Suicide Bombing in Kashmir, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/19/world/asia/pakistan-imran-khan-india- kashmir.html? rref = collection% 2Ftimestopic% 2FKashmir & action = click & contentCollection = world & region = stream & module = stream_unit & version = latest & contentPlacement = 1 & pgtype = collection, accessed February 19, 2019

-

TNYT - The New York Times (February 14, 2019): Kashmir Suffers From the Worst Attack There in 30 Years, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/14/world/asia/pulwama-attack-kashmir.html ? rref = collection% 2Ftimestopic% 2FKashmir & action = click & contentCollection = world & region = stream & module = stream_unit & version = latest & contentPlacement = 4 & pgtype = collection, accessed February 14, 2019

-

TOI - Times of India (February 19, 2019): "Pakistan is nerve center of terrorism": India rejects Imran Khan's statement on Pulwama terror attack,

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/pakistan-is-nerve-centre-of-terrorism-india-rejects-imran-khans-claims-on-pulwama-terror-attack/articleshow/68066363.cms, accessed February 19 .2019

2. Political situation

With over 1.3 billion people and a multi-religious and multi-ethnic society, India is the most populous democracy in the world (CIA Factbook January 23, 2019; see AA September 18, 2018). In the Indian federal system, the central government has significantly greater powers than the state governments. India has 29 states and six union territories (AA 11.2018a). In accordance with the constitution, the states and union territories have a high degree of autonomy and have primary responsibility for law and order (USDOS April 20, 2018). The capital New Delhi has a special legal status (AA 11.2018a).

The separation of powers between parliament and government corresponds to the British model (AA September 18, 2018), the principle of the separation of powers between the legislature, executive and judiciary is enforced (AA 11.2018a). The independence of the judiciary, which has a three-tier instance, is constitutionally guaranteed (AA September 18, 2018). The Supreme Court in New Delhi is at the head of the judiciary and is followed by the High Courts at state level (GIZ 3.2018a). Freedom of the press is guaranteed by the constitution, but is subject to repeated challenges (AA 9.2018a). India also has a vibrant civil society (AA 11.2018a).

India is a parliamentary democracy and has a multi-party system and a bicameral parliament (USDOS April 20, 2018). In addition, there are parliaments at the state level (AA September 18, 2018).

The President is the head of state and is elected by an electoral committee, while the Prime Minister is the head of government (USDOS April 20, 2018). The office of president primarily entails representative tasks, but the president has far-reaching powers in the event of a crisis. President Ram Nath Kovind has been Indian head of state since July 2017 (AA 11.2018a). However, the most important office within the executive is held by the Prime Minister (GIZ 3.2018a).

Elections to the House of Commons take place every five years according to simple majority voting ("first-past-the-post"), most recently in April / May 2014 with almost 830 million eligible voters (AA September 18, 2018). Three major party alliances faced each other: The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) led by the Congress Party, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP - Indian People's Party) and the so-called Third Front, which consists of eleven regional - and left-wing parties as well as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which emerged from part of the India Against Corruption movement (GIZ 3.2018a; see FAZ 16.5.2014). Apart from minor disruptions, the elections were correct and free (AA September 18, 2018). As the clear winner with 336 of 543 seats, the party alliance "National Democratic Alliance" (NDA) with the "Bharatiya Janata Party" (BJP) as the strongest party (282 seats) replaced the Congress Party in government (AA September 18, 2018) . The BJP not only won an absolute majority, it also left the previously ruling Indian National Congress (INC) far behind. The INC only had 46 seats and suffered the worst defeat since the founding of the state in 1947. How things will go with the INC with or without the Gandhi family remains to be seen. The wins in the elections in Punjab, Goa and Manipur as well as the relatively good performance in Gujarat are in any case a glimmer of hope that the days of the Congress party are not over yet (GIZ 13.2018a). The Anti-Corruption Party (AAP), which won 28 out of 70 seats in the 2013 election in Delhi, only won four seats nationwide in 2014 (GIZ 3.2018; see FAZ 16.5.2014). The BJP's top candidate, the previous Prime Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi, was elected Prime Minister and has since headed a 26-member cabinet (with an additional 37 ministers of state) (AA September 18, 2018).

In India there will be re-election between April and May 2019. However, the exact schedule is still unclear. In the polls, the Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his BJP are ahead (DS 1.1.2019).

The new government, which has been in office since 2014, not only wants to continue the market economy course, but also to intensify it by removing bureaucratic obstacles and reducing protectionism. Foreign investors should become more active (GIZ 3.2018b).

India pursues an active foreign policy under Prime Minister Modi. The core foreign policy approach of "strategic autonomy" is increasingly being supplemented by a policy of "multiple partnerships". The most important goal of Indian foreign policy is the creation of a peaceful and stable global environment for the country's economic development and, as an emerging creative power, the increasing responsible participation in shaping the rule-based international order (AA 11.2018b). A permanent seat on the UN Security Council remains a strategic goal (GIZ 3.2018a). At the same time, India is striving for stronger regional ties with its neighbors, with alternative concepts to the one-sidedly sino-centric "New Silk Road" playing an important role. In the South Asia region, India is also increasingly relying on the regional organization BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation). India is a dialogue partner of the Southeast Asian community and a member of the "Regional Forum" (ARF). India is also taking part in the East Asia Summit and, since 2007, in the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM). The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) accepted India and Pakistan as full members in 2017. The will of the BRICS group of states (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) recently appeared to have decreased (AA 11.2018b).

In relations with its neighbors, Pakistan, which is also nuclear armed, phases of dialogue and tension through to armed conflict have repeatedly followed each other in the decades since independence. The biggest obstacle to improving relations continues to be the cashmere problem (AA 11.2018b).

India achieved a breakthrough with the nuclear agreement with the USA. Although it refuses to join the Non-Proliferation Treaty to this day, the agreement means access to nuclear technology. India's relationship with China has also developed positively. The controversial border issues have not yet been resolved, but confidence-building measures have been agreed so that at least this issue no longer provokes a conflict. There is also interest in a further increase in bilateral trade, which has increased more than tenfold within a decade (GIZ 3.2018a).

Relations with Bangladesh are of a special nature, as the two countries share a border that is over 4,000 km long.India controls the upper reaches of the most important rivers in Bangladesh and was historically instrumental in the formation of Bangladesh during its war of independence. Difficult issues such as transit, border lines, unregulated border crossings and migration, water distribution and smuggling are discussed in regular government talks. The country's relations with the EU are particularly important from an economic point of view. The EU is India's largest trade and investment partner. In fact, trade in goods in both directions has steadily expanded (GIZ 3.2018a).

Swell:

-

AA - Federal Foreign Office (September 18, 2018): Report on the asylum and deportation-related situation in the Republic of India

-

AA - Foreign Office (11.2018a): India, domestic policy, https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/de/aussenpolitik/laender/lösungen-node/-/206048, accessed on January 23, 2019

-

AA - Foreign Office (11.2018b): India, Foreign Policy, https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/de/aussenpolitik/laender/lösungen-node/-/206046, accessed on January 23, 2019

-

CIA - Central Intelligence Agency (January 15, 2019): The World Factbook

-

India,

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/in.html, accessed on January 23, 2019

-

DS - Der Standard (1.1.2019): What 2019 will bring in foreign policy. The US Democrats take over the majority in the House of Representatives, Great Britain is planning Brexit - and there are elections in India, the largest democracy in the world, https://www.derstandard.de/story/2000094950433/was-2019-aussenpolitisch-bringt, Accessed January 28, 2019

-

FAZ - Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (May 16, 2014): Modi is the man of the hour,

http://www.faz.net/aktuell/wirtschaft/fruehaufsteher/wahlentscheid-in-lösungen-modi-ist-der-mann-der-stunde-12941572.html, accessed on October 11, 2018

-

GIZ - German Society for International Cooperation GmbH (3.2018a): India, https://www.liportal.de/haben/geschichte-staat/, accessed on January 23, 2019

-

GIZ - German Society for International Cooperation GmBH (3.2018b): India, Economic System and Economic Policy, https://www.liportal.de/haben/wirtschaft-entwicklung/, accessed on January 23, 2019

-

USDOS - US Department of State (April 20, 2018): Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2015 - India, https://www.ecoi.net/de/dokument/1430388.html, accessed October 18, 2018

3. Security situation

India is rich in tensions across ethnic groups, religions, castes and also life perspectives, which often erupt in local riots (GIZ 3.2018a). Terrorist attacks in previous years (December 2010 in Varanasi, July 2011 in Mumbai, September 2011 in New Delhi and Agra, April 2013 in Bangalore, May 2014 in Chennai and December 2014 in Bangalore) and in particular the attacks in Mumbai in November 2008 pressured the government. Only a few of the attacks in recent years have been completely cleared up and the reform projects announced in response to these incidents to improve the Indian security architecture have not been implemented consistently (AA April 24, 2015). But there were also terrorist attacks with an Islamist background in the rest of the country. In March 2017, an "Islamic State" (IS) cell in the capital of the state of Madhya Pradesh placed a bomb on a passenger train. According to the police, the terror cell is also said to have planned an attack on a rally by Prime Minister Modi (BPB 12.12.2017).

The tensions in the north-east of the country continue, as does the dispute with the Naxalites (GIZ 3.2018a). The state monopoly on the use of force is being called into question in some areas by the activities of the "Naxalites" (AA September 18, 2018).

The South Asia Terrorism Portal recorded a total of 898 fatalities from terrorism-related violence in 2016. In 2017 803 people were killed by terrorist violence and in 2018 935 people were killed by acts of terrorism. Up to January 13, 2019, 12 deaths were registered as a result of the use of terrorist violence [Note: the figures quoted include civilians, security forces and terrorists] (SATP January 13, 2019).

Conflict regions are Jammu and Kashmir, the northeastern regions and the Maoist belt. Attacks by Maoist rebels on security forces and infrastructure continued in Jharkhand and Bihar. In Punjab, violent opponents of the government repeatedly led to assassinations and bomb attacks. In addition to the Islamist terrorists, the Naxalites (Maoist underground fighters) contribute to the destabilization of the country. From Chattisgarh they fight in many union states (from Bihar in the north to Andrah Pradesh in the south) with armed force against state institutions. In the north-east of the country, numerous separatist groups (United Liberation Front Assom, National Liberation Front Tripura, National Socialist Council Nagaland, Manipur People's Liberation Front etc.) are fighting against state power and demanding either independence or more autonomy. Hindu radicalism, which is directed against minorities such as Muslims and Christians, is seldom officially classified in the terror category, but rather referred to as "communal violence" (ÖB 12.2018).

The government acts with great severity and consistency against militant groups, who mostly advocate the independence of certain regions and / or adhere to radical views. If such groups renounce violence, negotiations about their demands are usually possible. Nonviolent independence groups are free to be politically active (AA September 18, 2018).

Pakistan and India

Pakistan neither recognizes the accession of Jammu and Kashmir to the Indian Union in 1947 nor the de facto division of the region between the two states since the first war in the same year. India, on the other hand, takes the position that Jammu and Kashmir as a whole are not part of India (AA 11.2018b). Since 1947 there have been three wars due to the disputed Kashmir area (BBC January 23, 2018).

After the peaceful struggle for independence against British colonial rule, the bloody division of British India, which was accompanied by mass exodus, severe outbreaks of violence and pogroms, showed how difficult it will be to keep the ethnically, religiously, linguistically and socio-economically extremely heterogeneous society together in a nation-state. The inter-religious violence continued even after the partition between India and Pakistan (BPB 12.12.2017).

India accuses Pakistan of at least tolerating, if not promoting, infiltration of terrorists into Indian territory. Major terrorist attacks in India in 2001 and 2008 and a terrorist attack on a military base in the Indian part of Kashmir in September 2016 had significantly exacerbated tensions in bilateral relations. According to a government statement, India responded to the attack, in which 18 Indian soldiers were killed, with a limited military operation ("surgical strike") in the Pakistani-controlled part of Kashmir, which, according to Indian information, was directed against an impending terrorist infiltration. There are repeated exchanges of fire between Indian and Pakistani troops at the armistice line in Kashmir. India sees Pakistan as responsible for the terrorist threats on its northwestern border and is increasing the pressure on its neighbors to achieve effective Pakistani measures against terrorism (AA 11.2018b).

The dialogue process between the two sides, which gave rise to hope from 2014-2015, came to a standstill in 2016. Relationships are currently stable at a very low level (AA 11.2018b).

Swell:

-

AA - Federal Foreign Office (September 18, 2018): Report on the asylum and deportation-related situation in the Republic of India

-

AA - Federal Foreign Office (April 24, 2015): Report on the asylum and deportation-related situation in the Republic of India

-

AA - Foreign Office (11.2018b): India, Foreign Policy, https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/de/aussenpolitik/laender/lösungen-node/-/206046, accessed on January 23, 2019

-

BBC - British Broadcasting Corporation (23.1.2018): India country profile - Overview,

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-12557384, accessed on January 29, 2019

-

BPB - Federal Agency for Political Education (12.12.2017):

Domestic Conflicts - India, http://www.bpb.de/internationales/weltweit/innerstaatliche-konfligte/215390/ Indien, accessed on October 23, 2018

-

GIZ - German Society for International Cooperation GmbH (3.2018a): India, https://www.liportal.de/haben/geschichte-staat/, accessed on October 11, 2018

-

ÖB - Austrian Embassy New Delhi (12.2018):

Asylum Country Report India - Working Version

-

SATP - South Asia Terrorism Portal (13.1.2019): Data Sheet - India Fatalities: 1994-2019,

http://www.satp.org/satporgtp/countries/india/database/indiafatalities.htm, accessed on January 23, 2019

3.1. Regional problem zone Jammu and Kashmir

Jammu and Kashmir are still heavily militarized and most affected by terrorism (BPB November 20, 2017; see USDOS 9.2018). Separatist and jihadist fighters continue to carry out an ongoing uprising against the government (FH January 27, 2018). Militant groups in Jammu and Kashmir continue to fight against security forces, Kashmiri institutions and local politicians who they believe to be "governors" and "collaborators" with the Indian central government. Defectors to the government side and their families are particularly cruelly "punished". The number of incidents classified as terrorist in Jammu and Kashmir increased in 2016 and 2017 after a downward trend in 2015 (AA September 18, 2018).

In India, the central goal of Islamist fundamentalists remains the secession of Kashmir. In accordance with the jihad ideology, many Islamist groups also see themselves at war against all infidels and are striving for the violent Islamization of the entire subcontinent. The conflict is fueled by the ongoing economic disadvantage and discrimination against many Muslims (BPB 12/12/2017).

In June 2018, the UN human rights office denounced the situation in Kashmir. Numerous civilians were killed between July 2016 and April 2018 as a result of excessive use of force by the Indian security forces. The report was rejected by the Indian government (ONHCR June 14, 2018; see HRW January 17, 2019).

There have been repeated allegations of human rights violations by government forces in Jammu and Kashmir during security operations. In 2018 there was an increase in violence against militants, which many attributed to political failure to ensure accountability for abuses (HRW, January 17, 2019). In the first ten months of 2017, 42 militant attacks were reported in Jammu and Kashmir state, killing 184 people, including 44 security guards. Several people were killed or injured when the government tried to contain violent protests (HRW 18/01/2018).

Non-state forces, including organized insurgents and terrorists, carried out numerous murders and bomb attacks in conflict regions such as Jammu and Kashmir (USDOS April 20, 2018). On the controversial border between India and Pakistan there are repeated small firefights with fatalities among the civilian population and the military. Especially after the attack in Uri, anti-Pakistani rhetoric intensified in India (BPB 11/20/2017). Since then, the province of Kashmir has been ruled by a spiral of violence. The current human rights situation in Kashmir is alarming and is viewed increasingly critically. Armed groups are suspected of having killed people in Jammu and Kashmir (GIZ 3.2018a; cf. AI 22.2.218).

From Pakistan, insurgent groups in Jammu and Kashmir have carried out kidnappings, extortions and other forms of intimidation. After several years of relative stability, the situation in the state deteriorated significantly in 2016 after the murder of a popular, militant separatist leader. The situation worsened in 2017 when more than 300 civilians, security forces and militants were killed by military violence. Indian security forces are often accused of human rights abuses, few of which are punished. Civil liberties are restricted, especially in times of unrest (FH 4.1.2018). The South Asia Terrorism Portal recorded a total of 267 fatalities from violence related to terrorism in 2016. In 2017, 354 people were killed by acts of terrorism and in 2018, 457 deaths were recorded as a result of terrorist violence. As of January 13, 2019, a total of 17 deaths from the use of terrorist violence were recorded [Note: the figures quoted include civilians, security forces and terrorists] (SATP January 13, 2019).

In the Indian part of Kashmir, the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) remains in force (USDOS April 20, 2018; see BPB November 20, 2017). Extrajudicial killings, rape and torture by members of the security forces repeatedly occurred under this special authorization law. Over 90 people died and thousands were injured in the suppression of protests (BPB 11/20/2017). The state human rights commission of Jammu and Kashmir, set up in 1997, had little effect. In particular, it has no way of investigating attacks by the army and paramilitary forces (ÖB 12.2018). After a slow normalization of relations, the positions on both sides have hardened again since 2014 (BPB November 20, 2017).

Swell:

-

AA - Federal Foreign Office (September 18, 2018): Report on the asylum and deportation-related situation in the Republic of India

-

AI - Amnesty International (February 22, 2017): Amnesty International Report 2016/17 - The State of the World's Human Rights - India, https://www.ecoi.net/de/dokument/1394309.html, accessed on November 6, 2018

-

BPB - Federal Agency for Political Education (November 20, 2017):

Domestic conflicts - Kashmir, http://www.bpb.de/internationales/weltweit/innerstaatliche-konfligte/54616/kaschmir, accessed on October 23, 2018

-

FH - Freedom House (4.1.2018): Freedom in the World 2018 - Indian Kashmir,

https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2018/indian-kashmir, accessed on October 22, 2018

-

GIZ - German Society for International Cooperation GmbH (3.2018a): India, https://www.liportal.de/haben/geschichte-staat/, accessed on October 11, 2018

-

HRW - Human Rights Watch (January 17, 2019): World Report 2019 - India, ttps: //www.ecoi.net/de/dokument/2002249.html, accessed January 23, 2019

-

HRW - Human Rights Watch (18.1.2018): World Report 2018 - India, https://www.ecoi.net/de/dokument/1422455.html, accessed on 23.10.2018

-

ÖB - Austrian Embassy New Delhi (12.2018):

Asylum Country Report India - Working Version

-

ONHCR - Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (14.6.2018): Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Kashmir: Developments in the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir from June 2016 to April 2018, and General Human Rights Concerns in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Countries/IN/DevelopmentsInKashmirJune2016ToApril2018.pdf, accessed on January 23, 2019

-

SATP - South Asia Terrorism Portal (13.1.2019): Datasheet - Jammu & Kashmir, Data View,

http://www.satp.org/datasheet-terrorist-attack/fatalities/india-jammukashmir, accessed on January 23, 2019

-

USDOS - US Department of State (9.2018): Country Report on Terrorism 2017 - Chapter 1 - India, https://www.state.gov/documents/organization/283100.pdf, accessed on October 23, 2018

-

USDOS - US Department of State (April 20, 2018): Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2015 - India, https://www.ecoi.net/de/dokument/1430388.html, accessed October 18, 2018

3.2. Punjab

According to the Indian Ministry of the Interior on the numbers of the census in 2011, 16 million of the 21 million Sikhs live in Punjab (MoHA undated).

Terrorism in Punjab almost came to a standstill in the late 1990s. Most of the high-profile members of the various militant groups have left the Punjab and operate from other Union states or Pakistan. They also receive financial support from Sikh groups in exile in western countries (ÖB 12.2018).

Pakistan's illegal arms and drug trafficking in Indian Punjab has tripled recently. In May 2007, the Indian secret service became aware of plans by the Pakistani secret service, Inter-Services-Intelligence (ISI), which, together with the Sikh group Babbar Khalasa International (BKI) and other militant Sikh groups, carried out attacks on cities in the Punjab ( Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Pathankot) intended. The security authorities in Punjab have so far been able to successfully neutralize the burgeoning revival of the militant Sikh movement (ÖB 12.2018). In Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and Manipur, the authorities have special powers to search for and detain people without an arrest warrant (USDOS April 20, 2018; cf. BBC October 20, 2015). According to human rights reports, there are regular cases of human rights violations in Punjab, especially by the security authorities (extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests, torture in police custody, death as a result of torture, etc.) (ÖB 12.2018).

The State Commission on Human Rights in Punjab has intervened in a series of serious human rights violations committed by the security forces. In many cases, the authority was obliged to make compensation payments. The Human Rights Commission receives 200-300 complaints about human rights violations every day and is overwhelmed in its capacity. Often undercast or casteless are victims of police arbitrariness (ÖB 12.2018).

In addition to the aforementioned forms of violence, honor killings continue to be a problem, especially in the northern states of Haryana and Punjab (USDOS April 20, 2018).

Belonging to the Sikh religion is not a criterion for arbitrary police acts. The Sikhs, 60 percent of the Punjab's population, make up a significant proportion of the officials, judges, soldiers and security forces there. High-ranking positions are also open to them (ÖB 10.2017).

In India, freedom of movement and settlement is legally guaranteed and practically respected by the authorities; In some border areas, however, special residence permits are necessary. Sikhs from the Punjab have the opportunity to settle in other parts of the country, Sikh communities are scattered throughout the country. Sikhs can practice their religion in any part of the country without restriction. Active members of banned militant Sikh groups such as Babbar Khalsa International must expect police persecution (ÖB 10.2017).

Swell:

-

AI - Amnesty International (February 22, 2017): Amnesty International Report 2016/17 - The State of the World's Human Rights - India, https://www.ecoi.net/de/dokument/1394309.html, accessed on November 6, 2018

-

BBC - British Broadcasting Corporation (October 20, 2015): Why are Indian Sikhs angry ?,

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-34578463, accessed on October 18, 2018

-

MoHA - Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs, Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India (oD): C-1 Population By Religious Community, http://www.censusindia.gov.in/2011census/C-01 .html, accessed October 18, 2018

-

ÖB - Austrian Embassy New Delhi (12.2018):

Asylum Country Report India - Working Version

-

USDOS - US Department of State (April 20, 2018): Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2015 - India, https://www.ecoi.net/de/dokument/1430388.html, accessed October 18, 2018

USDOS - US Department of State (May 29, 2018): 2015 Report on International Religious Freedom - India, https://www.ecoi.net/de/dokument/1436757.html, accessed on October 23, 2018

3.3. Naxalites

Violent left-wing extremist groups (so-called "Naxalites" or "Maoist guerrillas") continue to represent a major domestic political challenge for the Indian government

operate in large parts of eastern core India, especially in rural areas (AA September 18, 2018).

With the amalgamation of different militant groups, the conflict intensified and militarized again in 1998, which peaked between 2005 and 2009. As a result, the Indian central government decided on a national security and development policy action plan to contain the violence. Although the Naxalites were pushed back in many places and weakened considerably by the arrest, killing or surrender of leading cadres, the causes of the conflict have so far not been adequately addressed (BPB 12/12/2017).

The phenomenon of Maoist (Naxalitic) terror, which has existed for decades, has so far only been countered with little success with police measures at the local level (ÖB 10.2017). The Naxalites regularly carry out attacks on security forces, political opponents and the public infrastructure (BPB 12.12.2017; cf. ÖB 10.2017). They operate in large parts of eastern central India, especially in rural areas. In Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, the Naxalites have succeeded in establishing their own rulership structures in numerous districts (AA September 18, 2018). The Maoist Naxalites strive for the forcible establishment of a communist social order. Their guerrilla strategy aims to control the rural population and destroy the central institutions of the state (BPB 12.12.2017).

The Naxalites pursue a double strategy: on the one hand there is social commitment, job creation and the defense of the poor and the weak, on the other hand brutal violence, guerrilla actions, intimidation and blackmail against real and supposed, including civilian "opponents". Murder squads against police units are not uncommon. However, human rights violations by the security forces in the Naxalite areas have also been documented. The civilian population finds itself between the fronts (AA September 18, 2018).

Swell:

-

AA - Federal Foreign Office (September 18, 2018): Report on the asylum and deportation-related situation in the Republic of India

-

ÖB - Austrian Embassy New Delhi (12.2018):

Asylum Country Report India - Working Version

-

BPB - Federal Agency for Political Education (12.12.2017):

Domestic Conflicts - India, http://www.bpb.de/internationales/weltweit/innerstaatliche-konfligte/215390/ Indien, accessed on October 23, 2018

4. Legal protection / justice

In India, many fundamental rights and freedoms are constitutionally guaranteed and the constitutionally guaranteed independent Indian judiciary remains a much more important guarantee of rights. The often excessive duration of proceedings due to overburdened and understaffed courts as well as widespread corruption, especially in criminal proceedings, significantly limit legal security (AA September 18, 2018). A systematically discriminatory criminal prosecution or sentencing practice cannot be identified, but the lower levels in particular are not free from corruption. Prejudices e.g. against members of lower castes or indigenous peoples are likely to play a not insignificant role (AA September 18, 2018).

The judiciary is separate from the executive (FH January 27, 2018). The judicial system is divided into the Supreme Court, the highest court with seat in Delhi; which, as a constitutional court, regulates disputes between central government and union states. It is also the body of appeal for certain categories of judgments, such as death sentences. The High Court or the Supreme Court exists in every Union state. It is a collegial court as an appeal body in civil as well as criminal matters and also oversees the service and personnel supervision of the lower courts of the state in order to shield the judiciary from the influence of the executive. Subordinate Civil and Criminal Courts are subordinate judicial instances in the districts of the respective Union states and divided according to civil and criminal law. Cases are decided by single judges. Judges at the District and Sessions Court decide on civil as well as criminal cases (as District Judge on civil law cases, as Sessions Judge on criminal cases). Below the District Judge there is the Subordinate Judge, below the Munsif for civil matters. Under the Sessions Judge, the 1st Class Judicial Magistrate and, under this, the 2nd Class Judicial Magistrate, each act for less serious criminal matters (ÖB 12.2018).

The judiciary continues to be overburdened and lack modern systems to handle cases. The backlog at court leads to long delays or the withholding of case law. An analysis by the Ministry of Justice for 2015 to 2016 revealed a vacancy of 43 percent of the judges' positions in the higher courts (USDOS April 20, 2018). The standard duration of criminal proceedings (from the indictment to the judgment) is several years; in some cases, proceedings take up to ten years. Witness protection is also inadequate. As a result, witnesses in court often do not testify freely because they have been bribed or threatened (AA September 18, 2018).

Corruption is particularly widespread at the lower levels of the judiciary and most citizens have great difficulty in enforcing their rights in court. The system is backward and severely understaffed, leading to long pre-trial detention periods for large numbers of suspects. Many of them stay in prison longer than the actual sentence would be (FH January 27, 2018). Accordingly, the duration of pre-trial detention is usually excessively long. Except for offenses threatened by the death penalty, the judge should order a detention review and a release on bail after half of the impending maximum sentence has expired. However, with such an application, the person concerned accepts that the case will not be pursued for a long time. In the meantime, around 70 percent of all prisoners are remand prisoners, many because of minor offenses that lack the means to provide bail (AA September 18, 2018).

Rule of law guarantees enshrined in the constitution (e.g. the right to a fair trial) are restricted by a number of security laws. These laws were tightened after the Mumbai terrorist attacks in November 2008; Among other things, the presumption of innocence was suspended for certain criminal offenses (AA September 18, 2018).