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Month: April 2021

Video: A Republic in Distress – Conversations with Family and Friends of the Bhima Koregaon Undertrials

Video: A Republic in Distress – Conversations with Family and Friends of the Bhima Koregaon Undertrials

By Bhagat Singh Ambedkar Students Organisation

en | 1h45min | 2021
Watch on Bhagat Singh Ambedkar Students Organisation fb page here

Speakers
Rashmi Teltumbde
Jenny Rowena
Sagar Abraham-Gonsalves
and others…

In conversation with
Jyoti Punwani

#FreeBK16 #FreeAllPoliticalPrisoners #ScrapUAPA #RepealSedition #baso

Prof Shoma Sen challenges prosecution under UAPA: Evidence is unfounded, forged and planted

Prof Shoma Sen challenges prosecution under UAPA: Evidence is unfounded, forged and planted

The Leaflet / by The Leaflet

An accused in the Bhima Koregaon case, Professor Shoma Sen, has petitioned the Bombay High Court challenging her prosecution under the stringent anti-terrorism Unlawful Activities (Prevention) (UAPA) Act.
Sen, a former Head of Department of English at Nagpur University, alleged that that the case against her had been built entirely on unfounded, forged, hearsay evidence that was planted on digital devices belonging to a co-accused-Rhona Willson, which (devices) were “illegally” seized by the police in complete violation of all safeguards and procedures mandated under applicable law.
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Vira Sathidar’s Life Was a Lesson in Political Commitment and Solidarity

Vira Sathidar’s Life Was a Lesson in Political Commitment and Solidarity

The Wire / by Sukanya Shantha

Nothing perturbed Vira Sathidar, not even the constant harassment by the NIA or the local Nagpur police.
On October 21 last year, when I finally could access one of the countless rounds of supplementary chargesheets in the Elgar Parishad case, I had immediately called Vira Sathidar. His name was among the list of many “Urban Naxals” named in the chargesheet filed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA). It was not surprising, but concerning, nevertheless. No “crime” was attributed to Vira Sathidar, but he was named several times. “Asta tey tasa (It is usually like that in these cases),” he told me in his signature Nagpuri drawl. Nothing perturbed Vira Sathidar, not even the constant harrowing by the NIA or the local Nagpur police. He was used to police raids and their persistent harassments.
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Ideas Behind Bars – The Bhima-Koregaon case of imprisoned activists and India’s autocratic turn (April 24)

Ideas Behind Bars – The Bhima-Koregaon case of imprisoned activists and India’s autocratic turn (April 24)

By InSAF India

The Bhima-Koregaon case of imprisoned activists and India’s autocratic turn
The webinar is part of InSAF India’s campaign demanding the release of all jailed scholars, students and civic activists in India.
24 April 2021
USA: 10:30am EDT / 9:30am CDT / 7:30am PDT
UK: 3:30pm BST / Europe: 4:30pm CEST / India: 8pm IST
REGISTER TO JOIN THE ZOOM WEBINAR HERE

Our panellists
+ Jed Crandall Associate Professor, Biodesign Center for Biocomputation, Security and Society and School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering, Arizona State University, USA
+ Suchitra Vijayan Author of Midnight’s Borders: A People’s History of Modern India and Founder and Executive Director of The Polis Project
+ Tarunabh Khaitan Professor of Public Law and Legal Theory, and Vice Dean, Faculty of Law, Oxford University, UK
Moderated discussion to be followed by Q&A with the audience.

​This webinar aims to shed light on alarming authoritarian developments in India that have scarcely received adequate international attention.

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Jesuit Missions UK: Stand with Stan on his 84th birthday (April 26)

Jesuit Missions UK: Stand with Stan on his 84th birthday (April 26)

By Jesuit Missions UK

Fr Stan Swamy SJ celebrates his 84th birthday on 26 April. This year we want to let him know he is not forgotten.
Fr Stan Swamy SJ is an 83-year-old priest and human rights activist who has spent his life working for the poorest and most marginalised people in India. The Indian government has pursued a campaign of harassment against Fr Stan and other human rights activists in recent years …
Please join us in sending him a message of hope and solidarity this Easter. The card can be very simple or even a piece of folded paper.
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Andhra govt, Centre ‘collude’ to repeat Bhima Koregaon type case against rights activists

Andhra govt, Centre ‘collude’ to repeat Bhima Koregaon type case against rights activists


Drawing by Arun Ferreira

Andhra govt, Centre ‘collude’ to repeat Bhima Koregaon type case against rights activists

11/04/2021

Counterview / by Counterview Desk

In a comprehensive statement, running into about 3,500 words, India’s premier human rights organisation, People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), even as condemning the recent “unprecedented attack” on rights activists by the Andhra Pradesh government, with the Centre’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) and stood in “solidarity”, has said that the main aim of the “witch hunt” is to silence dissent.
Signed by Ravi Kiran Jain and Dr V Suresh, respectively President and General Secretary of PUCL, the statement, drawing a parallel with the Bhima Koregaon case, said, this time too the NIA cover was used to level the allegation that the activists were all supporters and “front organisations” of Maoists.
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NIA Raids 33 Activists in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana

10/04/2021

The Leaflet / by The Leaflet

On 31st March & 1st April 2021, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) raided the homes of at least 33 human rights and civil liberties activists, members of women’s groups, Dalit organizations, labor unions, and social and cultural movements in 31 locations spread across Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The NIA alleged that the activists were all supporters and “front organizations” of Maoists. These raids resemble the ones carried out in the Bhima Koregoan case….
In the past few years, the NIA has frequently stepped in to take control of UAPA cases in states which are not governed by the BJP.
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Also Read: NIA takes over Andhra probe against activists (Hindustan Times, March 2021)

NIA to court: Report of digital consultant submitted by Teltumbde not authenticated

NIA to court: Report of digital consultant submitted by Teltumbde not authenticated

The Indian Express / by Sadaf Modak

The report was submitted by Teltumbde’s lawyers last month to the court seeking permission to rely on it at the time of his bail application.
The NIA has said that the special court hearing the Elgar Parishad case should not rely on the report of a US-based digital consultant submitted by accused Anand Teltumbde during his bail hearing as it is not authenticated. The report prepared by Arsenal Consulting had said that incriminating evidence claimed to have been found on the electronic device of his co-accused Rona Wilson was planted.
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To The Jailed Priest Who Loves People: Friends Remember Stan Swamy

To The Jailed Priest Who Loves People: Friends Remember Stan Swamy

The Quint / by Asmita Nandy

Even as Father Stan Swamy fights for bail, his friends remember him as the man who “loves and lives for the poor.”
A four-minute call every 10 days from Taloja jail and a chirpy “I am managing here” keep the hope alive for friends of 83-year-old human rights activist and Jesuit priest Stan Swamy, booked by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the Bhima-Koregaon case.
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Al report slams India / Excerpts: US State Dept Report Records Increasing Use of UAPA in India

Al report slams India / Excerpts: US State Dept Report Records Increasing Use of UAPA in India


Drawing by Arun Ferreira

Amnesty International report slams India

08/04/2021

Pakobserver / by News Desk

The London-based rights watchdog, Amnesty International has slammed India for its clampdown on civil liberties in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir as well as punitive lockdown in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, use of force against the anti-CAA (Citizenship (Amendment) Act) protests, farmers’ protests and handling of Delhi riots.
… On arbitrary arrests and detentions, the Amnesty International said that seven human rights activists – Father Stan Swamy, Jyoti Raghoba Jagtap, Sagar Tatyaram Gorkhe, Ramesh Murlidhar Gaichor, Hany Babu, Gautam Navlakha and Anand Teltumbde – were arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for their alleged involvement in violence during the Bhima Koregaon celebrations near the city of Pune in 2018.
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Full report: AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL REPORT 2020/21: THE STATE OF THE WORLD’S HUMAN RIGHTS (April 2021)


Excerpts: US State Dept Report Records Increasing Use of UAPA by Indian Government

05/04/2021

The Wire / by The Wire Staff

The report cites the conditions in which the incarcerations of a pregnant Safoora Zargar, and ageing activists Varavara Rao, Sudha Bharadwaj and Stan Swamy progressed.
The US state department released the 2020 human rights report last week, accompanied by renewed rhetoric of putting emphasis on human rights at the heart of American diplomacy.
From the India chapter, here are excerpts from the report on the use of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) from its section on ‘Arrest Procedures and Treatment of Detainees’.
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Nearing 180th day of incarceration, Stan Swamy carries cross, ‘awaits’ his Easter

Nearing 180th day of incarceration, Stan Swamy carries cross, ‘awaits’ his Easter

Counterview / by Fr Cedric Prakash SJ

April 4 was Holy Saturday 2021! Christians, in an age-old custom, waited devoutly, in patient silence but with deep hope: The tomb which contains the body of Jesus would be thrown wide open in a few hours, revealing the Resurrection of Jesus, his triumph over death and the promise to mankind of eternal life.
In some cell, in the Taloja jail (near Bombay), Jesuit Fr Stan Swamy nearing the 180th day of his incarceration, is still carrying his cross, still making that steep and difficult climb to Golgotha – but still in patience but with hope, awaiting his Easter!
On March 22, Sessions Judge Dinesh E. Kothalikar of the Special NIA Court, denied Fr Stan Swamy bail. In the detailed court order of 34-pages Justice Kothalikar said that based on the ‘material available on record’, Fr Stan seemed to be a member of a banned Maoist organisation:
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Also read: Bail denied to Fr. Stan Swamy SJ in India – A Statement from the Social Justice and Ecology Secretariat, Rome (March 22, 2021). Read full statement (PDF): SJES-Rome March31