By Mary Lawlor, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders
On 11 June 2021, I wrote a letter jointly with two other UN experts on the alleged inhumane prison conditions and deteriorating condition of 15 human rights defenders, as well as Varavara Rao who was granted medical bail.
Of pressing concern was the inhumane prison conditions and deteriorating health of the human rights defenders. The death of Fr. Stan Swamy shortly after this communication was written demonstrate the severity of the conditions in which the human rights defenders are being held. It is haunting to now read how Fr. Swamy’s requests to be transferred to hospital to receive treatment were initially denied repeatedly.