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PUNISHED FOR SPEAKING UP – The ongoing use of restrictive laws to stifle dissent

PUNISHED FOR SPEAKING UP – The ongoing use of restrictive laws to stifle dissent

By CIVICUS

The Indian government is using a variety of restrictive laws – including national security and counter terrorism legislation – to arrest and imprison human rights defenders, peaceful protesters and critics, global civil society alliance CIVICUS said today in a new report.

The report covers:
– The judicial harassment of activists, targeting of journalists and crackdown on protesters;
– How rights violations have continued during President Modi’s second term and throughout the pandemic;
– Calls for the immediate release of arbitrarily detained activists, protesters and human rights defenders.
Read full report

Industriall Global Union: Calling for the release of sister Sudha Bharadwaj

Industriall Global Union: Calling for the release of sister Sudha Bharadwaj

By IndustriALL

Calling for the release of sister Sudha Bharadwaj, leader of Industriall Global Union affiliate Pragatisheel Cement Shramik Sangh Union

Geneva, 28 August 2020

Honourable President,
I am writing to you on behalf of IndustriALL Global Union,, which represents more than 50 million workers in the mining, energy and manufacturing sectors in 140 countries, including in India to call upon you to release our colleague and union activist, leader of Pragatisheel Cement Shramik Sangh union affiliated to IndustriALL Global Union, who is kept in prison based on arbitrary and unclear accusations for already two years in India.
To read full statement click to enlarge

Exception becomes the norm as special laws are misused

Exception becomes the norm as special laws are misused

Times of India Blogs / by Pankaj Butalia

Delhi Police’s framing and subsequent reframing of charges, using UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act), against the young women of Pinjra Tod a few months ago is an example of the gross misuse of special laws enacted by the state for circumstances which lie outside the purview of ordinary laws. By definition such laws are meant to be temporary and exceptions but end up being permanent and the norm.
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Ominipotent state and impotent people: system weighed in favour of the ‘state’

20/09/2020

National Herald / by Aakar Patel

Indefinite ‘detention without trial’ is now the norm. The state is acquiring more power to crush the individual.
The criminal justice system everywhere is deliberately designed to protect the rights of the individual accused. And this is the correct way of seeing it although in our country it is the other way round.
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Sagar Gorkhe, Ramesh Gaichor and Jyoti Jagtap sent to judicial custody

Sagar Gorkhe, Ramesh Gaichor and Jyoti Jagtap sent to judicial custody

Free Press Journal / by Bhavna Uchil

Mumbai: After spending around 10 days in the National Investigation Agency’s (NIA) custody, Kabir Kala Manch members Sagar Gorkhe, Ramesh Gaichor and Jyoti Jagtap have been remanded in judicial custody by a special court on Saturday till 3 October.
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Update by Kabir Kala Manch: Next court date 3rd October. Sagar Gorkhe, Ramesh Gaichore will be shifted to Taloja jail and Jyoti Jagtap to Byculla jail.

Maharashtra: Families of Prison Inmates Worried / Lockdown for some, lockup for others

Maharashtra: Families of Prison Inmates Worried / Lockdown for some, lockup for others


Read PUCL Report: Imprisoned and Unsave

Lockdown for some, lockup for others

Deccan Chronicle / by Bela Bhatia

More humane provisions are needed for prisoners, including political prisoners and those charged under special laws.
It is obvious that the threat of the coronavirus, a communicable disease, is worst in places of high population density. The prison is one such place. About half a million persons are incarcerated in more than 1,300 jails scattered all over India. More than two thirds are undertrials… It is only high-profile cases like those of Binayak Sen, Varavara Rao and others incarcerated in the Bhima Koregaon case that attract national or even international attention. While this attention is justified, most people do not realise that thousands of powerless, impoverished people face similar or worse injustice.
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Maharashtra: Families of Prison Inmates with Co-morbidities and Age Issues Worried

News Click / by Varsha Torgalkar

Activists have been demanding the release of prisoners on health grounds. So far, six inmates have died of COVID-19 in prisons across state and 1,772 prisoners have tested positive out of total 11,267 tests conducted as per the Prison Department data.
Pune: On July 12, poet and activist Varavara Rao’s daughter addressed a press conference saying, “My father, Varavara Rao, an 81 years old poet, blabbered about his father’s funeral which was held 75 years ago. Whatever he talked was incoherent during the weekly call from prison to family. His co-prisoner, Vernon Gonsalves, told us that he is in no condition to walk and carry out his daily works,” The family had panicked after the call and held the press conference the next day.
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UAPA – Governments Avoid Due Process by Declaring Groups as ‘Front Organisations’

UAPA – Governments Avoid Due Process by Declaring Groups as ‘Front Organisations’


Jharkhand, Sep 5, 2020

The Wire / by Sukanya Shantha

Legal experts say loopholes in UAPA allow enforcement agencies to misuse the law to target dissenters by branding them as ‘fronts’ for banned organisations.
KKM – a 20-year-old cultural troupe with an anti-caste legacy – was first named in a criminal case in 2011, when the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) arrested several individuals for their alleged link with the banned Maoist group… In the nine years since KKM was first criminalised, neither the state government nor the Centre have made any efforts to notify the organisation as either a banned organisation or an unlawful association, a process laid down in the UAPA.
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An activist poet challenges official narratives: A profile of Sudhir Dhawale

An activist poet challenges official narratives: A profile of Sudhir Dhawale

The Polis Project / by the Polis Project and maraa

Born to a Dalit family in the slums of Indora, an Ambedkarite hub in Nagpur, fifty-four-year-old Sudhir Dhawale is an activist, editor, and writer.
While the 2002 Gujarat riots led him to launch his radical bi-monthly magazine “Vidrohi”, in 2006 he started a cultural-political organization called “Ramabai Nagar-Khairlanji Hatyaakand Virodhi Sangarsh Samiti” following the murder of four persons from a family in Khairlanji in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra… His magazine, though produced on a small scale, was potent enough to rouse the ire of the establishment. Dhawale was a key planner of the Elgaar Parishad.
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Political parties pledge support to Delhi University Professor, Hany Babu

Political parties pledge support to Delhi University Professor, Hany Babu

Free Press Journal / by Staff Reporter

In a webinar attended by leaders from across political parties including the Congress, DMK, CPI(M), party leaders condemned Delhi University Professor, Hany Babu’s arrest and incarceration.
They unanimously called out the ruling government for persecution of those who stand for social justice. Some of them promised to take up the issue during the upcoming parliament session.
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‘Hany Babu is a champion of social justice,’ political party leaders demand release of jailed professor

13/09/2020

Makttoobmedia / by Haneena PA

One month after the associate professor in the University of Delhi’s English department and noted anti-caste activist Hany Babu MT was arrested by NIA in the Bhima Koregaon case, Dalit Camera organised a webinar titled “With Professor Hany Babu: Political Voices for Social Justice” on Saturday where parliamentarians and leaders from various political parties took part to raise their voice in support of the arrested professor.
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Release Sudha Bharadwaj Campaign Video – 5

Release Sudha Bharadwaj Campaign Video – 5


Bhilai, Sep 5, 2020

hindi | 1:53 min | 2020

By Release Sudha Bharadwaj

In the 1990s Sudha Bharadwaj came to Bhilai where the contract workers of ACC Cement were struggling for regularization.
Sudha Bhardwaj played an important role in their battle in the court and on the street. When a multinational company took over ACC cement she got in contact with international unions who supported the workers in their fight for regularization.
Watch video