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Video: The Digital Surveillance Crisis and Threats to Human Rights Defenders

Video: The Digital Surveillance Crisis and Threats to Human Rights Defenders

By Access Now

This event discusses how states, facilitated by private companies, are unlawfully deploying targeted surveillance technologies against civil society around the world.
The biennial General Assembly resolution on human rights defenders that will be considered at its 76th session offers is an opportunity to discuss the effects of digital surveillance on the activities and safety of human rights defenders and their rights to privacy and freedom of expression, and to adopt measures that would allow defenders to continue exercise their human rights unhindered.

Video: UN General Assembly Side Event

en | 1h 33min | 2021

Watch at YouTube


Also read:
Pegasus Project: 161 Names Revealed By The Wire On Snoop List So Far (The Wire, Aug 2021)
Leaked Data Shows Surveillance Net in Elgar Parishad Case May Have Crossed a Line (The Wire / Jul 2021)

Sedition law: an imperial legacy, and a weapon of intimidation and subjugation by the regime

Sedition law: an imperial legacy, and a weapon of intimidation and subjugation by the regime


Drawing by Arun Ferreira

The Leaflet / by Tushar Gandhi

On the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti, TUSHAR GANDHI relies on Mahatma Gandhi’s defence during his 1992 sedition trial to make a case for the abrogation of the colonial-era law, as well as similar other laws that are used to stifle citizens’ democratic rights
The Bhima Koregaon case is another case of blatant intimidation and punishment of dissent, a democratic right of citizens, in which intellectuals have been arrested and charged, and are being prosecuted.
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Also read:
The Definition of “Terrorist Act” in UAPA Is So Vague That It Is Susceptible To Misuse: Justice Anjana Prakash (Live Law / Jul 26, 2021)
Seventeen proposed charges by NIA against accused (Bar & Bench / Aug 22, 2021)
National Call: Defend Right to Dissent, Repeal Sedition Law, UAPA and Repressive State Laws (July 2021)

Indian authorities are using tax evasion charges to silence critics, says Human Rights Watch

Indian authorities are using tax evasion charges to silence critics, says Human Rights Watch


Drawing by PenPencilDraw (@penpencildraw)

Indian authorities are using tax evasion charges to silence critics, says Human Rights Watch

17/09/2021

Scroll.in / by Scroll Staff

The human rights group expressed concern about a number of cases, including raids on the premises of actor Sonu Sood and activist Harsh Mander.
… In January, the Human Rights Watch had released its “World Report 2021”, in which it took note of the security clampdown in Jammu and Kashmir, violence in Delhi in February, cases against activists in the Bhima Koregaon violence and crackdown on foreign funds of non-governmental organisations.
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Can Modi government solve India’s many problems by raiding activists and journalists?

17/09/2021

Scroll.in / by Rohan Venkataramakrishnan

From Harsh Mander to Rana Ayyub to Newslaundry, recent moves have only reinforced the impression that the state wants to intimidate anyone asking questions.
In the middle of 2020, as the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic was raging all around India, a Group of Ministers from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration met six times to figure out how to “neutralise the people who are writing against the government”.
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UN rights chief condemns ongoing restrictions on freedom of assembly

UN rights chief condemns ongoing restrictions on freedom of assembly

Jurist.org / by Sambhav Sharma

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, on Monday condemned India’s restrictions placed on public assembly in Jammu and Kashmir, pursuant to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act of 1967 (UAPA)…
This condemnation comes after many in India have continuously criticised the allegedly arbitrary and abusive law that punishes dissenters who are vocal against government actions. As many as 5,128 cases have been registered in India under the UAPA since 2015.
The law was also severely scrutinised in July after the demise of Father Stan Swamy, a tribal rights activist who was arrested under the UAPA for his alleged involvement in the Bhima Koregaon violence in 2018 and his links to Maoists.
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Podcast: The unravelling of a conspiracy: were the 16 charged with plotting to kill India’s prime minister framed? 

Podcast: The unravelling of a conspiracy: were the 16 charged with plotting to kill India’s prime minister framed? 


en | 35min | 2021

The Guardian / by Siddhartha Deb

In 2018, Indian police claimed to have uncovered a shocking plan to bring down the government. But there is mounting evidence that the initial conspiracy was a fiction – and the accused are victims of an elaborate plot.
Listen to the podcast

Pegasus Espionage: End the global trade in spyware (international campaign)

Pegasus Espionage: End the global trade in spyware (international campaign)

By Pressenza.com

An Indian-led initiative is trying to ensure that the scandal surrounding the large-scale use of NSO Group’s Pegasus cyber-weapon does not simply die down (as previous scandals have).
We reproduce this call to organise and continue campaigning around some basic principles.
Dear friends, dear friends,
Warm greetings from India. You all know that we are going through a steady erosion of our democracy led by a right wing (Hindu) government under the leadership of Narendra Modi. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), along with its vast network of ideological supporters in India and abroad, seeks to establish a Hindutva majoritarian state based on the deprivation of its social, religious and other minorities.
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Also read: Leaked Data Shows Surveillance Net in Elgar Parishad Case May Have Crossed a Line (The Wire, July 18)

Who is a political prisoner? Time to define one

Who is a political prisoner? Time to define one

By Nandita Haksar

There has been a great deal of anguish, angst and anger expressed at the death of Stanislaus Lourduswamy (1937–2021), popularly known as Stan Swamy, an Indian Roman Catholic priest, a member of the Jesuit order, and a tribal rights activist for many decades
His death has drawn focus to the cruelty of the system which denied the right to die with dignity to a senior citizen who was suffering from Parkinson’s disease. However, the imprisonment of Stan Swamy and other political prisoners, including poets, journalists, bloggers, women activists, students, Dalits and Muslims, raises crucial questions. It is not just a humanitarian issue but a political one.
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They Don’t Want us to Sing our Songs, Read our Poems

They Don’t Want us to Sing our Songs, Read our Poems

Newsclick / by Parth MN

Moved by the death of anti-caste activist Vira Sathidar, Ramesh Gaichor, an Elgar case accused, had penned a poem in Taloja prison, but the jail chief found it ‘objectionable’ for circulation. Gaichor has moved the court.
Civil and Sessions Court, complaining against one of its prisoners, Ramesh Gaichor. Gaichor, one of the 16 political prisoners arrested in the Elgar Parishad-Bhima Koregaon case, had written a poem as a tribute to Vira Sathidar, a committed anti-caste activist and an Ambedkarite, who died of COVID-19 in April 2021.
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Surveillance state: The Pegasus saga unravels in India

Surveillance state: The Pegasus saga unravels in India

Frontline / by Dviya Trivedi

As the Pegasus phone intrusion saga unravels, raising troubling questions over the government’s invasion of privacy, veteran journalists and civil rights activists turn the heat on the Centre by petitioning the Supreme Court for a probe into the matter.
… The phone numbers of several persons accused in the Elgaar Parishad-Bhima Koregaon case, who are now behind bars, figure in the snoop list. They include M.T. Hany Babu, Rona Wilson, Vernon Gonsalves, Anand Teltumbde, Shoma Sen, Gautam Navlakha, Arun Ferreira, and Sudha Bharadwaj, along with the family members and friends of other co-accused persons.
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Also read: Leaked Data Shows Surveillance Net in Elgar Parishad Case May Have Crossed a Line (The Wire, July 18)

India Must Stop Criminalising the Defence of Human Rights: UN Special Rapporteur

India Must Stop Criminalising the Defence of Human Rights: UN Special Rapporteur


Drawing by Arun Ferreira

The Wire / by Sukanya Shantha

Mary Lawlor speaks to The Wire about the situation of human rights defenders in the country, the use of repressive laws by the government and more.
On May 1, 2020, Mary Lawlor, a Dublin-based human rights expert with over four decades of experience engaging in human rights work, took up the mandate of Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders (HRDs) at the United Nations. Along with her work globally, Lawlor has been closely following the deteriorating human rights conditions in India and feels the country has repeatedly failed to protect the rights and interests of HRDs in the country.
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Also read: Pegasus Reports Highlight Need for Better Regulation of Spyware: UN Rights Chief (The Wire, Aug 20)