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Category: Repression

US government report flags ‘significant human rights issues’ in India

US government report flags ‘significant human rights issues’ in India

US government report flags ‘significant human rights issues’ in India

22/03/2023

Scroll.in / by Scroll Staff

The report was released nearly a year after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed concern about the ‘rise in human rights abuses’ in India.
An annual report released by the United States government on Monday flagged “significant human rights issues” in India, including extra-judicial killings, torture and arbitrary arrests.
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Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2022

20/03/2023

By United States Department of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor


Arbitrary Arrest: The law prohibits arbitrary arrest or detention, however, police reportedly continued to arrest persons arbitrarily. There were reports of police detaining individuals for custodial interrogation without identifying themselves or providing arrest warrants…
Multiple courts denied bail to the majority of the 16 activists incarcerated on conspiracy charges related to the Elgaar Parishad Bhima Koregaon protests that Page 10 resulted in several deaths. The accused claimed the charges were politically motivated. In 2021, human rights activist and Jesuit priest Father Stan Swamy, age 84, died in a private hospital after contracting COVID-19 in prison and after being denied bail on medical grounds by an NIA special court. On August 10, the Supreme Court granted bail on medical grounds to Varvara Rao, age 82, a poet and human rights activist, and directed that he should not leave Mumbai without the court’s permission. On November 26, the Supreme Court affirmed the Bombay High Court’s order to release Anand Teltumbde, age 73, on bail on the condition that he remain within the Mumbai jurisdiction until the trial concludes. Additionally, activist Sudha Bharadwaj was released on bail in December 2021.
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Civic Freedoms in India ‘Repressed’: Global Monitor Civicus

Civic Freedoms in India ‘Repressed’: Global Monitor Civicus

The Wire / by The Wire Staff

The section on India talks about the use of draconian laws like the UAPA and the use of the FCRA to target NGOs who do not toe the government’s line.
Civicus, a global civil society alliance, has kept India’s status as ‘repressed’ when it comes to civic freedoms in its new report, People Power Under Attack 2022. In 2018, India’s civic freedoms had been categorised as ‘obstructed’ – but it was downgraded to ‘repressed’ in 2019 has stayed in that zone ever since.
The section on India talks about the use of draconian laws like the UAPA and the use of the FCRA to target NGOs who do not toe the government’s line:
“In India, anti-terror laws such as the repressive Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act have been systematically used by the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to keep student activists and HRDs – such as people the state alleges to have instigated violence in the village of Bhima Koregaon in 2018 – in detention.
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Read full report „People Power Under Attack 2022“

Several retired bureaucrats recalled the custody death of Jesuit priest Stan Swamy

Several retired bureaucrats recalled the custody death of Jesuit priest Stan Swamy

Illustration by #bakeryprasad

By Constitutional Conduct Group

CCG OPEN LETTER TO THE HON’BLE PRIME MINISTER OF INDIA – HARASSMENT OF THE CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY
Honourable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modiji,
… We write to you today because we are deeply perturbed by the continued harassment, through speech and criminal action, of minority groups in the country by persons associated with your government, your party, organisations connected to it, and by mischief makers from amongst the public.
… Jesuit priest, Father Stan Swamy, for no fault of his except that he was closely working with the Adivasis, Dalits and other underprivileged people of Jharkhand, was virtually driven to his death by no less than the State. 

Read full statement


Also Read:
Organisation named after Stan Swamy calls to free rights defenders (The Telegraph / March 2023)
CCG OPEN LETTER TO CITIZENS OF INDIA (Constitutional Conduct Group / Nov 2021)

The ugly face of justice: Anand Teltumbde reviews Abdul Wahid Shaikh’s ‘Innocent Prisoners’

The ugly face of justice: Anand Teltumbde reviews Abdul Wahid Shaikh’s ‘Innocent Prisoners’

Scroll.in / by Anand Teltumbde

The book exposes a sinister modus operandi of the police of charging innocent Muslims for terror acts, which is structurally made easier in India.
“The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.”

– Milan Kundera, ‘The Book of Laughter and Forgetting’.

What if the state that is supposed to have been created by the people, the real sovereign as the constitution proclaims, turns into a monster that devours them? What if the police, vested with the responsibility of protecting people with law and order, turns into an organised gang of criminals supported by the state, conspire against innocent people, arrest them, torture them, and kill them with impunity?
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Anybody dissenting will be treated in this manner: Father Frazer Mascarenhas

Anybody dissenting will be treated in this manner: Father Frazer Mascarenhas

Poster by #bakeryprasad

Rediff.com / by Neeta Kolhatkar

In November 2021, the Bombay High Court allowed Father (Dr) Frazer Mascarenhas, SJ, to approach the court to clear the name of Father Stan Swamy, the oldest of the 16 Bhima Koregaon accused, who died in hospital in July 2021 …
Known to speak freely and stand by his principles, Father Frazer, who is now the parish priest at a Mumbai church, tells Rediff.com Senior Contributor Neeta Kolhatkar, “It seems to be a culture now. Anybody dissenting will be treated in this manner. No human rights… It is not limited to any one political party. The evidence shows that a group of political parties seem to be using this in an extensive and deliberate manner.”

The first of a two-part interview
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Also read:
Fabricating Evidence Against Life and Liberty: Tampering with Fr. Stan Swamy’s computer and its implications for Bhima Koregaon case (Mumbai Rises to Save Democracy / Dec 2022)

India’s UAPA law: Curbing Terrorism or Stifling Democratic Dissent?

India’s UAPA law: Curbing Terrorism or Stifling Democratic Dissent?

The UAPA Law – Curbing Terrorism or Stifling Dissent?

24/01/2023

By Hindus for Human Rights

(DESH-VIDESH CONVERSATION SERIES – SPEAKING ACROSS THE DIVIDE)
Digital Evidence Planting: New Age Threat to Rights Defenders
Presented by Safa Ahmed of the Indian American Muslim Council on behalf of a broad coalition working to secure the release of all the Bhima Koregaon prisoners

WHY ARE MOST OF THE BHIMA KOREGAON DEFENDANTS STILL IN JAIL DESPITE FORENSIC FINDINGS THAT INCRIMINATING EVIDENCE HAD BEEN PLANTED ON SOME OF THEIR COMPUTERS?

Good evening. Digital forensics is a dry, technical field, but the consequences of digital attacks play out like a vivid, terrifying, and painful movie. With the help of technical experts, journalists, and activists, I have prepared for you this narrative of what was revealed in the forensic analysis of the hard drives of three of the BK-16 – Rona Wilson, Surendra Gadling, and Father Stan Swamy.
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Invite: India’s UAPA law: Curbing Terrorism or Stifling Democratic Dissent?

20/01/2023

By Hindus for Human Rights / @Hindus4HR

The Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and India’s Prisoners of Conscience (POCs): Targeting terrorism or stifling democratic dissent?
Saturday, January 21, 2023
6 pm PST,
7:30 am IST
The conversation will cover the history and the draconian provisions of the UAPA; how it compares to anti-terror laws in other democracies; the views of the State Department and USCIRF; what are some of the typical charges being made being under UAPA. Do they look unlawful to you? Some statistics: How many people arrested since the amended UAPA; Average time spent w/o trial or bail hearing; How many have gone to trial, etc.

Moderator: Govind Acharya, Amnesty International
Panelists:
Banojyotsna Lahiri, Activist, on Umar Khalid’s story and struggle
Yug Mohit Chaudhry, Author and Criminal Lawyer, on legal strategies on behalf of POCs and hurdles faced
Mihir Desai, Human Rights Lawyer, on the story and struggle of Bhima Koregaon 16 and what’s happening to lesser known detainees
Followed by a Q&A moderated by Govind Acharya
Register here

Press Conference & Public Meeting: “Conspiracy of Conspiracy Cases”

Press Conference & Public Meeting: “Conspiracy of Conspiracy Cases”


Poster by Campaign Against State Repression

Wives of Khalid Saifi, Hany Babu, GN Saibaba demand release of ‘political prisoners’

12/01/2023

Maktoob / by Maktoob Staff

Life partners of jailed human rights defenders Khalid Saifi, Hany Babu and GN Saibaba who gathered in national capital Delhi on Thursday under the banner of Campaign Against State Repression, demanded the immediate release of all political prisoners incarcerated under the Bhima Koregaon and CAA-NRC cases.
This event titled “conspiracy of conspiracy cases” was held to discuss the recent developments in Bhima Koregaon and CAA-NRC case where top intelligence officers have disclosed that there was no connection between the Elgaar Parishad event and Bhima Koregano violence, as well as multiple international forensic reports revealing that the evidence was planted on the BK accused.
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Civil rights leaders allege corporate loot of resources, suppression of democratic rights

14/01/2023

Countercurrents / by Our Representative

Civil rights activists have alleged, quoting top intelligence officers as also multiple international forensic reports, that recent developments with regard to the Bhima Koregaon and the Citizenship Amendment Act-National Register of Citizens (CAA-NRC) cases suggest, there was “no connection between the Elgaar Parishad event and the Bhima Koregaon violence.”
Activists of the Campaign Against State Repression (CASR) told a media event at the HKS Surjeet Bhawan, New Delhi, that, despite this, several political prisoners continue to be behind bars on being accused under the anti-terror the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
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Also read
Press Release by Campaign Against State Repression, Dec 5, 2022

Click to enlarge

CASR meeting: GN Saibaba, others called new generation freedom fighters, victims of state terror (Countercurrents / Oct 2022)

Karni Sena demands demolition of Bhima Koregaon memorial, ban on annual celebration

Karni Sena demands demolition of Bhima Koregaon memorial, ban on annual celebration

Karni Sena demands demolition of Bhima Koregaon memorial, ban on annual celebration

30/12/2022

Scroll.in / by Scroll Staff

The battle of Bhima Koregaon in 1818 pertains to victory of Dalit Mahars over Brahmin Peshwa-ruled Maratha empire who were known for caste segregation.
Karni Sena, which represents the upper caste Rajputs, has demanded that the Maharashtra government should demolish the memorial located near Pune that commemorates the Battle of Bhima Koregaon, and ban the annual celebration related to the event, The Indian Express reported on Friday.
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Police issue a warning ahead of the Koregaon Bhima congregation

30/12/2022

Hindustan Times / by Nadeem Inamdar

The police order also prohibits the placement of flexes, hoardings, and banners without prior police permission and administrative approval.
In the wake of the 205th celebration of the battle of Koregaon Bhima at Perne Phata, Pune City Police have issued prohibitory orders imposing section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code from December 31 midnight till January 2, 2023 midnight to maintain law and order situation.
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Also Read:
Let’s Remember the Lesson of Bhima Koregaon: Down with the New Peshwai (Sanhati│ by Sudhir Dhawale │ March 2018)
The Myth of Bhima Koregaon Reinforces the Identities It Seeks to Transcend (The Wire | Anand Teltumbde | Jan 2018)
Why peoples’ coalitions are uniting against Hindutva — the ‘new Peshwai’ (Dailyo.in │ by Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves │ Jan 30, 2018)

»By Targeting Elgaar Parishad, Modi Was Getting Back at Justice Sawant«

»By Targeting Elgaar Parishad, Modi Was Getting Back at Justice Sawant«

Graphic by Arun Ferreira & Vernon Gonsalves

NewsClick / by Ajaz Ashraf

On the fifth anniversary of the Elgaar Parishad, on 31 December, NewsClick spoke to former Justice BG Kolse Patil, one of its organisers, on how controversy overtook the event.
Few outside Maharashtra had heard of the Marathi word Elgaar, let alone understood its meaning, until 2018. Elgaar was the name given to a meeting of people, or Parishad, convened at the Shaniwarwada Fort ground, Pune, on 31 December 2017, a day before lakhs of Ambedkarites were to visit Bhima Koregaon village from around the country. The date 1 January 2018 was special, for it marked the 200th anniversary of the battle of Bhima Koregaon, which the Ambedkarites frame as their victory over the army of Peshwa Baji Rao II (1775-1851).
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Also Read:
Let’s Remember the Lesson of Bhima Koregaon: Down with the New Peshwai (Sanhati│ by Sudhir Dhawale │ March 2018)
Why peoples’ coalitions are uniting against Hindutva — the ‘new Peshwai’ (Dailyo.in │ by Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves │ Jan 30, 2018)

Number of Jailed Journalists at New Global Record, Seven Behind Bars in India

Number of Jailed Journalists at New Global Record, Seven Behind Bars in India

Number of Jailed Journalists at New Global Record, Seven Behind Bars in India

14/12/2022

The Wire / by The Wire Staff

Six out of the seven jailed journalists are being investigated under or charged under the anti-terrorism law Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.
The number of journalists across the world who have been put behind bars for practising their profession has reached a record high this year, said the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), adding that seven Indian reporters remain behind bars – a record high for the country.
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As seven journalists remain jailed, India continues to draw criticism over treatment of media: CPJ

15/12/2022

Scroll.in / by Scroll Staff

In its annual report, the Committee to Protect Journalists said that across the world, a record number of 363 journalists were behind bars as of December 1.
As seven journalists remain imprisoned in India as of December 1, the country continues to draw criticism over its treatment of the media, the Committee to Protect Journalists said on Wednesday. The press body made the comment in its annual census of jailed journalist across the globe.
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