Call issued by several organizations across the country
Join National Action to Defend Democracy:
Defend Right to Dissent,
Repeal Sedition Law,
UAPA and Repressive State Laws,
Restore Right to Bail
The Institutional murder of the 84-year-old Jesuit priest Father Stan Swamy in judicial custody on 5th July 2021 has brought home to all of us the urgency of the need to take up the defence of democracy against repressive laws. Father Stan, who spent a lifetime working with Adivasis in Jharkhand in defence of their rights, was arrested in the Bhima Koregaon case even though he had no connection with it and the police did not require him for any investigation. Father Stan died waiting for a chance to clear his name. In denying Fr Stan bail, the NIA judge, D. E. Kothalikar argued that “the collective interest of the community” outweighed Fr. Stan’s right to personal liberty. His death should shake the conscience of the nation and the judiciary as it “brings to an end a stark tale of injustice – one that has left the highest institutions of India’s justice system diminished.” But even after Father Stan’s death, the same court denied bail to Anand Teltumbde, another member of the BK-16, as the advocates, artists, journalists and intellectuals who have been imprisoned under the Bhima Koregaon case are called. …
The Washington Post newspaper has published a report in which Arsenal Consulting, a digital forensics firm, exposes the “extremely dark” and “very organised” hacking of activist Rona Wilson’s laptop to plant incriminating evidence related to the Bhima Koregaon incident. Sixteen activists are facing charges under UAPA and have been lodged in jail without bail in Bhima Koregaon case. Some tweets and posters shared during the tweet storm today:
Dalit Camera: What kind of a country puts its intellectuals behind bars for something they didn’t do?
Dalit Camera: When the government doesn’t have an answer to the storm of questions raised against, it resorts to arresting those speaking the truth fearlessly. Shame!
NAPM India: National Alliance of People’s Movements demands the govt #FreeBK16 in light of #EvidencePlanted – it is draconian to jail #HumanRights activists based on fabricated evidence and no trial!
Elgar Parishad: After Armed Arsenal report it is evident that Elgar Parishad – Bhima Koregaon case is completely fabricated. We demand immediate release of BK 16
Jignesh Mevani: India’s prominent intellectuals are in jail for one simple reason: they can think and oppose an autocratic government! There is no legal basis, no trial, and even the evidence is planted! The world should take note!
Cedric Prakash: It is important that all the illegally incarcerated are freed immediately
COLLECTIVE: COLLECTIVE demands arrest of Sangh rioters Shambhaji bhide, Milind Ekbote. India will be a country of #Andolanjeevis, not bootlickers of imperialism.
Sudha Bharadwaj spends 900 days in detention
Civicus.org / by CIVICUS
▪ 13 February 2021 marks Sudha Bharadwaj’s 900th day in pre-trial detention
▪ Questions raised about validity of letters used to incriminate Sudha
▪ Indian authorities have limited the number of books she can receive
February 13 marks 900 days since Indian activist Sudha Bharadwaj was arrested and imprisoned. On this day, global civil society organisation CIVICUS calls on the Indian government to immediately release Bharadwaj and drop all charges against her.
Since 2018, Sudha and 15 other activists, writers and lawyers have been arrested under the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and accused of having links with the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist). Read more
United States: Ask President Biden and Secretary Blinken to Demand Fr. Stan’s Release
For four months, Fr. Stan Swamy, SJ has been wrongly imprisoned in India. Multiple efforts to secure his release have been denied by the courts, even though he is 83 years old and suffers from Parkinson’s disease…
Join us in urging the United States to: condemn the incarceration of Fr. Stan Swamy, ask the Indian Government to release him immediately, and ask the Indian Government to stop arbitrary arrests of innocent citizens. Read more
Stan Swamy, has been harassed since 2018: OHCR / Endorse: International appeal
Human rights defender Stan Swamy, has been harassed since 2018: OHCR
Sabrang / by Sabrang India
Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; Special Rapporteur on minority issues; write to Indian Govt over Fr Stan Swamy’s prolonged detention.
The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; the and Special Rapporteur on minority issues, have made public a letter they had written to the Indian Government expressing their concern over the “alleged arbitrary detention of human rights defender Stan Swamy”. Read more
Endorse: International appeal to United Nations regarding Fr. Stan Swamy, S.J
By Social Justice and Ecology Secretariat – Society of Jesus
Fr. Stan Swamy, SJ is a 83 years old Indian Jesuit priest incarcerated for alleged anti-national activities. He was arrested on October 8, 2020. The antecedents of this case can be traced back to 1 January 2018 violence against the Dalits across the state of Maharashtra. One Dalit youth was killed and countless of number of Dalits injured. Even though all evidence pointed to the role of right-wing leaders in the violence that erupted after the annual celebration at Bhima Koregaon, the state thought it convenient to foist false cases against human rights defenders who are known to stand up for the poor. Read more / read & sign appeal
India: Call to UN for release of Fr Stan Swamy
Independent Catholic News / by ICN
The Jesuits of India, together with an international network of civil society organizations, have appealed to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to obtain the immediate release of Jesuit Father Stan Swamy, 83, who has been imprisoned since 8 October on charges of sedition with 15 other human rights defenders in India. The appeal is a joint initiative of the Jesuits, Claretians and other congregations and organizations present at the United Nations. Read more
Sign Petition: Land Rights Activist Mahesh Raut Needs to be Free
On 6th June 2018, Mahesh Raut, a land and adivasi rights activist, was arrested in relation to the Elgar Parishad case through the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. The police charged Mahesh just as he was filing a petition to protect citizens whose lands are mined against their will. Members of Socialist Party (India) recently released a petition seeking signatories in support of Mahesh in the name of freedom of speech. Read more
Representatives of Christian and rights organisations hint at urgent need for the convergence against the current ‘fascist’ forces.
Christian organisations and human right groups have called for Dalits, tribal and minorities to join hands with other concerned citizens and protest attempts by the central government to silence voices of dissent by misusing the anti-terror law UAPA. Read more
Bhima Koregaon Case: A Critical Appraisal: Our Call – Free them All
Countercurrents / by Dr Prakash Louis
Background to Bhima Koregaon Event
The 1818 Battle of Koregaon is of importance for Dalits. On 1st January, 1818, 800 troops of the British Army, with large number of Mahars, Dalit Community of Maharashtra predominant among them, defeated a numerically superior force of the Peshwa Baji Rao II …
On 1st January, 2018, like every year, lakhs of Dalits poured into Bhima Koregaon. The commemoration has a record of being conducted peacefully and the village’s residents have a history of social harmony. But this year, tensions had begun to build in a neighbouring village over the question of which community had conducted the last rites of Maratha ruler Sambhaji – the Mahars or the Marathas. Read more
Webinar report: Stand With Stan
Countercurrents / by Indian Christians for Democracy
A webinar was organised with major initiative of Indian Christians for Democracy on 25th October, Sunday, 2020 from 11.00 to 1.00 pm …
The objectives of the webinar were 1) Keep pressure on for the release of all falsely accused and arrested; 2) False accusation, detention and arrest becomes a debating point and the government gives up this practice; 3) Nation-wide demand for the repeal of UAPA. Read more
Call to sign: Solidarity Statements with Prof PK Vijayan & Prof Rakesh Ranjan
We, the students and alumni of SRCC, stand in complete solidarity with Prof. Rakesh Ranjan. He has been summoned by the NIA for a hearing on 14th August, in relation with the nefarious Bhima Koregaon case. This is part of the on-going witch hunt of intellectuals and activists by forces attempting to stamp out every progressive and dissenting voice. Read/sign statement
Solidarity Statement against NIA Intimidation of Prof. PK Vijayan
By Hindu College Coordination Committee (HCCC)
Please sign statement in solidarity with Prof. Vijayan HANDS OFF OUR TEACHERS! Rise in rage against NIA intimidation of Prof. PK Vijayan of English Department, Hindu College, DU.
We, the students, teachers and members of the academic community are alarmed by the summons issued to Prof. Prem Kumar Vijayan of Hindu College, Delhi University by the NIA to join the ongoing investigation into the Bhima Koregaon case on Friday, 14th August. Recently, Prof. Hany Babu of English Department, Delhi University had also been summoned similarly by the NIA and arrested under draconian UAPA charges in the expanding Bhima Koregaon witch hunt of progressive teachers, journalists, lawyers, cultural and social activists. Read/sign statement
Global Campaign #StandAsMyWitness: Free Sudha Bharadwaj
Nearly 200 human rights organisations including CIVICUS have signed a letter to world leaders urging them to release human rights defenders and prisoners of conscience in honour of Nelson Mandela Day 18 July … It calls on governments to end the imprisonment and harassment of human rights defenders … Resilient human rights defenders from across the globe feature in the #StandAsMyWitness campaign. The ‘faces’ of the campaign are these defenders currently behind bars, like Sudha Bharadwaj – a human rights lawyer who defends Indigenous people’s rights in India. Read more
Do sign this open appeal to @PMOIndia & @CMOMaharashtra to #FreeVaravaraRao & ensure proper medical treatment. Click on link below to sign. Add ur name, organizational/professional affiliation and city/location. Read and sign petition
This is the background note for signatures sought by July 15 10:00 p.m. for an online petition to chief minister Uddhav Thackeray.
The Hon. Chief Minister of Maharashtra
Respected Chief Minister,
We, the citizens of a democratic republic appeal to you regarding the eleven persons- Sudhir Dhawale, Surendra Gadling, Shoma Sen, Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira, Sudha Bharadwaj, Anand Teltumbde, Gautam Navlakha, Varavara Rao, Mahesh Raut and Rona Wilson accused in the Bhima Koregaon case. Read and sign petition
BACKGROUND NOTE: INDIA’S 11 ACTIVISTS FACE ‘MALAFIDE’ INTENTIONS, POLITICAL VENDETTA, EXTRANEOUS CONSIDERATION
The Constitution of India, Article 21, guarantees protection of life and personal liberty to every individual. Yet, the rights of activists and lawyers incarcerated under the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) since 2018 in Maharashtra jails are at grave risk due to the delay and dragging of cases since the last 24 months. Read more