On 21 February each year, PEN International joins worldwide observations of International Mother Language Day, which celebrates the importance of linguistic diversity around world.
This year, PEN International calls for the release of linguistics scholar and activist Hany Babu (India), who has been unjustly detained by the Indian authorities as part of the government’s wider crackdown on dissidents and advocates for the rights of marginalised communities in India…
PEN International considers Hany Babu’s detention and that of his fellow activists a breach of their right to freedom of expression, and calls for their immediate and unconditional release. Read more
Video: Language and the Problems of Justice
en | 3h5min | 2021
By Field Linguistics JNU
An Online Conference to mark one year of Hany Babu’s imprisonment Watch video
Petition: Open an Investigation into NetWire attack on the computers of the Bhima Koregaon arrestees!
To: Parliamentary Subcommittee on Information Technology
We, the undersigned, demand that the parliamentary subcommittee on Information Technology open an investigation into the NetWire attack on the computers of the Bhima-Koregaon arrestees. There is overwhelming evidence that a malware attack took place. One of the world’s leading digital forensic investigation agencies, Arsenal Consulting, has conducted a thorough investigation and brought to light crucial evidence confirming the attack and the planting of incriminating documents on the hard drives of the Bhima-Koregaon arrestees. Independent experts have verified Arsenal’s findings. Read more /sign petition
As PEN Centres we wish to highlight the case of renowned Indian poet, Varavara Rao, to all those who care about the defense of freedom of expression for writers. We call for all charges to be dropped against Rao, and hope that you will join our campaign to ensure his freedom.
Varavara Rao is an 82-year-old poet and activist who was arrested in 2018 along with several other activists in India on charges of inciting violence under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). Read more
The Bhima Koregaon (BK-16) are 16 human rights activists in India who are being imprisoned on charges of “terrorism” that United Nations experts have condemned as an effort to suppress political dissent. Join us in writing solidarity messages to the BK-16. InSAF India will regularly collect the messages and send them to the Taloja and Byculla prisons. Read more
Feb 13th: #FreeBK16 #EvidencePlanted (posters) / Sudha Bharadwaj spends 900 days in detention
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
PUCL and other National Organizations Call for a Week of Protest
Organizations from All Over India Issue a call for a Protest Week (Aug 28 – Sep 5), Urging People to Stand Up for Civil Liberties
Over 70 organizations and several individuals from around the country endorsed the call initiated by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties to conduct protest actions from August 28 to September 5, considering the deterioration in Civil Liberties in the recent past. This call was given marking August 28 as the day when two years ago, 5 human rights activists — Sudha Bharadwaj, Gautam Navlakha, Varavara Rao, Arun Ferriera and Vernon Gonsalves were arrested in the Bhima Koregaon Conspiracy Case. Read more/ full call with signatories
Rights Bodies Urge President Kovind to Note Several Blatant Human Rights Violations
The Wire / by The Wire Staff
New Delhi: The PUCL (People’s Union for Civil Liberties), Janhastakshep and Citizens for Democracy have collectively authored a letter to President Ram Nath Kovind, urging the release of intellectuals, writers, professors, students, anti-CAA activists implicated in the Elgar Parishad case and for the February Delhi violence. The signatories have also requested the repeal of the Citizenship Amendment Act and Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, along with the restoration of Articles 370 and 35A in Jammu and Kashmir. Read more