To stop UAPA from continuing to be the tool of repression that it has become, it is vital that the courts either strike down — or substantially read down — this section, and ensure that years in jail do not become an automatic consequence of the police’s (read: the State’s) decision to charge inconvenient opponents under this law. Read more
Videos: Persecution by Prosecution – PUCL and 100 Organisations demand: Repeal UAPA / Session Reports
Session Report: Under UAPA, anything can be an offence based on flimsy evidence
The Leaflet / by Megha Katheria
Bringing together lawyers, activists, and victims of UAPA, the second day of PUCL’s national consultation on repealing UAPA was packed with heart-wrenching stories of abuse and torture by the law. This underpinned the passionate launch of the campaign to repeal UAPA by PUCL and 100 other organisations. It is similar to the cohesive action by human rights organisations against TADA in 1990s and POTA in the early 2000s. Read more
Session Report: PUCL and 100 Organisations demand the repeal of the UAPA
The Leaflet / by Parvathi Sjiv
In a session packed with human stories of abuse and misuse of law where activists and commoners were abused, the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) began a three-day session on January 20th with over 100 other organisations comprising advocates, activists and others who spoke about the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Read more
Podcast: Bhima Koregoan violence – Three years on, Activists remain arrested and justice remain awaited
Three years after the caste violence in Bhima Koregoan, 16 human right activists have been arrested under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act in connection with the case. Multiple conspiracy theories have been laid out by the police but it may be long before they are proved and the guilty is punished.
Professor Apoorvanand from Delhi University and Harish Vasudevan, an advocate practicing at Kerala High court share their insights for the story. Listen to podcast (11:00min)
Online events: The incarceration of Stan Swamy – Repeal UAPA – Release BK16 arrestees – Book Release
• On 15 January: HUNDRED DAYS of the incarceration of Father Stan Swamy and the brutal face of the Indian State
• On 20, 21, 22 January: Repeal UAPA, the draconian legal tool to indefinitely put dissenters behind bars, using the bogey of national security and extremism.
• On 24 January: “Why does the Indian State fear Sudha Bharadwaj”. The Release of a PUCL published book on Advocate, activist, trade unionist, lawyer and mother Sudha Bharadwaj.
Dear Friends, SALAAM!
During the last 20 months since the 2019 elections, we have all witnessed the depths to which the present ruling party can descend to crush, subvert, deny, undermine and weaken the institutions, structure and processes of rule of law and constitutional democracy. Brazenly and with impunity, the government has used the law and the police agencies to stifle and silence democratic voices of dissent through false prosecutions and persecution of rights defenders and undemocratic measures to curb the lawful activities of organisations. What is most distressing is the near-total abdication of their constitutional duties to safeguard constitutionally mandated fundamental rights and crushing of dissent by constitutional institutions, including the Supreme and High courts.
As happened in the emergency period and other times in our history as an independent nation, citizens are now standing up to say “Enough is enough” and are fighting to safeguard the Indian Constitution, rule of law and democracy. …
You may lately have come across stories of activists and journalists being charged under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, or UAPA. The UAPA is an anti-terrorism law which has been used against activists associated with the Bhima-Koregaon movement, the citizenship law protesters, and even a journalist on his way to cover the Hathras rape and murder…
Meghnad S takes you through the history of the UAPA, its evolution from an anti-secession legislation to being an anti-terrorism law, and how it has been misused by successive governments. Watch video
The Dangers of UAPA Were Sown in Earlier Preventive Detention Laws in India
Preventive detention laws and anti-terrorism laws, that deviate from regular principles of criminal law, have a history of misuse. In his speech delivered at the KG Kannabiran Lecture 2020, Senior Advocate MIHIR DESAI argues that the time has come to sideline the dreadful UAPA due to the increased and ever more dangerous misuse of anti-terror laws. People are being arrested just for dissenting with the government and denied bail. Read excerpts
UAPA and the growing crisis of judicial credibility in India
Observer Research Foundation / by Niranjan Sahoo & Jibran Khan
The Democracy Report 2020 by V-Dem Institute created quite a storm recently in India’s policy circles. The report claimed that the world’s largest democracy is on the verge of losing its status as a democracy. Noting India’s rapid slide into an autocracy, the Sweden-based report, which produces the most comprehensive analyses on the health of democracy across the world, cited trends of dramatic erosion of basic civil liberties, particularly media freedom and suppression of the freedoms of free speech and dissent as the key reasons for this major dip…
The last two years, in particular, have witnessed a sharp rise in the arrests of several prominent human rights defenders, civil society leaders, agitating leaders and even protesting students under the UAPA and sedition laws, including Sudha Bharadwaj, Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira, Varavara Rao, Anand Teltumde, Gautam Navlakha, and Arun Ferreira. Read more
Call to Dalits, minorities to join protest / Webinar report: Stand With Stan
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 opposition political parties demand release of Stan Swamy and repeal of UAPA
PUCL and opposition political parties demand release of Father Stan Swamy and repeal of UAPA
Frontline / by Anupama Katakam
A multi-party press conference organised by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) condemned the arrest of Father Stan Swamy, a tribal rights activist and social worker based in Ranchi, Jharkhand. Swamy is the latest victim of the National Investigation Agency’s (NIA) mission to hunt down people reportedly linked to the Bhima Koregaon incident, which the agency says was orchestrated by Maoist groups…
Leaders from the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren have demanded Swamy’s release and said a movement to repeal the archaic and dangerous Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), under which activists, intellectuals and lawyers have been arrested, must gain momentum. Read more
‘Today it was Stan Swamy, tomorrow it will be us’: Opposition leaders call for repeal of UAPA
Scroll.in / by Scroll Staff
Hemant Soren, MPs Shashi Tharoor, Supriya Sule and Kanimozhi urged the people to speak up against the Centre’s attempts to ‘chip away at the rights of people’.
Opposition leaders on Wednesday expressed solidarity with 83-year-old Jesuit priest and human rights activist Stan Swamy, who has been detained under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in connection with the Bhima Koregaon violence case along with several other activists. Read more
Opposition leaders condemn arrest of activist Stan Swamy, demand repeal of UAPA
The New Indian Express / by Express News Service
Leaders from the Congress, Left and DMK slammed the arrest of octogenarian Stan Swamy over alleged links with the Bhima Koregaon case.
NEW DELHI: Leaders from across the political spectrum called for the repeal of UAPA and said there was an urgent need for Opposition parties to unite to fight the ruling party in order to protect the country’s constitutional values. Read more
Report and Videos of the PUCL Press Conference: The Bhima Koregaon Conspiracy Case
PUCL organised a virtual Press Conference on 21st October, 2020 to condemn the illegal arrest of Fr. Stan Swamy of Jharkhand and 15 other activists in the Bhima Koregaon case. The Press Conference was to create a platform for different civil society groups and political parties to jointly condemn the brazen abuse of UAPA by the Central Government against dissenters and demand repeal of draconian anti-human rights laws like UAPA and anti-sedition law. The following is a summary of the speeches made by different speakers. …