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Category: Repeal UAPA

In Umar Khalid’s Bail Appeal, a Ray of Hope for UAPA Cases?

In Umar Khalid’s Bail Appeal, a Ray of Hope for UAPA Cases?

The Quint / by Vakasha Schdev

While the SC’s Watali judgment is cited to deny bail in UAPA cases, a new interpretation could prevent its misuse.
… On top of the general problems with the justice system that have led to this situation, Khalid’s continued incarceration, like that of the other accused in the Delhi Riots conspiracy case as well as the Bhima Koregaon matter, is a result of the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act – the UAPA.
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Also watch:

Repeal UAPA – Persecution by Prosecution (PUCL, Jan 2021)

Three Day consultation on 20th, 21st and 22nd January, 2021
► Repeal UAPA – Day One (video: en + … | 2h 17min)
► Repeal UAPA – Day Two (video: en +… | 2h 22min)
► Repeal UAPA – Day Three (video: en + … | 2h 51min)

PUCL welcomes the initial step towards the complete repeal of the colonial law of Sedition

PUCL welcomes the initial step towards the complete repeal of the colonial law of Sedition

PUCL welcomes the initial step towards the complete repeal of the colonial law of Sedition

12/05/2022

By Peoples Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL)

Press release
The Peoples Union for Civil Liberties welcomes the order of the Supreme Court dated 11.05.22 in the petition filed by Army veteran Major-General SG Vombatkere (Retired) as well as PUCL and a range of other petitioners challenging the constitutional validity of Section 124-A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.  In its petition, the PUCL had pleaded that owing to the development of constitutional law, the law of sedition of the colonial era had no place; it was overbroad, vague, arbitrary, violating the sacrosanct freedom of speech and expression, hence it was imperative to strike it down as it was unconstitutional.
Read full statement


Will SC’s Sedition Order Mean Relief for Delhi Riots, Bhima Koregaon Accused?

12/05/2022

The Quint / by Mekhala Saran

Simply put: the Supreme Court’s order in the pleas challenging the sedition law is unlikely to do so. Here’s why…
“I have every right to criticise the government. BJP-RSS do not constitute country. They do not constitute nation. They have taken a jibe against Modi, against his policies. How is this sedition?” Advocate Nihalsingh Rathod, appearing for Ramesh Gaichor and Sagar Gorkha — two of the accused in the Bhima Koregaon case — had told a special court in November 2021.
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Suspending sedition: No cause for celebration

13/05/2022

Deccan Herald / by Shikha Mukerjee

There really is no cause for celebration after the conditional suspension of the infamous Section 124 A, otherwise known as the Sedition Act of 1870. The statute books have so many other equally infamous laws, starting with the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act amended and strengthened in 2019, and the 2019 expansion of the National Investigation Agency Act that dumping a “colonial-era” law and claims to be respectful of human rights and liberties is a phoney gesture.
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PUDR: When The Process becomes The Punishment

PUDR: When The Process becomes The Punishment

Peoples Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR) / by PUDR

Tomorrow, 14th April 2022 marks the completion of two years of PUDR activist Gautam Navlakha’s surrender before the NIA. One of sixteen accused in the infamous Bhima Koregaon case, Gautam has been imprisoned in Taloja Central Jail, Navi Mumbai since 25 May 2020.  For more than six months now, since 12 October 2021, the nearly 70 years old Gautam, an undertrial suffering from multiple health problems has been in solitary confinement in one of 33 cells in the ‘anda’ circle, the High Security Area of Taloja Jail, a space meant to segregate those guilty of heinous crimes.
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Also read:
How the ‘anda cell’ is used to discipline prison inmates (The Indian Express │ Oct 2021)
System of solitary confinement, ‘Anda Cell’, inside the jail be stopped (Groundxero │ Oct 2021)

‘Blot on democracy’: Shashi Tharoor moves Bill to repeal UAPA

‘Blot on democracy’: Shashi Tharoor moves Bill to repeal UAPA

Scroll.in / by Scroll Staff

In his private member’s Bill, the Congress MP described the law as a ‘tool of abuse’ as its conviction rate since 2014 has been only 2.4%.
… To buttress his arguments against the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, Tharoor has mentioned in his Bill, the cases related to tribal rights activist Stan Swamy and Kerala-based journalist Siddique Kappan, who were charged under the Act.
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21 European MPs Express Concern at Treatment of Rights Activists / Solidarity at International Women’s Day

21 European MPs Express Concern at Treatment of Rights Activists / Solidarity at International Women’s Day

21 European MPs Write to Modi Expressing Concern at Treatment of Rights Activists

08/03/2022

The Wire / by The Wire Staff

The MEPs highlighted three particular cases: the arrest of 16 activists in the Elgar Parishad case, the arrest of 13 activists in connection with the protests against the CAA and the detention of Kashmiri activist Khurram Parvez.
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by FLD Brussels (March 8)

Members of @Europarl_EN sent a letter to high level authorities in #India raising the alarm over the dramatic escalation in arrests of HRDs under the #UAPA, incl the #BhimaKoregaon case, CAA protesters & #KhurramParvez, which they condemn in the strongest terms.

Read full letter & signatories at the website of MP Alviina Alametsä
Read full letter

click to enlarge

Rally at International Women’s Day, Berlin (Germany)

08/03/2022

By India Justice Project

On #InternationalWomensDay we remember especially the #womenpoliticalprisoners incarcerated by the Indian govt. In speaking out against their imprisonment, we speak out, too, for the multitudes of people whose struggles they have taken on and carry forward.

Banner: Free all political prisoners in India
UAPA And The Authoritarian Tendencies Of A Democratic Government

UAPA And The Authoritarian Tendencies Of A Democratic Government

Youthkiawaaz / by Salim Usman

The Modi government has, over the years, used the UAPA to counter any narrative that goes against their views and uses the law to arbitrarily arrest those who have spoken against them.
The unprecedented rise in countries exhibiting authoritarian tendencies throughout the world in the past few years, and the large number of human rights violations committed by state actors, is a matter of concern not just for the particular country’s political, social and economic circles but also for the international political community.
… perhaps the starkest example of the weaponisation of the UAPA was its use against those accused in the 2018 Bhima Koregaon violence case.
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Civil society renews demand for repeal of UAPA, AFSPA and Sedition Law

Civil society renews demand for repeal of UAPA, AFSPA and Sedition Law


Drawing by Arun Ferreira

Civil society renews demand for repeal of UAPA, AFSPA and Sedition Law

14/12/2021

Kashmir Media Service / by KMS

Prominent civil society groups and activists as well as lawyers held a public meeting at the Press Club of India and demanded repeal of black laws like Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, sedition law, and Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act.
The speakers explained various aspects of the black laws, their history of use by various governments in India to try to silence the voices of the people, and said in one voice that in a democracy there was no place for such laws. Those who addressed the meeting included M K Venu of The Wire, Vikas Bajpai, Ish Mishra and A Dubey of Janhastakshep, civil rights activist Sanjay Parikh and lawyer and civil rights activist N D Pancholi.
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Bail to Sudha Bharadwaj: Civil rights groups demand release of all BK case accused

14/12/2021

Counterview / by Counterview

Civil rights groups, even as welcoming the Supreme Court order granting default bail to Advocate Sudha Bharadwaj, have demanded that release of all human rights defenders arrested in the Bhima Koregaon (BK) case.
The People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) said the “short order of the Supreme Court” on December 7 dismissing the Special Leave Petition (SLP) of the National Investigation Agency (NIA)” is a “vindication of the long campaign against the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) by the PUCL and other allied groups.
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Read full statement: PUCL Welcomes Bail for Sudha Bharadwaj


Over 50% of those arrested under UAPA were under 30, Centre tells Parliament

15/12/2021

Scroll.in / by Scroll Staff

The government said it was not considering any amendments to the anti-terror law, which critics say is being increasingly used to stifle dissent.
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PUCL Welcomes Bail for Sudha Bharadwaj / Statement by Workers Unions

PUCL Welcomes Bail for Sudha Bharadwaj / Statement by Workers Unions

PUCL Welcomes Bail for Sudha Bharadwaj

08/12/2021

PUCL / by People’s Union For Civil Liberties (PUCL)

The PUCL welcomes the short order of the Supreme Court  yesterday, 07th December, 2021, dismissing the SLP filed by the NIA which challenged the grant of statutory bail to Advocate Sudha Bharadwaj, a committed activist lawyer and member of PUCL. The PUCL sees this important order and the order of the Bombay High Court which was under challenge, as a vindication of the long campaign against the UAPA by the PUCL and other allied groups.
Read full statement


On the granting of bail to Advocate Sudha Bharadwaj by the Bombay High Court

05/12/2021

ReleaseSudhaBharadwaj.net/ by CMM-MKC and other workers unions

On the 1st of December 2021, after having spent three years in jail on fabricated charges in the Bhima Koregaon case, Human Rights activist and lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj was granted bail by the Bombay High Court. We the undersigned unions and workers collectives welcome the judgement. It is a great relief for the working people of Chhattisgarh who have consistently campaigned against the illegal arrest of Sudha Bharadwaj and continuously demanded her release.
Read full statement

Statement by CMM-MKC and other workers unions: On the granting of bail to advocate Sudha Bharadwaj

Statement by CMM-MKC and other workers unions: On the granting of bail to advocate Sudha Bharadwaj

By CMM-MKC and other workers unions

Press Statement
On the granting of bail to advocate Sudha Bharadwaj by the Bombay High Court

On the 1st of December 2021, after having spent three years in jail on fabricated charges in the Bhima Koregaon case, Human Rights activist and lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj was granted bail by the Bombay High Court. We the undersigned unions and workers collectives welcome the judgement. It is a great relief for the working people of Chhattisgarh who have consistently campaigned against the illegal arrest of Sudha Bharadwaj and continuously demanded her release. It is important to note that Sudha Bharadwaj was granted bail because the chargesheet against her was not produced before the appropriate court within the legally specified time limit. There were 8 others along with Sudha Bharadwaj arrested under the same case whose bail was rejected on the same day. We express our deep disappointment at the courts decision to reject their applications for bail. It is amply clear that the 16 Human Rights activists, lawyers, artists and writers were arrested under false and fabricated charges in the Bhima Koregaon case. We the undersigned unions have condemned these arrests from the very beginning.

The granting of bail to Sudha Bharadwaj is most certainly a jolt to the current pro-corporate, brahminical, fascist central government, as is evident from how promptly they moved the Supreme Court to challenge the bail order. The very day after the judgment of the Bombay High Court was pronounced, the National Investigating Agency (NIA) was ready with their appeal to the Supreme Court to act against the granting of bail to Sudha Bharadwaj. They seem determined to ensure she is not released under any circumstance. All recent events have in any case pointed clearly to the fact that the NIA is not an independent invesitgation agency but in fact one that works simply like an arm of the ruling Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP). The NIA has been indiscriminately wielding the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) legislation against anyone who dares to exercise their democratic right to protest against the BJP. In such a scenario, we place all our hope and faith in the Supreme Court that it will uphold the democratic fabric of the country, uphold the notion of justice and grant Sudha Bharadwaj bail at the earliest.

It must be mentioned that Father Stan Swamy, one of the 16, aged 84, lost his life in custody while awaiting bail. Apart from the aforesaid Bhima Koregaon case, the draconian UAPA legislation was recently used once again to silence the democratic voices of the people of Chhattisgarh by arresting Human Rights Adivasi activist Hidme Markam on March 9 this year, at a program marking International Womens Day in Dantewada, Bastar. Hidme Markam has spent the last several years speaking out against the environmental destruction wrought by the government and large mining companies in Bastar. She has raised her voice against militarization and sexual violence against women in Bastar continuously perpetrated by the police and palamilitary.

The UAPA has been indiscriminately used to incarcerate dalits, adivasis and minorities in the country. Seveal arguments have been made and facts brought to light that clearly indicate why such a draconian legistaltion must be withdrawn. We the undersigned unions strongly and unequivocally support the demand to repeal the UAPA. We sincerely hope that Sudha Bharadwaj will be released from the four walls of prison and that she will be amongst us soon. We shall continue to campaign for the release for all those, who like her, have been arrested for fighting to uphold democratic values in this country, and further resolve to strengthen our campaign to demand the repeal of the UAPA.

Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha (Mazdoor Karyakarta Samiti), Mahila Mukti Morcha, Nagari Nikay Janvadi Safai Kamgar Union, Pragatisheel Cement Shramik Sangh, Loktantrik Ispat evam Engineering Mazdoor Union, Jan Adharit Power Plant Workers Union, Jan Swasth Karamchari Union

Campaign by Movement Against UAPA And Other Repressive Laws: #RepealSeditionLaw

Campaign by Movement Against UAPA And Other Repressive Laws: #RepealSeditionLaw

By Movement Against UAPA And Other Repressive Laws (MURL) / @repressivelaws


#RepealSeditionLaw (Nov 24)

Stop using UAPA and Sedition laws against those who foster the cause of civil rights
Stop using UAPA and Sedition laws against those who speak up for the oppressed
“I submit, UAPA has failed us on both counts: National security and Constitutional Freedoms.” – Judge Aftab Alam referring to the death of 84-year-old Father Stan Swamy
++ An 83-year-old Jesuit Priest, Stan Swami, who has documented police abuse in tribal areas across the country, was charged with sedition in 2018 for his Facebook posts. One of his posts was a statement by the then Home Minister calling for dialogue ++
++ Legal experts say authorities misuse legal provisions to slap protesters with colonial-era law to stifle dissent ++
++ UAPA and sedition are being used to stifle dissent and crush the freedom of speech and that the time has come to see whether they are in tune with the Constitution – Senior advocate Prashant Bhushan ++
++ UAPA permits detention without charge for up to 180 days, making it a convenient tool to silence dissidents ++


Click to enlarge posters



Also read:
Bhima Koregaon Case: NIA Submits Draft Charges, No Mention of Plot to Kill PM (The Quint / Aug 2021)
NIA Submits Draft Charges in Bhima Koregaon-Elgar Parishad Case: Read Details (Live Law / Aug 2021)