Browsed by
Category: Solidarity

Relief to Sudha Bharadwaj is welcome. Prolonged imprisonment of other accused must also be questioned

Relief to Sudha Bharadwaj is welcome. Prolonged imprisonment of other accused must also be questioned

Relief to Sudha Bharadwaj is welcome. Prolonged imprisonment of other Bhima Koregaon accused must also be questioned

04/12/2021

The Indian Express / by Editorial

The Bhima Koregaon/Elgar Parishad case is the most prominent example of what has become the standard “process as punishment” in UAPA cases.
The Bombay High Court’s decision to grant default bail to lawyer-activist Sudha Bharadwaj is welcome, even if it comes after three long years of incarceration without trial. It must also turn the spotlight on the prolonged imprisonment — also without trial — of those accused under the UAPA in the Elgar Parishad case.
Read more


Pique and petulance: On Sudha Bharadwaj’s bail and NIA’s appeal

04/12/2021

The Hindu / by Editorial

The NIA’s appeal against Sudha Bharadwaj’s bail order reveals its bull-headedness.
In filing a quick appeal against the grant of statutory bail to lawyer-activist Sudha Bharadwaj, the NIA has displayed nothing but pique and petulance over a well-reasoned order of the Bombay High Court. The bail order itself is a much-delayed relief, considering that the right to ‘default bail’ had accrued to her as early as January 2019, on completing 90 days in prison and when there was neither a charge sheet nor a lawful order extending the time limit for filing it from 90 to 180 days.
Read more


Will the Sudha Bharadwaj Bail Order Affect the Bhima Koregaon Case as a Whole

04/12/2021

The Quint / by Vakasha Sachdev

The Bombay HC’s order may not affect the merits of the case, but the issues raised could have major consequences.
As soon as the Bombay High Court held on 1 December that Sudha Bharadwaj, the reputed activist and lawyer who is an accused in the Bhima Koregaon case, was entitled to be released on default bail, certain questions became inevitable.
First, how quickly would the NIA file an appeal against the judgment in the Supreme Court? (Answer: Very quickly, by the evening of 2 December)
Read more


Failure to take cognisance of chargesheet does not entail default bail under UAPA: Bombay HC

04/12/2021

Sabrangindia / by Sanchita Kadam

A closer look at why the court granted bail to Sudha Bharadwaj, but denied it to her eight co-accused in the Bhima Koregaon case.
On December 1, the Bombay High Court granted bail to lawyer-activist Sudha Bharadwaj vide a detailed order and in the same order denied bail to other eight co-accused in the Bhima Koregaon case, purely on technicality. Since the grounds raised by Bharadwaj were different from those raised by the eight others, her contention was accepted and agreeable to the bench of Justices SS Shinde and NJ Jamadar.
Read more

PUCL Chhattisgarh welcomes the granting bail to Advocate Sudha Bharadwaj

PUCL Chhattisgarh welcomes the granting bail to Advocate Sudha Bharadwaj

PUCL Chhattisgarh welcomes the granting bail to Advocate Sudha Bharadwaj

01/12/2021

By PUCL Chhattisgarh

Press Release
PUCL Chhattisgarh welcomes the granting bail to Advocate Sudha Bharadwaj by the Bombay High Court and at the same time is dissapointed that the other 8 co-accused have been denied bail.
It should be mentioned that the violence inflicted by Hindu groups on and after the Bhima Koregaon celebrations in January 2018 have cost lives and resulted in several incarcerations. Including the 8 whose bail was rejected by the Bombay High Court, however, a total of 16 people have been falsely implicated in the Bhima Koregaon Case and have been in jail for years on fabricated charges under the draconian UAPA. Many others have been targetted, arrested and had their homes raided.
Father Stan Swami, one of the 16, aged 84, lost his life in custody while awaiting bail.
In Chhattisgarh there are hundreds of Adivasis who have been imprisoned under the UAPA and have been awaiting bail for years. On March 9 this year, at a program to mark International Womens Day and speak out against sexual violence inflicted on women by the police and paramilitary in Bastar, Human Rights Defender Hidme Markam was arrested and later jailed under the same draconian act.
While we eagerly await the release of Advocate Sudha Bharadwaj, and for her to return amongst us, we also pledge to strengthen the struggle for release of all those imprisoned under false charges, against the UAPA and against the countrys casteist carceral system.


Bombay HC grants default bail to Sudha Bharadwaj, but declines the same to eight other accused

01/12/2021

The Leaflet / by Sabah Gurmaj and Paras Nath Singh

The Bombay High Court grants default bail to Sudha Bharadwaj in the Bhima Koregaon case on the ground that the court which took cognizance of the chargesheet against her was not competent, while it denied the same to the other accused in the case, because they did not claim their right to default bail in time. Paras Nath Singh and Sabah Gurmaj write about the High Court’s application of the principles of default bail in these cases.
Read more

‘Release and Stop Harassing Khurram Parvez, Sudha Bharadwaj and Human Rights Defenders’

‘Release and Stop Harassing Khurram Parvez, Sudha Bharadwaj and Human Rights Defenders’

The Citizen / by the Citizen Bureau

32 civil society organisations from across Asia, the Pacific and Europe have called on the Indian government and courts to immediately and unconditionally release “human rights defenders” including Khurram Parvez and Sudha Bharadwaj, and to repeal the “unjust law” UAPA. They also demand bail and compensation for those jailed under UAPA but never tried, or the high proportion found not guilty.
The full statement, signed by groups in Bangladesh, Malaysia, Spain, Australia, Pakistan, Taiwan, the Netherlands and others, follows.
Read full statement

Constitutional Conduct Group: Open Letter to Citizens of India

Constitutional Conduct Group: Open Letter to Citizens of India

Constitutionalconduct.com / by former civil servants of the All India and Central Services

Dear fellow citizens,
We are a group of former civil servants of the All India and Central Services who have worked with the Central and State Governments in the course of our careers. As a group, we have no affiliation with any political party but believe in impartiality, neutrality and commitment to the Constitution of India…
It would be pertinent to recall here that the term “fourth-generation warfare” is normally employed in relation to a conflict where the state is fighting non-state actors, such as terror groups and insurgents. Civil society now finds itself placed in this company. Earlier, the term “Urban Naxal” was being used to denigrate individual human rights activists. Clearly, under the New Doval Doctrine, people like Father Stan Swamy would become the arch enemy of the Indian state and the prime concern and target of its security forces.

Read full statement

‘This fight is not just about Father Stan Swamy’: Father Mascarenhas

‘This fight is not just about Father Stan Swamy’: Father Mascarenhas

Rediff.com / by Jyoti Punwani

‘Father Stan was concerned about other innocents who may be implicated and put inside without the slightest proof, the way he was.’
Father Mascarenhas, the former principal of St Xavier’s College, Mumbai, tells Jyoti Punwani why even though Father Swamy is no more, the legal fight to prove that the 84-year-old priest from Jharkhand was not what the State portrayed him to be, is important.
Read more

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)

NIA raids human rights activist’s Srinagar residence / Statement by PUCL

NIA raids human rights activist’s Srinagar residence / Statement by PUCL


Drawing by Arun Ferreira

Release Kashmiri human rights defender Khurram Parvez

24/11/2021

Countercurrents / by PUCL

Press Statement
PUCL calls for the immediate release of Kashmiri human rights defender Khurram Parvez, who was arrested on 22nd November 2021, by the National Investigating Agency under various provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and Indian Penal Code…
PUCL firmly believes that the present action is one more attempt on part of the present establishment to silence peaceful, non violent dissenters. In the context of what has happened in recent times concerning cases of Bhima Koregaon, Delhi riots, Tripura violence, farmers protest, the tool kit case, Siddique Kappan case and various others across the country, Khurram’s arrest is one more instance of a brutalizing state machinery being used against human rights defenders.
Read full statement


NIA raids human rights activist’s Srinagar residence over terror links

23/11/2021

Deccan Herald / by Zulfikar Majid, DHNS

The probe agency sleuths carried out searches at Khurram Parvez’s residence in Sonwar and office at Amira Kadal.
In an early morning swoop, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Monday carried out searches at the residence and office of human rights activist Khurram Parvez in Srinagar, in connection with a terror funding probe…
The NIA has reportedly found links between Parvez and charge-sheeted activist Gautam Navlakha, who was arrested by the probe agency last year.
Read more


by Mary Lawlor, UN Special Rapporteur HRDs (Nov 22):
I’m hearing disturbing reports that Khurram Parvez was arrested today in Kashmir & is at risk of being charged by authorities in #India with terrorism-related crimes. He’s not a terrorist, he’s a Human Rights Defender

Father Stan’s fight goes beyond his death, says his lawyer

Father Stan’s fight goes beyond his death, says his lawyer


Bangalore, July 2021

The Indian Express / by Express News Service

Father Stan Swamy’s fight goes on, even beyond his death, said lawyer Mihir Desai, who represented the Jesuit priest and tribal rights activist in the Elgaar Parishad case.
The 84-year-old Swamy died undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Mumbai in July while he was under judicial custody. He was booked under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the Elgaar Parishad case.
Read more

Online event: Day of the Imprisoned Writer: Varavara Rao and İlhan Sami Çomak (Nov 15)

Online event: Day of the Imprisoned Writer: Varavara Rao and İlhan Sami Çomak (Nov 15)

By The Freedom to Write Committee of Irish PEN/PEN na hÉireann

The Freedom to Write Committee of Irish PEN/PEN na hÉireann is honoured to celebrate the life and work of the renowned poets, Varavara Rao (India) and İlhan Sami Çomak (Turkey), on the occasion of the International Day of the Imprisoned Writer.
Read more / register


Also read:
Why Suppressing Varavara Rao’s Poetry Furthers His Incarceration (The Swaddle / Nov 2021)
Varavara Rao need not surrender before jail officials until November 18, says HC (Scroll.in / Oct 27, 2021)

Why Suppressing Varavara Rao’s Poetry Furthers His Incarceration

Why Suppressing Varavara Rao’s Poetry Furthers His Incarceration


Campaign poster, Sep 2021

Why Suppressing Varavara Rao’s Poetry Furthers His Incarceration

11/11/2021

The Swaddle / by Rohitha Naraharisetty

Varavara Rao, a Telugu poet and activist who is currently incarcerated under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, is seeing his voice being stifled even outside the prison system.
Varavara Rao has and continues to be, among the most persecuted poets in Indian history. He founded the literary magazine Srujana and was deeply involved with the Revolutionary Writers’ Association. His work revolved around prison violence, labor struggles, and human rights.
Read more


Adverse legal opinion behind delay in releasing Varavara Rao’s book

11/11/2021

The Telegraph / by Pheroze L. Vincent

Last October, Penguin Random House India had announced that an english translation of his Telegu poems would be published under its Vintage imprint in 2021.
The publication of the English translation of a collection of Telugu poems by P. Varavara Rao, the Hyderabad activist facing trial in the Elgar Parishad “terrorism” case, has been delayed because of adverse legal opinion the publisher is said to have received.
Read more


Penguin’s Varavara Rao book in limbo? Co-editors say they have faith in publisher

10/11/2021

The News Minute / by Balakrishna Ganeshan

Is Penguin planning to indefinitely postpone the release of ‘Varavara Rao: The Revolutionary Poet’ – a collection of poems by the revolutionary poet translated into English? The co-editors of the book have said that they have faith that the publisher, Penguin, wouldn’t do this. In a joint statement issued on Tuesday, November 10, journalist and translator N Venugopal, and writer and poet Meena Kandasamy, said that they trust publisher Penguin Randomhouse India, to publish the book, which is a compilation of 65 poems written by Varavara Rao.
Read more


‘Legal Row’: Penguin Censors Poems, Then Stalls Varavara Rao’s Book Indefinitely

09/11/2021

The Quint / by Nikhila Henry

Penguin Random House was expected to publish Varavara Rao’s collection of poems in June or July 2021.
Telugu poet Varavara Rao was 20 years old when he started penning poems. Six decades on, the 81-year-old poet’s lifelong work is now in limbo as Penguin Random House has stalled the publication of a collection of his poems, citing its concerns about the “nature of charges” levelled against him, The Quint has learnt.
Read more


by Meena Kandasamy (Nov 9, 2021)

Click to enlarge

Penguin stalls Varavara Rao book over ‘nature of charges’ against him: Quint

09/11/2021

Newslaundry / by NL Team

The publication of Telugu poet Varavara Rao’s collection of poems has been put on hold by Penguin Random House, with the publisher citing its concerns about the “nature of charges” levelled against him, according to a report in the Quint.
The 81-year-old poet, who was arrested along with other activists under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in November 2018 for his alleged role in the Bhima Koregaon violence, is out on medical grounds and stationed in Mumbai.
Read more


ONLINE EVENT: DAY OF THE IMPRISONED WRITER:
VARAVARA RAO AND İLHAN SAMI ÇOMAK (NOV 15)

The Freedom to Write Committee of Irish PEN/PEN na hÉireann is honoured to celebrate the life and work of the renowned poets, Varavara Rao (India) and İlhan Sami Çomak (Turkey), on the occasion of the International Day of the Imprisoned Writer.
Read more / register