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Webinar: Human Rights Defenders in India: Stories from the Trenches

Webinar: Human Rights Defenders in India: Stories from the Trenches

By International Solidarity for Academic Freedom in India (InSAF India)

Saturday, 31 July 2021
7 pm (IST)

Register here

We mourn the institutional murder of Father Stan Swamy that has fully exposed to the world the machinations of Indian state agencies and a compromised judiciary.

Dear friends,
As a growing number of human rights defenders are being incarcerated using charges of sedition, terrorism and anti-national activities, other in the movements and causes they have stood for and struggled with through constitutional means, now, in turn, are fighting for their release. It is clear the state is determined to silence these activists by any means necessary, framing them in false cases and denying them bail repeatedly.
– Why was Father Stan and his centre in Ranchi, Jharkhand (Bagaicha) such a threat to the state?
– How are corporations/commercial interests complicit with the state in trying to suppress the movements of such grassroots organizations and eliminate these activists?
– How does the Indian legal system enable those in power to rule by law instead of governing under a rule of law?
Through this webinar we hope to shine a light on how grassroots organizations and activists have stood up to the carceral state and its allied interests, and what support the international community can provide.

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Rage and Mourn in Response to Father Stan Swamy Death

Rage and Mourn in Response to Father Stan Swamy Death

BR Ambedkar’s granddaughter Rama Ambedkar demands release of all political prisoners

08/07/2021 / by Scroll Staff

‘Those involved in the Bhima Koregaon case are facing fabricated charges and being called Naxalites, but they work for the poor, just like Father Stan.’
Read more

Stan Swamy Murder Has Lit A Spark Turning Into A Prairie Fire In Challenging Proto-Fascism

08/07/2021 / by Harsh Thakor

It is most heartening how the masses of India are not taking the custodial murder of Father Stan Swamy lying down. We must congratulate all the sections be it of the workers, peasants, youth or students who have collectively galvanised forces to crystallise resistance against neo-fascism. A spark is virtually being turned into a Prairie fire. In the last few days a spurt of qualitative protests has taken place in Orissa, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab and all around the country.
Read more

Rage and Mourn: Protests Across the Country in Response to Father Stan Swamy Death

07/07/2021 / by Gauri Lankesh News Desk

BK undertrials have demanded a judicial inquiry in the institutional murder of Fr. Stan Swamy and that the Taloja jail superintendent Kaustubh Kurlekar
With the news of the demise of tribal rights activist Father Stan Swamy on 5th July, under judicial custody in the Elgar Parishad case, masses all across the country, as well as many rights defenders globally, have expressed grief and anguish at the Modi regime for its murderous hounding of those who have been resisting its fascist rule. Following the funeral of Fr. Swamy which was live-streamed on YouTube for his family and well-wishers to witness, protests have erupted throughout the country.
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Those Jailed In Bhima Koregaon Case Be Released: Opposition Leaders To President


By The Leaflet (July 6)

Opposition leaders write to the President expressing outrage at the death in custody of Fr #StanSwamy. Say all those jailed in the Bhima Koregaon case as well as other political detenues who have been jailed for sedition under draconian laws like UAPA must be released forthwith.

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Press Briefing by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights


By Liz Throssell, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Press briefing notes on India
Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Liz Throssell
Location: Geneva
Date: 6 July 2021
We are deeply saddened and disturbed by the death of 84-year-old Father Stan Swamy, a human rights defender and Jesuit priest, in Mumbai yesterday, following his arrest in October 2020 under India’s Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
Father Stan had been held in pre-trial detention without bail since his arrest, charged with terrorism-related offences in relation to demonstrations that date back to 2018. He was a long-standing activist, particularly on the rights of indigenous peoples and other marginalized groups. While in Mumbai’s Taloja Central Jail, his health deteriorated and he reportedly contracted COVID-19. His repeated applications for bail were rejected. He died as the Bombay High Court was considering an appeal against the rejection of his bail application.
Read full statement

Stan Swamy: India outrage over death of jailed activist


BBC / by BBC

Thousands of activists, political leaders and Indian citizens have taken to social media to pay tributes to jailed tribal rights activist Stan Swamy who died at the age of 84.
Many also expressed anger at the way he was jailed during Covid-19 and repeatedly denied bail.
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Native village in Tiruchy grieves Stan Swamy’s demise


The New Indian Express / by Jayakumar Madala

Scores of vehicles started arriving at Virugallur village in Tiruchy, moments after news of Fr Stan Swamy’s death broke in the media. People from near and far descended in the 84-year-old priest’s native village to express their condolences.
“He was a humble man who dedicated a lifetime to the welfare of tribal people,” said Swamy’s brother TPL Irudayaswamy (89).
Read more







• • •

We are ruled by fiends – The have put a curse upon this land


Newslaundry / by Arundhati Roy

The excruciating, slow-motion, custodial murder of 84-year-old Father Stan Swamy, a Jesuit priest who spent decades of his life in the service of India’s dispossessed, took place in the show window of our democracy. Our judiciary, police, intelligence services, and prison system are responsible. Our mainstream media too. All of them were aware of the case, and of his failing health. And yet he continued to be ground down.
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Video: Memorial mass for Father Stan Swamy // Online Condolences Meeting: #RIP Stan

Video: Memorial mass for Father Stan Swamy // Online Condolences Meeting: #RIP Stan

Video: Memorial mass for Father Stan Swamy


By St Peter’s Church

Memorial mass for Father Stan Swamy at St Peter’s Church in Bandra today.

en | 1h57min | 2021
Watch here

St Peter’s Church in Bandra

Video: Online Condolences Meeting #RIP Stan


en | 2h 38min | 2021
Watch video @ Youtube Indian Social Institute

Video: Jailed to Die? India’s incarcerated human rights defenders and the Covid emergeny

Video: Jailed to Die? India’s incarcerated human rights defenders and the Covid emergeny

en | 2h | 2021

By InSAF India

Public Appeal Meeting with family members of #BhimaKoregaon 16, and legal and human rights experts.

Watch video

By InSAF (June 19):
We’re Live now talking about India’s incarcerated human right defenders and the #covid emergency with @lsnul @jennyrowena @Aakar__Patel @koel_ko, Simi Korote, Shahrukh Alam and Father Xavier +++
Shahrukh Alam draws important comparison between Indian and other legal systems, noting how the Indian legal system allows for a lengthy period of detention even before the person is found guilty +++
She further notes on how recent #UAPA FIRs against political dissidents are against the right to political protest but are highly problematic in their treatment of dissidents from marginalised groups, openly criminalised and reek of islamophobia +++
Many of the speakers today pointed out, we need sustained international pressure – even for ensuring pasic rights for political detainees. Please consider signing and sharing our letter today +++
@Aakar__Patel notes how post 2014, under a majoritarian government, all minority communities have been sidelined. He further notes how this majoritarianism has resulted in specific legal implications, mostly for Muslims and other minorities +++
He also notes, “the only reason the Bhima Koregaon undertrials are still in jail is because of the state’s malice…”. Are we just going to allow our human right defenders to languish in prisons for the satisfaction of the Indian govt? We need accountability & justice! +++
Listening to Sagar Gonsalves speak about his father and his helplessness in ‘Jailed to Die? India’s incarcerated human rights defenders and the Covid emergency’ … enraging! +++
Father Xavier talks of how Father Stan Swamy, 84 year old in prison, has been criminalised for standing for the rights of the marginalised, specifically rights of tribal and adivasi communities. Shame on the Indian state! +++
Kudos to @jennyrowena for speaking so bravely about how her partner, Prof Hany Babu has challenged caste hierarchies within academia, politics and the country for which he is now being punished. She notes the disproportionate caste representation in these spaces +++
And how the only way to change this is to get freedom from the caste colony, demanding accountabilities Ty from the savarnas! She calls for the takeover of universities, legal system, political systems by Dalit-Bahujans for any hope of change in this country +++
@jennyrowena notes how her husband, prof Hany Babu had a severe eye infection in prison which has since even threatened his vision but was denied appropriate medical attention. This brutality of this legal system is horrific. We stand in solidarity with @jennyrowena & Hany Babu +++

Also Read: Prominent international figures support appeal for release of human rights defenders as India faces Covid emergency (InSAF India, June 10)

Release activists held for Bhima-Koregaon violence, says sabha

Release activists held for Bhima-Koregaon violence, says sabha

The Tribune India / by Tribune News Service

Activists of the Jamhoori Adhikar Sabha and other like-minded organisations on Wednesday staged a protest and carried out a march while seeking immediate release of those who were booked and arrested for the 2018 Bhima-Koregaon violence.
Read more

Farmers’ body raises voice for jailed activists again

Farmers’ body raises voice for jailed activists again

Tikri border, June 14, 2021

The Times of India / by Neel Kamal

Six months after being described as “urban naxals” and “Maoists” for demanding the release of activists arrested in cases of Bhima Koregaon Alghar Parishad and Delhi riots, farm organisation BKU (Ekta Ugrahan) reiterated its demand for unconditional release of writers, intellectuals and rationalists. They again displayed photos of Gautam Navlakha, Natasha Narwal, Soma Sen, Gautam Gilani, Rona Wilson and Umar Khalid. Members of Naujwan Bharat Sabha and Punjab Students Union (Shaheed Randhawa) released a poster depicting people in a cage. The protesters called for dedicating a fortnight to support jailed activists.
Read more

Also Read: Farmers’ groups attempt to ‘broaden’ struggle (Jan 2021) / Jailed activists join farmers protests (Dec 2020)

BK16 Solidarity in Zurich, Berlin, Frankfurt, Cambridge, Dundee and Online (pics)

BK16 Solidarity in Zurich, Berlin, Frankfurt, Cambridge, Dundee and Online (pics)

#FreeBK16 #FreeThemAll @ June 12

Zurich, Switzerland: Solifonds in collaboration with the Frauenrechts Gruppe of Amnesty Zurich Chapter, held a demonstration to protest for the release of the 16 human rights activists in India. They also wrote a solidarity message for the prisoners signed by the people who participated at the activities.

Berlin and Frankfurt, Germany: IndienKoGruppe: Solidarity from Berlin and Frankfurt. Defending the Defenders of Indian Constitutional Values and Human Rights.
Freedom shall prevail, defend the defenders!

Cambridge, UK

Dundee, Scotland: Amnesty Dundee – The BK 16 are a group of human rights defenders who have been imprisoned indefinitely by the Indian Government for standing up for human rights.

Amnesty Kenya: #BK16 solidarity from Nairobi, Kenya. Our members, staff and Board stand with the 16 Human Rights Defenders incarcerated in India #FreeBK16 #FreeThemAll unconditionally now

Amnesty International UK South Asia Action, Minehead group: Today, 12 June 2021, is an Action Day across Europe to raise awareness of the BK16 Below are the AI Minehead group asking you to #FreeBK16 and #FreeThemAll

Video: The Bhima Koregaon Conspiracy Case – Three Years Too Many …

Video: The Bhima Koregaon Conspiracy Case – Three Years Too Many …

By Family and Friends of BK16

Three years ago, on 6 June 2018, the first arrests of human rights activists in the Bhima Koregaon Conspiracy Case occurred. Today, 16 of the finest citizens of India face trumped up charges in this fabricated case.

Please join the Family Members and friends of BK16 on a webinar and Book Release.
Book Release by Bhanwar Meghvanshi, leading writer and Dalit Intellectual

hindi + en | 4h 30min | 2021
Watch video at PUCL fb