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Bhima Koregaon, COVID-19 and custodial apathy in jails / Video + Press Release

Bhima Koregaon, COVID-19 and custodial apathy in jails / Video + Press Release

Video: Press Conference demanding immediate release of BK16 prisoners

15/05/2021

By Insaf

en + hindi l 1h20min l 2021
Watch video here


Press Release: Covid-19 a virtual death sentence, new persecution tool against Bhima-Koregaon accused

15/05/2021

sabrang / by sabrangindia

Friends and families of undertrial prisoners narrate the worsening condition in Taloja and Byculla prisons, stressing a single fact – jail authorities must allow unconditional bail for all political prisoners!
Families and friends of the 15-accused in the Bhima Koregaon (hereafter called BK-15) case vehemently demanded the immediate release of undertrial prisoners from crowded jails, while talking about jail conditions during a press conference on May 15, 2021.
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Press Release: Bhima Koregaon, COVID-19 and custodial apathy in jails

15/05/2021

By Mumbai Rises to Save Democracy

Press Release
On May 15th, several family members of the 15 prisoners accused in the Bhima Koregaon-Elgaar Parishad case addressed the press via an online press conference. Some of the arrestees have spent three years behind bars and continue to await trial. Even as the COVID-19 pandemic rages with greater intensity, several among those incarcerated have contracted the virus. Most of the arrestees are over the age of 60 and most suffer severe comorbidities. Despite the rapidly deteriorating health of the incarcerated, particularly most recently in the case of Prof. Hany Babu basic medical attention has been denied to them. Demanding that those imprisoned be released on bail in light of the looming threat of the pandemic, Prof. Babu’s wife Jenny Rowena, Adv. Surendra Gadling’s wife Minal Gadling, Fr. Stan Swamy’s friend Fr. Joseph Xavier, Mahesh Raut’s sister Monali, activist Harshali Potdar of Republican Panthers Jatiya Antachi Chalwal and friend of Sudhir Dhawale, Adv. Sudha Bharadwaj’s friend Smita Gupta addressed the press.

Harshali told us of conditions within Taloja Jail from Sudhir Dhawale who informed her that majority of the staff including cleaners and cooks inside prison have tested positive for COVID-19. The hospital inside Taloja is currently treating 60-65 people for the virus. No testing facilities are available inside jail. Instead, the jail is testing people who are fit in order to show that there are no cases. Eight persons inside Sudhir Dhawale and Vernon Gonsalves’ barrack have tested positive. Yet the prison staff have refused to test them. Sudhir Dhawale despite being over the age of 45 has been denied the vaccine as he does not have an Aadhaar card. Despite the fact that his documents have been confiscated by the police, being denied the right to be vaccinated while in the custody of the state raises the question, “whose responsibility is it now?” The letters being sent by them are reaching the family with a delay of over a month and video calls are not available. Despite the Prison Act 1894 that ensures that prisoners are entitled to basic medical facilities. However, in Taloja, there are no doctors, nurses, lab technicians, etc. but only three ayurvedic practitioners. Right to proper food and water, right to intermingle with other prisoners, communication with family members and lawyers through letters and calls, speedy trials, etc. – all of these rights are being violated.

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Hany Babu Tested COVID Positive – Press Release by family members of Hany Babu

Hany Babu Tested COVID Positive – Press Release by family members of Hany Babu

Countercurrents.org / by Jenny Rowena (wife), Fathima (mother), Dr Harish M Tharayil (brother), Dr Ansari M T (brother)

Press Release
May 13, 2021

Hany Babu, an undertrial prisoner in the Bhima Koregaon case, who has been in custody since July 2020 without trial has now been diagnosed as COVID Positive.
Hany had developed an acute eye infection in Taloja Jail. He has little or no vision in his left eye due to the swelling, which has spread to the cheek, ear and forehead compromising other vital organs as well, and posing a significant risk to his life if it spreads to the brain. Due to an acute water shortage in the prison, he does not have access to enough water to even bathe his eye and is forced to dress his eye with soiled towels.
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Plea by families of all accused for release of the detainees during COVID-19 pandemic

Plea by families of all accused for release of the detainees during COVID-19 pandemic

By family members of the 15 human rights activists who are currently undertrial detainees

Date: 11/05/21

To,

The Honorable CM, Maharshtra
Mr. Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray,
CM Office, Mantralaya,
154, Madame Cama Road,
Churchgate, Mumbai,
Maharashtra – 400020

Subject: Plea for release of the Bhima Koregaon (BK) detainees during COVID-19 pandemic

Dear Sir,

We represent the family members of the 15 human rights activists who are currently undertrial detainees lodged at Byculla District Mumbai Prison and Taloja Jail, in the NIA case: RC-01/2020/NIA/MUM.

At a time when the entire country is faced with unparalleled devastation due to the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic it is particularly distressing times for us knowing that our loved ones are in jail with us having minimal knowledge of their health and wellbeing. Our anxieties have been further intensified recently learning about the death of a Taloja jail inmate due to COVID-19 due to delay in provision of medical attention. Another news report in recent times indicated that eight staff members at the Taloja Prisons have tested positive for COVID-19 and 40 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Byculla Prison.

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Petition: Hany Babu needs urgent medical treatment, release him now / Statement by his family

Petition: Hany Babu needs urgent medical treatment, release him now / Statement by his family

By Sukanya Shantha (May 13):
Update: Prof. @hanybabu was hospitalized last night at JJ hospital. His swab sample was collected once again on admission. JJ Dean Dr. Ranjit Mankeshwar has confirmed that Hany Babu has tested positive for COVID-19 this time. He will be shifted either to St. George or GTB hosp +++


Sign Petition: Hany Babu needs urgent medical treatment, release him now: CJP’s plea to Maharashtra CM

12/05/2021

By Citizens for Justice and Peace

The professor, who is an accused in the Bhima Koregaon case, is suffering from acute eye infection that could cost him his vision! But prison authorities appear apathetic to his medical emergency.

Read more/ sign petition

Video: CJP Urges Maharashtra To Release Professor Hany Babu


en | 1:30 min | 2021
Watch video


Begging for something as essential as health services is heart wrenching: Hany Babu’s family

11/05/2021

The Caravan / by Jenny Rowena

Jenny Rowena, Babu’s wife, has released a press statement detailing how Hany Babu’s health has deteriorated after he did not receive proper medical assistance in Taloja Jail. Rowena has requested immediate access to medical assistance for Babu and more transparency from jail authorities. The statement is reproduced below.
Read statement


DU Professor Hany Babu Denied Medical Care After Developing Eye Infection

11/05/2021

The Wire / by Sukanya Shantha

Babu, 55, was arrested on July 28 last year by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and has since been in Taloja central prison.
Delhi University associate professor of English, Hany Babu M.T, arrested in connection with the Elgar Parishad case has been complaining of an acute eye infection, pain, and gradual loss of vision since May 3. His family and lawyers have accused the prison authorities of denying immediate medical treatment to him.
… This is not the first time that frantic appeals have been made to the Maharashtra state government for urgent medical help. Other arrested activists and academics like Sudha Bharadwaj, Gautam Navlakha, Father Stan Swamy, Shoma Sen, Anand Teltumbde, and Varavara Rao have had to make several representations before the government and courts for basic medical treatments.
Read more

Video: Prisoners in a Pandemic – Viral hate and a raging contagion

Video: Prisoners in a Pandemic – Viral hate and a raging contagion

Video: Prisoners in a Pandemic – Viral hate and a raging contagion

11/05/2021

By United Against Hate

hindi + en | 1h40min | 2021

Watch video at United Against Hate fb page here

In the light of Covid-19 outbreak and deteriorating health of civil and human rights defenders in prisons, United Against Hate is organising a conversation addressing the issue, demanding immediate release of political prisoners. The dreadful conditions in overcrowded jails, which lack proper sanitation, hygiene and medical facilities, are conducive to spread of a virus like COVID-19 and have contributed immensely to their deteriorating health condition. Umar Khalid, GN Saibaba, Siddique Kappan, Akhil Gogoi, Jyoti Jagtap, Varvara Rao have already contracted COVID-19 behind bars. Khalid Saifi and Sudha Bhardwaj have also been unwell, as was reported by their families. It must be noted that many of them have comorbidities and have been on medications even before their arrests. It has been long since the arrests of these voices of dissent who fought for democracy, for rights of the people and for freedom from the repressive state. Their only crime is fearlessly speaking the bitter truth to power.


Sign Petition: Covid-19 is a virtual death sentence for political prisoners! Release them now! (CJP, May 2021)


Also read: In India and Around the World, Prisoners’ Rights Violated During Pandemic: Report (The Wire, March 2021)

Victim of State Hunt: Kerala MPs, MLAs, Eminent Persons Urge Hany Babu’s Release

Victim of State Hunt: Kerala MPs, MLAs, Eminent Persons Urge Hany Babu’s Release

Victim of State Hunt: Kerala MPs, MLAs, Eminent Persons Urge Hany Babu’s Release

08/05/2021

The Wire / by The Wire Staff

‘It is a gross human rights violation that even during this alarming situation falsely accused under trials are being tortured by the state.’
Four Kerala MPs, two MLAs and a hundred academic voices, activists and eminent individuals from all walks of life have written an open letter for fellow Keralite Hany Babu, urging among other things, action to ensure that the jailed scholar is released before being exposed to COVID-19.
After raids by the NIA at his house in 2019 and 2020, Hany Babu was arrested on July 28 2020 in connection with the Bhima Koregaon case, after having been called to Mumbai for five days of interrogation.
Read more


Stop hunting intellectuals: Kerala MPs, MLAs and academics demand Hany Babu’s release

07/05/2021

Maktoob / by Maktoob Staff

A group of more than 100 people from Kerala including Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha members, Kerala Assembly members, rights activists and academics have issued a statement expressing their solidarity to Hany Babu M.T, a Keralite and an assistant professor at Delhi University, who has been languishing in Mumbai jail for the past nine months under draconian UAPA in the Bhima Koregaon-Elgar Parishad case.
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Petition: Covid-19 is a virtual death sentence for political prisoners! / Covid-19 in Taloja & Byculla jails

Petition: Covid-19 is a virtual death sentence for political prisoners! / Covid-19 in Taloja & Byculla jails

Petition: Covid-19 is a virtual death sentence for political prisoners! Release them now!

06/05/2021

By Citizens for Justice and Peace

Political prisoners lodged in prisons across the country need to be released temporarily in the wake of the massive surge in COVID-19 cases. It is known that prison conditions are conducive to spread of a virus like COVID-19 and these political prisoners deserve to be released on bail.
Read more/sign petition


Kin Allege Negligence as Prisoner in Taloja Jail Dies of COVID-19

07/05/2021

The Wire / by The Wire Staff

Activist Varavara Rao had also previously complained about the healthcare facilities in Taloja jail in an an affidavit submitted to a court.
A 22-year-old undertrial prisoner lodged in Navi Mumbai’s Taloja jail has died of COVID-19 at a hospital, even as his family members alleged that the negligence of prison authorities led to his death.
The prisoner, identified as Vishal Anand Dasari, died at St George Hospital in Mumbai on Wednesday morning, a jail official said.
Read more


Maharashtra’s Prisons Are Feeling the Brunt of a Crisis That Could Have Been Averted

02/05/2021

The Wire / by Sukanya Shantha

Despite several directions from the Supreme Court and high court to decongest its overcrowded prisons in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state government has neglected the issue.
Read more

An Innocent Hany Babu Has Spent Nine Months in Jail: An Appeal From His Family

An Innocent Hany Babu Has Spent Nine Months in Jail: An Appeal From His Family

The Wire / by The Wire Staff

“Any further delay in commencing the trial would take his personal, academic and intellectual life further away from Hany Babu.”
Hany Babu’s family has issued an appeal for his release from prison, saying that the National Investigation Agency has arrested an innocent man. Even though forensic examinations have found that evidence against the accused persons in the Elgar Parishad case was planted, Babu’s family says, the courts and investigative agencies are not taking corrective steps.
Read more

Release Sudha Bharadwaj! / Health of Trade Unionist Sudha Bharadwaj deteriorates in Jail

Release Sudha Bharadwaj! / Health of Trade Unionist Sudha Bharadwaj deteriorates in Jail

Update by Bar & Bench (May 13):
#BombayHighCourt directs State to file medical report of #elgarparishadcase accused Sudha Bharadwaj in her application for interim bail on medical grounds +++
The medical report will be filed by the State on May 17, the application will be heard on May 21. Bench of Justices KK Tated and Abhay Ahuja heard the plea today +++
Update by ayesha arvind (May 13)
Daughter of #SudhaBharadwaj has approached #BombayHC seeking interim medical bail for the activist. HC calls for her medical report on May 17. Bharadwaj will be taken to JJ hospital today. #NIA says there’s no urgency in the matter. Next date of hearing- May 21 +++
Her counsel says #SudhaBharadwaj is in a ward with 50 other women, incarcerated in extremely unsanitary conditions. No possibility of social distancing. Says state must file reply soon. HC- state working on only 15% strength. Will have to give them at least 4 weeks to file reply +++

Video: Release Sudha Bharadwaj!

01/05/2021


hindi | 3:07min | 2021

By ground xero

Kaladas, a cultural activist and a long term associate of Sudha Bharadwaj discusses her current medical condition and the political reasons for her arrest. He appeals to all comrades to support her immediate bail and medical treatment.
Demand immediate of Sudha Bharadwaj. Demand immediate release of all political prisoners.
Watch video


Click to enlarge
Bhilai (Chhattisgarh, May 1, 2021)

Health of Trade Unionist Sudha Bharadwaj deteriorates in Jail

02/05/2021

tnlabour.in / by tnlabour.in

Workers demand her immediate release and proper medical treatment
Trade Union leader and Advocate Sudha Bharadwaj’s health condition has deteriorated in Byculla Jail in Maharashtra. She has been complaining of body aches and diarrhoea in the past week. Her union members and family sent messages today saying she is having difficulty breathing. Even though these are typical symptoms of COVID and the jail has over 40 COVID positive patients, she is not being treated as per covid protocol. The Jail authorities claim that her RT-PCR for covid is negative.
Read more


Health of Trade Unionist Sudha Bharadwaj Deteriorates in Jail: Workers Demand Release

01/05/2021

Ground Xero / by Ground Xero

Workers demand her immediate release and proper medical treatment
Trade Union leader and Advocate Sudha Bharadwaj’s health condition has deteriorated in Byculla Jail in Maharashtra. She has been complaining of body aches and diarrhoea in the past week. Her union members and family sent messages today saying she is having difficulty breathing. Even though these are typical symptoms of COVID and the jail has over 40 COVID positive patients, she is not being treated as per covid protocol. The Jail authorities claim that her RT-PCR for COVID is negative.
Read more

Sudha Bharadwaj’s health deteriorating, say kin, friends / Release Sudha Bharadwaj!

Sudha Bharadwaj’s health deteriorating, say kin, friends / Release Sudha Bharadwaj!


May1, 2021 in Bhilai

Sudha Bharadwaj’s health deteriorating, say kin, friends

01/05/2021

The Indian Express / by Express News Service

Family members and friends of lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj, lodged in jail in connection with the Elgaar Parishad case, said on Friday that the activist’s health is deteriorating.
Bharadwaj is lodged in Byculla women’s jail in Mumbai, which has seen over 40 new Covid-19 cases this month. Jail officials said that Bharadwaj had last week tested negative for Covid-19.
Read more


Release Sudha Bharadwaj!

01/05/2021

Click to enlarge
Bhilai (Chhattisgarh, Mai 1, 2021)

Sudha Bharadwaj, currently in Byculla jail, has been showing covid like symptoms

By Chhotubhai Vasava:
Sudha bharadwaj is ill in byculla jail fatigue, lack of appetite, loose motions and now she has also lost her sense taste and smell. She has applied for medical checkup. none done. She needs to be treated immediately +++

By N S:
Sudha Bhardwaj ill in byculla jail. Not getting treatment. Please please my lords in the Supreme Court take suo Moto cognisance and release all the bk 16 on bail +++

By Kavita Krishnan:
This is so awful. In Modi’s India we worry about our friends dying of Covid-19 – but also have to worry about friends imprisoned indefinitely on false pretexts, getting Covid-19 in prison, remaining undiagnosed and untreated.
Free Sudha Bharadwaj and ensure the best treatment +++

By The Polis Project:
Sudha Bharadwaj, one of the BK 16, is displaying COVID symptoms. She is not being provided medical treatment despite request +++

By ABA Justice Defenders Program:
Alarming reports that human rights lawyer @Sudhabharadwaj has been denied access to medical attention amid a severe #COVID19 crisis. We urge authorities to immediately allow access to adequate medical care and grant pre-trial bail to all #BhimaKoregaon defenders +++

#ReleaseSudhaBharadwaj
#DeCongestPrisons
#bhimakoregaon16


Also read: RELEASE SUDHA BHARADWAJ AND OTHERS FRAMED IN BHIMA KOREGAON CASE
CALL FOR INDEPENDENT TIME-BOUND PROBE INTO HACKING CLAIMS (April 24, 2021)