Students demand justice for 16 Dalit activists who have been behind bars for three years without official charges under the UAPA
In a powerful display of solidarity and support, over 50 students from Azim Premji University in Bengaluru gathered on Monday to demand the release of 16 Dalit activists who were arrested in 2018 under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
These activists, who were advocates for marginalised groups, were accused of inciting violence during a celebration in Bhima Koregaon. Despite no official charges being brought up against them three years later, they remain behind bars. Read more
Today, 14 April 2023 marks four years, seven months and eighteen days since Gautam Navlakha’s arrest on 28 August 2018. A well-known human rights activist, respected journalist and writer of long standing, Gautam has now been incarcerated for three years since 14 April 2020 when he surrendered at the NIA office in Delhi. Read more
Petition by Amnesty International: Act now to demand the release of the BK16!
Since 2018, Indian authorities have arrested 16 activists under a draconian anti-terror law Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) in connection with the Bhima Koregaon-Elgar Parishad case. 11 of them continue to languish in prison without trial. The repression of activists must end.
INDIAN AUTHORITIES MUST RELEASE ALL IMPRISONED ACTIVISTS IN THE BK16 CASE!
Act now to urge the Union Home Minister of India, Amit Shah to:
– Drop all charges against the 16 activists and immediately release the 12 who remain in detention
– Pending their release, ensure that they are granted prompt, regular, and unrestricted access to medical care and other basic necessities
– Repeal or substantially amend the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
No Straws, No Bail, No Justice: Remembering Stan Swamy Who Died In Custody
Live Law / by Areeb Uddin Ahmed
“When each dissenter is put behind bars, a thorn each is removed from the flesh of the ruling class.” – Late Father Stan Swamy.
On July 5, 2021, a year ago, the Bombay High Court was informed that tribal rights activist Father Stan Swamy was no more and he passed away while being in custody in the Bhima Koregaon case. This happened after a month when he was admitted to private hospital in Mumbai, that too after the intervention of the High Court.
He arrested under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) on October 8, 2020, for his¯ alleged links in the Bhima Koregaon- Elgar Parishad caste violence, which he vehemently denied. At the age of 83 and suffering from Parkinson’s disease, Father Stan claimed he had difficulty eating and and drinking in prison. Read more
India: A year on, demand for justice for Father Stan Swamy’s death in custody
By Amnesty International, International Secretariat
On 5 July 2021, 84-year-old Jesuit priest and human rights defender Father Stan Swamy died in judicial custody at the Holy Family Hospital, in Mumbai, India. On the first anniversary of his death, we, the 13 undersigned international and national human rights organisations, remember Stan Swamy’s decades-long commitment to realising the rights of Dalit and indigenous peoples in India, especially in Jharkhand State. We recall our demand for an independent and effective investigation into his death in custody and for the immediate and unconditional release of the 15 other prominent human rights defenders charged in the same case. Read full AI statement
Remembering Indian Jesuit Stan Swamy, who died a prisoner
UCA News / by Cedric Prakash
He had the courage to question, to act when he did not get the right answers. He paid the price with his life.
The celebrated Greek philosopher Aristotle developed the methodology of asking a question to ultimately arrive at the truth. Jesuit Father Stan Swamy, whose first death anniversary is on 5 July 2022, was no stranger to philosophy or the scientific method.
For years, he coached generations of young women and men, in social analysis. He taught them to ask questions to understand what is happening in society. Besides, he had the courage to question; and he asked the most difficult and uncomfortable questions. Read more
Indian Jesuit priest’s native village eternalize his martyrdom
UCA News / by UCA News reporter
Residents of Virgalur in southern Tamil Nadu declare his death anniversary on July 5 as ‘Father Stan Swamy Day’
Every July 5 will be observed as ‘Father Stan Swamy Day’ in memory of the Indian Jesuit priest and tribal rights activist who died in jail on this day, declared residents of his native village in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. Read more
Letter by 12 Members of European Parliament
by Idoia Villanueva, Member of European Parliament
The situation of human rights defenders in India is very worrying. Today is the anniversary of the death in prison of HRD Stan Swamy, for which no one has been held accountable. We call on the President of India to launch an investigation and end the harassment of HRDs.
Video: Persecution of Religious Minorities and their Defenders in India
en | 1h 14min | 2022
By Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) Channel
An event commemorating the death in custody of Father Stan Swamy Watch video
Elgar Parishad case accused fast on Fr Stan Swamy’s first death anniversary
The Times of India / by Bella Jaisinghani
… His fellow prisoners in the Elgar case, activist Sudhir Dhawale, lawyers Surendra Gadling and Arun Ferreira, activists Mahesh Raut, Rona Wilson, Vernon Gonsalves, Sagar Gorkhe and Ramesh Gaichor, academicians Hany Babu and Anand Teltumbde and journalist Gautam Navlakha, observed a day’s hunger strike ‘satyagraha’ in Taloja jail against the “injustice” done to Fr Stan and “lack of treatment during his illness”. The jail denied there was such a protest.
The Bombay Catholic Sabha (BCS) and St Peter’s Church, Bandra, organised a tribute in the church hall. Read more
Civil society activists came together to remember Fr. Stan Swamy on his martyrdom day through a silent protest depicting the deteriorating democratic scenario in the country. #RepealUAPA #ReleaseAllPoliticalPrisoners #ReleaseBK15
by All India Lawyers Association For Justice (AILAJ)
In commemoration of the first death anniversary of Father Stan Swamy, AILAJ held a nationwide protest. As members of the legal fraternity, we cannot turn a blind eye or stay silent about the particularly alarming situation in the country.
Pics: Protest in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu
Campaigners from @JesuitMissions @JesuitsBritain have marched through London and held a prayer vigil outside the Indian High Commission to remember Father Stan Swamy, who died in Indian custody one year ago after false accusations of terrorism.
Maharashtra MLC met Sagar Gorkhe in jail / On 7th day of his hunger strike Sagar Gorkhe called it off
Sagar Gorkhe began “fast unto death” on May 20 alleging harassment by jail authorities.
Bhima Koregaon accused Sagar Gorkhe called off his hunger strike on Friday after Member of Legislative Council Kapil Patil met him at Taloja Central Jail. Read more
Maharashtra MLC to meet Bhima Koregaon accused Sagar Gorkhe in jail
The Hindu / by Sonam Saigal
He has been on an indefinite hunger strike alleging harassment by jail authorities.
Member of the Legislative Council (MLC) Kapil Patil will visit the Taloja Central Jail to meet Bhima Koregaon accused Sagar Gorkhe, who is on an indefinite hunger strike alleging harassment by jail authorities. Read more
State of Maharashtra,
Home Department, Mantralaya
Hunger Strike unto death against the harassment from Taloja Central Jail’s apathetic administration.
I, Sagar Tatyaram Gorakhe, am a Political Prisoner under the Elgar Parishad Bhima Koregao Case, and have been locked up in the Taloja Central Jail since September 2020. It is with extreme distress that I inform you that since the very beginning the prison administration has treated the Bhima Koregao Case accused with utmost prejudice. As a result, the prison has become a torture camp for my co-accused and me. As you must be aware that it was the maltreatment by the prison administration that led to the custodial death of Father Stan Swami last year. Even today our basic human rights are being trampled over every day in the prison. It is because the situation has become absolutely unbearable that I must resort to an agonising hunger strike in protest. …
Accused Sagar Gorkhe goes on hunger strike against jail authorities
Sabrangindia / by Sabrangindia
Accused alleges harassment by jail authorities and denial of basic facilities, Co-accused Gautam Navlakha seeks special court’s permission to use a mosquito net
Sagar Gorkhe, a cultural activist who has been locked up in the Taloja Central Jail since September 2020 as a virtual political prisoner in the Elgar Parishad Bhima Koregaon case, has now gone on hunger strike to protest his inhuman treatment in jail. Gorkhe has written to Maharashtra’s Home Minister, informing him about his decision that he was forced to take due to Taloja Central Jail allegedly harassing him and denying him his basic human rights. Read more
As Sagar Gorkhe announces fast unto death, Gautam Navlakha approaches NIA court seeking mosquito net
The Leaflet / by Sabah Gurmat
Gorkhe’s letter to Maharashtra Home Minister, Dilip Walse Patil, equates the conditions in Taloja jail to that of a “torture camp”.
SAGAR Gorkhe, an activist and performer with cultural troupe Kabir Kala Manch, accused of inciting violence in the Bhima Koregaon (Elgar Parishad) case, has written to Maharashtra Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil announcing his hunger strike in protest against the conditions at Taloja jail.
Meanwhile, septuagenarian activist and journalist Gautam Navlakha, who is a co-accused lodged in the same prison, approached the National Investigation Agency (‘NIA’) seeking a mosquito net. Read more
Elgar Parishad accused alleges harassment by Taloja jail officer
Mid-day.com / by Faizan Khan
Sagar Tatyaram Gorkhe has written to the state home minister Dilip Walse Patil, threatens to go on an indefinite hunger strike if action is not taken immediately.
Sagar Tatyaram Gorkhe, an accused in Elgar Parishad-Bhima Koregaon accused, has written to Maharashtra Home Minister Dilip Walse-Patil, alleging harassment by the Taloja Jail superintendent. He has threatened to go on a hunger strike until death.
“It is with extreme distress that I inform you that since the very beginning the prison administration has treated the Bhima Koregaon case accused with utmost prejudice. As a result, the prison has become a torture camp for my co-accused and me. As you must be aware that it was the maltreatment by the prison administration that led to the custodial death of Father Stan Swami last year,” his letter reads. Read more
Jail officials delaying treatment to all Elgar Parishad case accused: Sagar Gorkhe writes to HM
Hindustan Times / by HT Correspondent
He has also urged the home minister to immediately stop the scanning of all incoming and outgoing mail by the jail officials.
Sagar Gorkhe, one of the accused in the Elgar Parishad-Bhima Koregaon violence case, has written to state home minister Dilip Walse-Patil alleging that Taloja jail authorities are discriminating against several accused in the case and deliberately delaying medical treatment to them even though they are suffering from several serious ailments. Read more
Video Statement by Sagar Gorkhe and Ramesh Gaichor (Sep 5, 2020)
hindi/ english subtitles | 2:20min | 2020
Kabir Kala Manch activists Sagar Gorkhe & Ramesh Gaichor have alleged that they’re being forced by the NIA to give confessional statements, claiming they are a part of Maoist organization. The two refused, and were arrested in The Bhima Koregaon case.
Their statement was recorded on Sep 5, 2020. Watch their statement
Left groups protest across Punjab, seek to revive spirit of Bhagat Singh’s martyrdom
Counterview / by Harsh Thakor
Despite political change of guards, which brought Aam Aadmi Party to power, recent events suggest that Left-wing forces of different shades appear to be steadily gaining ground in Punjab.
… Held on April 8 in Singrur on the very day Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru flung a bomb in the parliament house to symbolise liberation from colonial slavery, the Kirti Kisan Union, Punjab Students Union, Naujwan Bharat Sabha and Zameen Prapti Sangharsh demanded unconditional release of political prisoners. Speakers summarised how activists like Gautam Navlakha , GN Saibaba, Rona Wilson, Anand Teltumbde, Varavara Rao, Umar Khalid, Sudha Bharadwaj, Devinder Ghullar etc. were branded for waging a conspiracy against the state as they were posing a question to the autocratic character of the rulers or confronting fascism. Read more
Protest for release of activists
Times of India / by TNN
The farmer and student organisations protested in Faridkot on Friday for the release of those who have completed their sentences and of activists who have been arrested on flimsy grounds. Activists of Kirti Kisan Union, Naujwan Bharat Sabha and Punjab Students Union raised slogans for the release of Prof GN Saibaba, Anand Teltumbde, Gautam Navlakha, Umar Khalid, Devinderpal Singh Bhullar and others. Read more
Left leaders protest, seek release of political prisoners
Tribune of India / by Tribune News Service
Members of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) New Democracy on Friday held a protest against the non-release of Sikh prisoners who had completed their sentences and imprisonment of political prisoners, intellectuals, writers, journalists and activists in false cases. Read more
Human Rights Day: BK16 Solidarity (in pictures) / Is there really cause for celebration?
PUCL Chhattisgarh together with several other unions and organisations organised events in Raipur and Bilaspur on the occasion of Human Rights day. Over 200 people were present in both cities. They also submitted a memorandum to the chief minister and governor of the state Read PUCL press release (hindi)
click to enlarge
‘Speaking Up Is Not Anti-National’: Global Groups Condemn Attacks on India’s Rights Defenders
The Wire / by The Wire Staff
‘Every single government authority, whose job it is to safeguard human rights, has actively undermined them.’
The Indian diaspora and 30 international human rights groups across over 15 countries on Friday – on the occasion of Human Rights Day – came together for a global campaign to condemn growing attacks on human rights in India. In a statement, they advocated for the repeal of laws that are criminalising the defence of human rights and jailing human rights defenders in the country. Read more
Through an interactive street performance on 10 December, International Human Rights Day, at Rathaus Neukoelln in Berlin, the India Justice Project called for solidarity with imprisoned human rights defenders in India. Read IJP press release
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Release intellectuals, writers arrested under UAPA: Farm outfit
Times of India / by Neel Kamal
Hours before winding up the year-long farmers’ protest at the Delhi borders, farmer organisation BKU (Ekta Ugrahan) on Friday observed the international human rights day and demanded the release of all intellectuals and writers arrested under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) Bhima Koregaon, Elgar Parishad case and Delhi riots cases. Read more
By Neha Dixit (Dec 11)
+++ The fabulous Navsharan Singh speaks of Sudha Bharadwaj’s release as several women farmers gather at the Bibi Gulaab Kaur stage to wrap up the 15 month long protest and return home victorious +++ Watch video
Human Rights Day: Is there really cause for celebration?
Bar & Bench / by Areeb Uddin Ahmed, Aditya AK
In the face of what has come to pass in the recent past, as human rights continue to be sacrificed at the altar of national security and other reasons, we ask ourselves whether there really is cause for celebration.
Every December 10 is celebrated as Human Rights Day, in honour of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), a document that serves as the blueprint for the freedoms assured to persons across the world. Read more
Rally for the release of Gautam Navlakha held in Canada
Rally for the release of Gautam Navlakha held in Canada
Countercurrents.org / by Radical Desi
On the 37th anniversary of the 1984 Sikh Genocide, South Asian activists gathered in Surrey to raise their voices for a jailed Indian scholar, who was behind documenting the tragedy and exposing those involved.
Gautam Navlakha was arrested on trumped up charges in April 2020, and is currently lodged in jail near Mumbai. His only crime is daring to question the powerful, and always standing up for the minorities and the oppressed. Read more
Man behind early authentic field report on Sikh Genocide is in jail; will the world take notice?
Straight.com / by Gurpeet Singh
Gautam Navlakha has consistently spoken out on behalf of people being persecuted in India.
As we approach the first week of November, marking the 37th anniversary of the Sikh massacre in India, a scholar who helped document the tragedy is struggling for his release from an Indian jail.
Gautam Navlakha, who was arrested in April 2020 on trumped-up charges along with other prominent scholars and social-justice activists, is currently lodged in prison near Mumbai. His only crime is that he dared to question the powerful and has always stood up for minorities and the oppressed. Read more
Human chain formed in Tamil Nadu seeking release of prisoners in Bhima Koregaon case (pictures)
Human chain formed in Tamil Nadu seeking release of prisoners in Bhima Koregaon case
The Hindu / by Staff Reporter
‘It is a protest against stifling of all voices for democratic rights’
The arrest of thinkers, social activits and writers in connection with the Bhima Koregaon case is not just a blantant violation of human rights, but a threat to intellectuals who speak against Hindutva forces, said Madurai MP Su. Venkatesan on Wednesday. Read more
Activists Form Human Chains to Demand Release of Bhima-Koregaon Detainees
Newsclick / by Neelambaran A
Left, youth, Dalit and human rights organisations in Tamil Nadu slam the BJP government for muzzling dissent.
More than 25 Left, youth, Dalit and human rights organisations in Tamil Nadu formed human chains on the International Day of Democracy on Wednesday to protest the illegal detention of intellectuals and activists, including in the Bhima-Koregaon case, under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), 1967. Read more