While out on temporary bail in August, the rights activist sang a song written by Kabir Kala Manch’s Ramesh Gaichor for his friends and colleagues about the sordid conditions in prison.
Mumbai: Surendra Gadling, a human rights lawyer from Nagpur, has always considered courtrooms his stage. Between serious arguments, he would casually break into songs of cultural and political resistance. He would be commonly found invoking political theories and remembering shahirs from the Dalit community amid serious legal arguments. His court appearances usually attracted an eager audience from among his peers and junior lawyers. Read more
Video: The Prison Song of Surendra Gadling
hindi | 11min | 2021
51- year-old Gadling, a well-known criminal lawyer in Nagpur, was once a cultural activist, who sang songs of political resistance. The 11- minutes- long rendition tells you what it means to be incarcerated in Indian prisons. From food, water, to medical care, everything is a struggle, Gadling narrates. The song was recorded by one of Gadling’s colleagues and was made available to The Wire after obtaining his consent. Watch video
Judicial probe plea on Stan Swamy arrest anniversary
The Telegraph / by Animesh Bisoee
Over 150 rights activists staged a dharna for over two hours at the Raj Bhavan in Ranchi.
Protests and programmes were organised in Jharkhand, Kerala and Karnataka on Friday to mark the first anniversary of the arrest of octogenarian Jesuit priest and rights defender Father Stan Swamy who passed away in July this year in judicial custody. Read more
Dharna demands punishment of the perpetrators of Stan Swamy’s murder
Oct 8, 2021. Dharna in front of Raj Bhavan in Ranchi
Various mass organizations and left parties demanding: Punishment of the perpetrators of Stan’s murder!
Release all political prisoners!
Stan Swamy a Symbol for Justice & Hope
By Jamsehdpur Jesuits
en | 3:15min | 2021
Fr. Jerry Cutinha, S.J, the Provincial of Jamshedpur Jesuits comes forward in recalling the footsteps of Stan Swamy as a symbol for Justice & Hope. Watch video
by Teesta Setalvad (Oct 8):
LEST WE FORGET: A Day of Crime a Precious Life Lost! this day last yr, the Modi govt arrested Fr #StanSwamy via #UAPA. Never questioned in custody. Died in July, denied bail.
Testimony of Stan Swamy two days before his arrest
To understand the life struggle of Stan Swamy, it is necessary to understand the history and struggle of the Adivasi community in Jharkhand and the country. There is a need to understand the traditional rights that Adivasis have on natural resources such as water, forest, and land. It is only then that we can appreciate what Swamy stood for and fought for. Read more
India Must Stop Criminalising the Defence of Human Rights: UN Special Rapporteur
Mary Lawlor speaks to The Wire about the situation of human rights defenders in the country, the use of repressive laws by the government and more.
On May 1, 2020, Mary Lawlor, a Dublin-based human rights expert with over four decades of experience engaging in human rights work, took up the mandate of Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders (HRDs) at the United Nations. Along with her work globally, Lawlor has been closely following the deteriorating human rights conditions in India and feels the country has repeatedly failed to protect the rights and interests of HRDs in the country. Read more
As many as 1,226 Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) cases were filed by the central investigation agencies and state police in 2019, a 33% increase from 2016, the Union government told the parliament. However, when it was asked to share details of how the law has been used, the government avoided answering in ‘larger public interest’.
… In July 2018, ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, a protest was held by lawyers and civil rights activists against the UAPA. Gautam Navlakha of People’s Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR), who also participated in the protest, had suggested that a movement against UAPA was needed and efforts should be made to seek the commitment of political parties ahead of the general election so that it is repealed.
At the same event, civil rights activist and lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj gave a detailed account of how the UAPA was being misused against Dalits, tribals and minorities. Read more
How the system broke Stan Swamy: A cell mate recalls the activist’s last days in prison
Although we received news by late evening on October 8, 2020, of Father Stan Swamy’s arrest, we were quite shocked to see him the next morning in the adjourning barrack conversing with inmates in his impeccable Hindi.
I was at that time lodged in a cell at the prison hospital with my co- accused Varavara Rao (or VV) and Vernon Gonsalves. It was part of our daily routine for VV and I to do a couple of rounds in his wheelchair before the morning breakfast. The three of us had assumed that the National Investigation Agency would want Stan’s custodial interrogation and hence it would not be until a couple of days before he would be sent to judicial custody i.e. Prison. Read more
Mary Lawlor: Inhumane prison conditions for Bhima Koregaon Human Rights Defenders
By Mary Lawlor, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders
On 11 June 2021, I wrote a letter jointly with two other UN experts on the alleged inhumane prison conditions and deteriorating condition of 15 human rights defenders, as well as Varavara Rao who was granted medical bail.
Of pressing concern was the inhumane prison conditions and deteriorating health of the human rights defenders. The death of Fr. Stan Swamy shortly after this communication was written demonstrate the severity of the conditions in which the human rights defenders are being held. It is haunting to now read how Fr. Swamy’s requests to be transferred to hospital to receive treatment were initially denied repeatedly. Read more
Video: Justice for Mahesh Raut / New website launched: Justice for Mahesh
Our friend Mahesh, is spending his fourth year in jail. Without trial! Who is Mahesh though? Why is his story important? And why is he a threat to the powers that are?
Join us for an evening where we will discuss all this and more. Friends, family, colleagues and journalists will talk about Mahesh and why he is still in jail.
We will also be launching a website which documents much of Mahesh’s story through this event.
We miss our friend and we really hope we will see #JusticeForMahesh very soon! Watch video
Marking a month since Stan Swamy passed away in judicial custody in a private hospital, a month in which no official inquiry, even the mandated magisterial inquest, has not been initiated, Framed to die: The case of Stan Swamy documents the manner in which Stan Swamy was framed, fettered, and finally forced towards a fatal illness under due process of law called Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
Framed to Die argues that Stan’s experiences of persecution provide an understanding of many others, including the 15 accused in the Bhima Koregaon case. Beyond chronicling Stan’s persecution under law, Framed to Die documents why Comrade Stan was a dissenter and a true patriot and why the state feared and criminalized his dissent under the UAPA.