New Delhi: Marking the 45th year of the Emergency in India on June, civil rights groups have written an open letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, drawing his attention to the “deplorable and abysmal condition of jails and quarantine facilities in Maharashtra”, especially in the light of the raging COVID-19 pandemic, where several political activists are incarcerated. Read more
By People’s Union for Civil Liberties – Chhattisgarh
Release All Political Prisoners!
Repeal Draconian Laws!
Stop Gagging the Media!
June 25th, 2020: On this day in 1975, the then-Indian Government imposed the State of Emergency in India, suspending all fundamental rights and commencing one of the darkest periods of Indian democracy. Today, after a span of forty-five years, we the people of India find ourselves in a similar situation, living in a de facto state of emergency, which has not been officially declared, where scores of ordinary citizens to who dared to criticize the government are being arbitrarily arrested under draconian laws meant only for rarest cases of international terror. The Chhattisgarh chapter of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties is observing this day as the Anti-Emergency Day –to demand the release of arrested human rights workers, and to renew our pledge to uphold the Constitution of India, with all its promises of freedom and equality, in its true spirit. …
‘In COVID-19 times, especially when Maharashtra has emerged as the State with the highest number of cases, differentially treating bail petitions by political prisoners is gross injustice’.
The denial of bail to all accused in the Elgaar Parishad-Bhima Koregaon case was “patently callous”, the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) said on Monday, and urged that the health and safety of political prisoners be treated with the same urgency as other prisoners. Read more
PUDR: The Lessons of Bhima Koregaon Case: No Bail, Only Jail
Kractivism / by PUDR
With the surrenders of Anand Teltumbde and Gautam Navlakha on April 14, 2020 in Mumbai and Delhi respectively, the NIA, the investigative agency, has ensured the arrest of all 11 prominent human rights activists in the infamous Bhima Koregaon case under the draconian UAPA. The recent rejection of the bail applications of Varavara Rao, Anand Teltumbde, Shoma Sen and Sudha Bharadwaj, and the sudden transfer of Gautam Navlakha by the NIA, raise significant questions about the rights of political prisoners amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more
Judges withhold bail; several prison reforms recommended over the years have fallen through the cracks.
On May 5, two months after the Arthur Road jail superintendent warned that an outbreak of COVID-19 could not be contained in the jail due to overcrowding, his worst fears came true: the first positive case was discovered in the precincts. Read more
COVID-19: AT LEAST THREE DIE IN MAHARASHTRA PRISONS
The Wire / by Sukanya Shantha
In an affidavit submitted to the Bombay high court in response to a PIL, the state government said that a prisoner each has died in the central prisons of Taloja and Yerwada, and in Dhule district prison. Maharashtra is the first state to have reported deaths in prisons so far. Read more
Maharashtra Prisoner Released on Parole Says Jails Unprepared to Handle COVID-19 Pandemic
The Wire / by Sukanya Shantha
No transport has been arranged for those who are released, while inmates still in prison fear for their health. Read more
Chhattisgarh: NHRC accuses state officials of ‘abetting’ crimes of Salwa Judum
The commission made the comment while declaring an order on September 23, 2019, in the matter of the killing of seven people and burning of 95 huts in the Kondasawali, Karrepara and Kamaraguda villages of Sukma district in 2007 …
PUCL secretary Shalini Gera said, “The case was filed on a complaint by Sudha Bharadwaj, who is in Pune jail because she was working for the tribals and filing complaints like these.” Read more
Maaysha, Sudha’s daughter:“If fighting for the rights of adivasis, fighting for workers and peasants, fighting against repression and exploitation and giving up one s whole life for them is being a naxalite then I guess naxalites are pretty good.”
“The 6th Annual Harvard Law International Women’s Day Portrait Exhibit showcases the astounding contributions of women around the world to the areas of law and policy. The honorees — each of whom were nominated by HLS students, faculty or staff — are powerful voices in their respective fields, whether they are sitting on a high court bench, standing in front of a classroom, or marching in the streets.”
Or whether they are sitting in jail.
Advocate Sudha Bharadwaj is a 2019 honoree of the Harvard Law International Women’s day exhibition and is sitting in a jail cell in Pune. How did these conflicting positions come about? …
Mumbai: It was not just Israeli spyware Pegasus that was used to digitally spy on human rights defenders and journalists in India.
A clear pattern of another well-coordinated and effectively designed digital attack has now emerged – this time through emails. These emails, all tailor-made to suit the interests of the individual receiver, were sent out between September and October 2019. Read more
Lakhan Singh, the Tenacious, Down-to-Earth Comrade – A Tribute by Sudha Bharadwaj
Dr Lakhan Singh (August 9, 1952-September 8, 2019) was the president of the Chhattisgarh chapter of PUCL from 2010 to 2019. Sudha Bharadwaj, currently at Yerwada Jail in Pune, wrote this tribute to him in her letter to her daughter, Maaysha, dated September 15, 2019, and it is being published with her permission.
Sudha Bharadwaj is the general secretary of the Chhattisgarh PUCL and was one of the lawyers for the Sarkeguda case. Read more
WhatsApp sent second alert to Centre in September saying that 121 Indians were targeted: Reports