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AI: India/Egypt: Ongoing human rights crisis in both countries must be addressed

AI: India/Egypt: Ongoing human rights crisis in both countries must be addressed

India/ Egypt: Ongoing human rights crisis in both countries must be addressed

26/01/2023

By Amnesty International

The Indian and Egyptian authorities must address the ongoing human rights and impunity crises in the two countries, Amnesty International said today, as India hosts Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi as the chief guest at its Republic Day celebrations.
… In India, 16 Bhima Koregaon activists have been arrested since 2018 on fabricated charges under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), a draconian anti-terror law. They have also faced an intense crackdown by the authorities for their work for marginalized communities.
Read more


Also read:
Act now to demand the release of the BK16! (Amnesty International, Dec 2022)

India’s UAPA law: Curbing Terrorism or Stifling Democratic Dissent?

India’s UAPA law: Curbing Terrorism or Stifling Democratic Dissent?

The UAPA Law – Curbing Terrorism or Stifling Dissent?

24/01/2023

By Hindus for Human Rights

(DESH-VIDESH CONVERSATION SERIES – SPEAKING ACROSS THE DIVIDE)
Digital Evidence Planting: New Age Threat to Rights Defenders
Presented by Safa Ahmed of the Indian American Muslim Council on behalf of a broad coalition working to secure the release of all the Bhima Koregaon prisoners

WHY ARE MOST OF THE BHIMA KOREGAON DEFENDANTS STILL IN JAIL DESPITE FORENSIC FINDINGS THAT INCRIMINATING EVIDENCE HAD BEEN PLANTED ON SOME OF THEIR COMPUTERS?

Good evening. Digital forensics is a dry, technical field, but the consequences of digital attacks play out like a vivid, terrifying, and painful movie. With the help of technical experts, journalists, and activists, I have prepared for you this narrative of what was revealed in the forensic analysis of the hard drives of three of the BK-16 – Rona Wilson, Surendra Gadling, and Father Stan Swamy.
Read more


Invite: India’s UAPA law: Curbing Terrorism or Stifling Democratic Dissent?

20/01/2023

By Hindus for Human Rights / @Hindus4HR

The Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and India’s Prisoners of Conscience (POCs): Targeting terrorism or stifling democratic dissent?
Saturday, January 21, 2023
6 pm PST,
7:30 am IST
The conversation will cover the history and the draconian provisions of the UAPA; how it compares to anti-terror laws in other democracies; the views of the State Department and USCIRF; what are some of the typical charges being made being under UAPA. Do they look unlawful to you? Some statistics: How many people arrested since the amended UAPA; Average time spent w/o trial or bail hearing; How many have gone to trial, etc.

Moderator: Govind Acharya, Amnesty International
Panelists:
Banojyotsna Lahiri, Activist, on Umar Khalid’s story and struggle
Yug Mohit Chaudhry, Author and Criminal Lawyer, on legal strategies on behalf of POCs and hurdles faced
Mihir Desai, Human Rights Lawyer, on the story and struggle of Bhima Koregaon 16 and what’s happening to lesser known detainees
Followed by a Q&A moderated by Govind Acharya
Register here

Press Conference & Public Meeting: “Conspiracy of Conspiracy Cases”

Press Conference & Public Meeting: “Conspiracy of Conspiracy Cases”


Poster by Campaign Against State Repression

Wives of Khalid Saifi, Hany Babu, GN Saibaba demand release of ‘political prisoners’

12/01/2023

Maktoob / by Maktoob Staff

Life partners of jailed human rights defenders Khalid Saifi, Hany Babu and GN Saibaba who gathered in national capital Delhi on Thursday under the banner of Campaign Against State Repression, demanded the immediate release of all political prisoners incarcerated under the Bhima Koregaon and CAA-NRC cases.
This event titled “conspiracy of conspiracy cases” was held to discuss the recent developments in Bhima Koregaon and CAA-NRC case where top intelligence officers have disclosed that there was no connection between the Elgaar Parishad event and Bhima Koregano violence, as well as multiple international forensic reports revealing that the evidence was planted on the BK accused.
Read more


Civil rights leaders allege corporate loot of resources, suppression of democratic rights

14/01/2023

Countercurrents / by Our Representative

Civil rights activists have alleged, quoting top intelligence officers as also multiple international forensic reports, that recent developments with regard to the Bhima Koregaon and the Citizenship Amendment Act-National Register of Citizens (CAA-NRC) cases suggest, there was “no connection between the Elgaar Parishad event and the Bhima Koregaon violence.”
Activists of the Campaign Against State Repression (CASR) told a media event at the HKS Surjeet Bhawan, New Delhi, that, despite this, several political prisoners continue to be behind bars on being accused under the anti-terror the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
Read more


Also read
Press Release by Campaign Against State Repression, Dec 5, 2022

Click to enlarge

CASR meeting: GN Saibaba, others called new generation freedom fighters, victims of state terror (Countercurrents / Oct 2022)

CPI(M): Release Elgar Parishad Political Prisoners Immediately

CPI(M): Release Elgar Parishad Political Prisoners Immediately

Click to enlarge posters. Posters by CPI(M)/@cpimspeak (Dec 14, 2022)

CPI(M): Release Elgar Parishad Political Prisoners Immediately

01/01/2023

Peoplesdemocracy.in / by Maharashtra state committee of the CPI (M)

There is no connection between the Elgar Parishad at Pune and the violence that erupted at Bhima Koregaon on January 1, 2018. This was part of the deposition made by the then investigating senior police officer, Ganesh More, before the N J Patel Commission set up by the Maharashtra government. The Maharashtra state committee of the CPI(M) strongly demands that, in the light of this revelation, all the Bhima Koregaon political detenus languishing in prison be immediately released.
Read full statement


Also read:
‘By Targeting Elgaar Parishad, Modi Was Getting Back at Justice Sawant’ (Newsclick.in / Dec 30, 2022)
Top Investigating Officer Admits Elgar Parishad Event ‘Had No Role’ in Bhima Koregaon Violence (The Wire / Dec 27, 2022)
Cop: No Link Between Elgar Parishad and violence at Bhima Koregaon on Jan 1, 2018 (Rediff.com / Dec 22, 2022)

Free Elgar Parishad political prisoners, demands Maha CPI(M)

Free Elgar Parishad political prisoners, demands Maha CPI(M)

The Siasat Daily / by IANS

CPI(M) Secretary Dr Uday Narkar said that the then Investigating Officer of Pune Police Ganesh More had made a deposition to the effect before Justice J. N. Patel Commission which probed the events.
Mumbai: Against the backdrop of the revelations that there was no connection between the Elgar Parishad held in Pune on December 31, 2017 and the caste violence that erupted in Bhima Koregaon on January 1, 2018, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) demanded the immediate release of those arrested in connection with the incidents, here on Saturday.
Read more


by CPI (M) @cpimspeak (Dec 14, 2022):
CPI(M) demands that all the Bhima Koregaon accused be immediately released from jail; NIA should not deny their bail applications and or discharge appeals; an expert, fair re-examination taking into account the forensic evidence available should be made in a timebound framework.

Click to enlarge posters

Also read:
Cop: No Link Between Elgar Parishad and violence at Bhima Koregaon on Jan 1, 2018 (Rediff.com / Dec 22, 2022)

Fight to clear Fr Stan Swamy’s name ‘will continue’ / Activists Call for Release of Accused

Fight to clear Fr Stan Swamy’s name ‘will continue’ / Activists Call for Release of Accused

Dec 22, 2022, Pic by MRSD

The death of Fr. Stan Swamy was finalised the day he was arrested: Senior Advocate Mihir Desai

26/12/2022

Sabrang / by Sabrangindia

A Press Conference discussing the recent Arsenal report, and the tampering of evidence in Late Fr. Stan Swamy’s Case
A press conference was organised by the Mumbai Marathi Patrakar Sangh in Mumbai on December 22, 2022. The aim of this press conference was to discuss the issue of reports recently released suggesting fabrication of evidence on the computer of Father Stan Swamy. The speakers at this conference were Fr. Joe Xavier, Fr. Frazer Mascarenhas, Senior Advocate Mihir Desai and Former Professor Nagarjuna G. There were almost 30-40 journalists present in the audience.
Read more


‘Mumbai Rises to Save Democracy’

23/12/2022

Rediff.com / by Neeta Kolhatkar

The State has played with their lives.’
‘Arsenal proved the machines were hacked and false evidence implanted with false files and letters.’

An independent organisation, ‘Mumbai Rises To Save Democracy’, called upon the public and media to raise their voices against the authoritarian State.
This call comes after the United States-based digital forensics firm Arsenal Consulting revealed that several incriminating documents were planted on the computers of the late Father Stan Swamy, Rona Wilson and Surendra Gadling, accused in the Bhima Koregaon case.
Read more


‘Fr Stan Swamy did not even access plants on his computer’

23/12/2022

Hindustan Times / by Gautam S Mengle

Mihir Desai, Senior Advocate at High Court of Bombay, Fr. Joe Xavier, Convenor of Fr. Stan Swamy Legacy Committee of the Jesuits, Fr. Frazer Mascarenhas, Former Principal of St. Xavier’s College in Mumbai along with Nagarjuna G., Former Professor of Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, TIFR, during the press conference on “Fabricating Evidence Against Life & Liberty: Tampering with Fr. Stan Swamy’s computer and its implications for Bhima Koregaon case, at Mumbai Marathi Patrakar Sangh (MMPS), near Azad Maidan, in Mumbai, India, on Thursday, December 22, 2022.
Read more


Stan Swamy didn’t access files used against him, evidence fabricated: US-based forensics firm

22/12/2022

India Today / by Mustafa Shaikh

Evidence against Late Father Stan Swamy in the Bhima Koregaon case was planted and fabricated, US-based digital forensics firm, Arsenal Consulting, stated in a report.
Evidence against Late Father Stan Swamy in the Bhima Koregaon case was planted and fabricated. His computer was compromised by the same attacker who hacked the computers of co-accused Rona Wilson and Surendra Gadling, US-based digital forensics firm, Arsenal Consulting, stated in a report.
Swamy’s lawyer and friends revealed details of the report and their further course of action on Thursday.
Read more


‘Stan Swamy was jailed as he used law to help adivasis’

22/12/2022

Times of India / by TNN

Why did Fr Stan Swamy, an 80-year-old Jesuit and tribal rights activist, find himself in the crosshairs of the investigating agencies? At a news meet on Thursday, a panel comprising close associates claimed it was because Swamy had used the legal system to help tribals, whose lands were illegally grabbed. “Stan worked for justice and paid the price for it,” said Fr. Joe Xavier, ex-executive director of Indian Social Institute.
Read more


Poster by #bakeryprasad

Activists Call for Release of Accused in Elgar Parishad Case, Probe into ‘Fabrication’ of Evidence

22/12/2022

The Wire / by The Wire Staff

There is a fresh demand for an impartial probe from activists in the wake of a recent report by a US-based digital forensics firm stating that ‘incriminating evidence’ was ‘planted’ on the laptop of activist Stan Swamy, an accused in the case. 
Human rights activists, lawyers and academicians on Thursday, December 22, called for the release of the accused persons in the Elgar Parishad case and an impartial probe into the allegations of tampering of electronic devices and fabrication of evidence of all those accused in the case.
Read more


Fight to clear Fr Stan Swamy’s name ‘will continue’

23/12/2022

UCA News / by UCA News reporter

A recent report by US digital forensics firm reveals how the late Jesuit priest was implicated by planted false evidence
Friends and colleagues of a dead Jesuit Indian priest have pledged to continue the fight “to clear his name from the false cases” that led to his arrest, imprisonment and death in custody.
Father Stan Swamy, the 84-year-old priest and indigenous rights activist died on July 5, 2021, after being denied timely medical treatment for Parkinson’s disease and other age-related ailments.
Read more


NIA may be suppressing probe findings: Stan Swamy’s lawyer Mihir Desai

23/12/2022

Midday.com / by Nascimento Pinto

The participants called for the release of the remaining co-accused in the Bhima Koregaon conspiracy case, along with an independent impartial investigation into the tampering of electronic devices and fabrication of evidence of all those accused in the case.
Almost a week after American digital forensics firm ‘Arsenal Consulting’ revealed in a detailed report that tribal rights activist Father Stanislaus Lourdes Swamy’s computer was tampered with and ‘evidence’ was planted on it, human rights activists, lawyers and academicians vowed to secure justice for the late Ranchi-based priest and those accused of terror links in Bhima-Koregaon case.
Read more


Video: Press Conference by Mumbai Rises to Save Democracy (MRSD)

22/12/2022

In wake of the recent Arsenal report which exposes the malicious tampering with Fr. Stan Swamy’s computer, MRSD* organized a press conference on “Fabricating Evidence Against Life and Liberty: Tampering with Fr. Stan Swamy’s computer and its implications for Bhima Koregaon case”


en | 1:31 | 2022
Watch video

Press Conference / Statement by MRSD: Fabricating Evidence – Tampering with Fr. Stan Swamy’s computer

Press Conference / Statement by MRSD: Fabricating Evidence – Tampering with Fr. Stan Swamy’s computer

By Mumbai Rises to Save Democracy (MRSD)

In wake of the recent Arsenal report which exposes the malicious tampering with Fr. Stan Swamy’s computer, MRSD* organized a press conference on “Fabricating Evidence Against Life and Liberty: Tampering with Fr. Stan Swamy’s computer and its implications for Bhima Koregaon case” on December 22, 2022.
Speakers:
Fr. Joe Xavier, Convenor of Fr. Stan Swamy Legacy Committee of the Jesuits and Former Executive Director of the Indian Social Institute.
Fr. Frazer Mascarenhas, Former principal of St Xavier’s College in Mumbai and the Parish Priest of St Peter’s Church.
Mihir Desai, Senior Advocate at High Court of Bombay.
Nagarjuna G., Former Professor, Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research.

*MRSD is a forum constituted by several democratic rights, civil society and people’s organisations to campaign for the release of human rights defenders falsely charged and imprisoned in the Bhima Koregaon conspiracy case, the repeal of UAPA and for upholding the citizens’ right to dissent.


en | 1:31 | 2022
Watch video


Press Statement

22/12/2022

By Mumbai Rises to Save Democracy*

Fabricating Evidence Against Life and Liberty: Tampering with Fr. Stan Swamy’s computer and its implications for Bhima Koregaon case

The latest report released by Arsenal Consulting, a Massachusetts-based digital forensics firm- proves that Father Stan’s computer was infiltrated by hackers since October 19th 2014, and more than 40 documents were planted in it. In his last video statement before his arrest, Stan had asserted that documents shown to him by the NIA were fabricated. Inspite of the same he was arrested on 8th October 2020 and subsequently died on 5th July 2021 in custody. Stan’s case represents not just grave injustice to the 84-year-old, but also the deep denigration of basic humanity by the system.
Fr. Stan was incarcerated in the Bhima Koregaon (BK) conspiracy case which has come to represent a major conspiracy against human rights defenders in India. Including Stan, 16 activists, lawyers, academicians have been arrested since 2018 in the case filed by the Pune police (later on transferred to NIA) following caste violence that broke out against Dalit visitors on January 1, 2018, in Bhima Koregaon village near Pune. Ironically, the police invoked UAPA, a law that Stan vehemently resisted, to arrest the BK-16 activists, and brand them as anti-nationals, urban naxals and members of a banned political party and even alleged involvement in a purported assassination plan on the Prime minister. The long list of allegations in the case is meant to arouse the deepest suspicion against these 16 accused, and against their work of defending democracy and people’s struggles.
Fr. Stan worked tirelessly especially for Adivasis in Jharkhand, their rights to land, forest, and against their false incarceration. Apart from being an activist, he also documented many instances of injustices in an impeccable manner. He also raised objections to instances of illegal mining and other supposed development projects which had the impact of displacing people from their home and hearths.
Fr. Stan’s arrest in the middle of COVID-19 pandemic, despite his ill-health and age, is a proof of the system’s apathy to human rights defenders. During his last months in prison, he repeatedly requested to be shifted to his residence in Ranchi. A patient of the Parkinson’s disease, Stan faced multiple challenges during his incarceration. Inspite of having contracted Covid and taking seriously ill, he was denied timely medical treatment and care in prison. However, no cognizance of this was taken, and the situation deteriorated resulting in the death of Fr. Stan, even while his application for bail was pending. His untimely and tragic death is a result of the sheer negligence of the jail authorities, NIA and failure of the entire criminal justice system to protect a defender of justice. Such denial of rights becomes even more stark with emerging documentary proof that the evidence presented in the case were fabricated. It must be noted that in April 2021, Arsenal consulting had already released a report proving the malicious hacking and planting of documents in computers of co-accused, Rona Wilson and Surendra Gadling.
The fact that Fr. Stan died before he could get a chance to prove his innocence is jarring. This case shows the extent to which illegal cyber-attacks are being used in Digital India to build false criminal cases against innocent citizens who can then be jailed indefinitely under the UAPA law. Such is the desperation of the system to incarcerate human rights defenders and dehumanize the society at large. At the same time, the real instigators of violence at Bhima Koregaon, Milind Ekbote of Samastha Hindu Aghadi and Sambhaji Bhide of Shiv Chhatrapati Pratishan are not being prosecuted and are instead being shielded politically.

We call for:
1. Immediate release of all remaining co-accused in the Bhima Koregaon conspiracy case and quashing of the case against them on the basis of fabricated evidence.
2. Reparations and justice for the wrongful incarceration of Fr. Stan Swamy that resulted in his death.
3. Impartial and independent investigation into the tampering of electronic devices and fabrication of evidence against the BK-16 accused in the case.
4. Impartial and independent investigation into the role of Milind Ekbote, Sambhaji Bhide and other right-wing leaders and outfits for planning and inciting violence on Dalits in Bhima Koregaon and their prosecution in the FIRs filed against them.
5. Repeal of draconian UAPA law used as a tool to curb dissent and political opposition.

*Mumbai Rises to Save Democracy: MRSD is a forum constituted by more than 20 democratic rights, civil society and people’s organisations to campaign for the release of those arrested in the Bhima Koregaon conspiracy case, repeal of UAPA and for upholding the citizens’ right to dissent.

Also read:
Hackers Planted Files to Frame an Indian Priest Who Died in Custody (Wired / Dec 13, 2022)

Indian government asked to apologize for framing Stan Swamy / Govt to ‘take full responsibility’

Indian government asked to apologize for framing Stan Swamy / Govt to ‘take full responsibility’

Stan Swamy. Poster by #bakeryprasad

by Mary Lawlor UN Special Rapporteur HRDs / @MaryLawlorhrds (Dec 15, 2022):
Extremely distressing new report by @ArsenalArmed which finds that fake evidence was planted on Stan Swamy’s computer. Stan’s detention & death are a stain on India’s human rights record. Charges against the other HRDs in Bhima Koregaon case must be dropped


Indian government asked to apologize for framing Stan Swamy

15/12/2022

Matters India / by Matters India Reporter

Catholic Church leaders have sought an “unconditional apology” from the Indian government for the custodial death of Father Stan Swamy after a US based digital forensic firm has found that the late Jesuit was falsely implicated in a sedition case.
“At least at this stage, the government and its probe agency should tender an unconditional apology to people for the unjust arrest, inhuman incarceration and custodial death of Father Swamy for no fault of his,” says Jesuit Father A Santhanam, convener of the National Lawyers Forum of Religious and Priests (NLFRP).
Read more


Planting of evidence against Stan Swamy ‘blot on justice system’, say politicians, social bodies

14/12/2022

Scroll.in / by Scroll Staff

A news report claimed that a hacker planted evidence on a device owned by the tribal rights activist, who died in July last year.
Hours after a report claimed that a hacker planted evidence on a device owned by tribal rights activist Stan Swamy, several politicians, academics, activists and social organisations on Tuesday denounced the incident and described it as a “blot on the justice system”.
“Is this how a democratic country treats its own?” Congress leader Salman Anees Soz tweeted. “The courts must introspect. Is this the best they can do?
Read more


Indian govt ‘must come clean on Fr Stan Swamy’s death’

14/12/2022

UCA News / by UCA News Reporter

Evidence ‘planted’ on the late Jesuit priest’s computer to ‘falsely’ implicate him in the Bhima-Koregaon case, US agency says.
Catholic activists and priests want the Indian government to “take full responsibility” for the custodial death of Jesuit Father Stan Swamy after latest findings by US-based digital forensic experts that false evidence was planted on the priest’s computer by hacking it.
Read more


by CPI (M) @cpimspeak (Dec 14, 2022):
CPI(M) demands that all the Bhima Koregaon accused be immediately released from jail; NIA should not deny their bail applications and or discharge appeals; an expert, fair re-examination taking into account the forensic evidence available should be made in a timebound framework.

Click to enlarge

Also read:
Hackers Planted Files to Frame an Indian Priest Who Died in Custody (Wired / Dec 13, 2022)
Leaked Data Shows Surveillance Net in Elgar Parishad Case May Have Crossed a Line (The Wire / July 2021)

Amnesty International: Act now to demand the release of the BK16!

Amnesty International: Act now to demand the release of the BK16!

By Amnesty International

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.  
Read full statement / sign petition

Public meeting ‘Thoughts Criminalised’ in Delhi

Public meeting ‘Thoughts Criminalised’ in Delhi

By Campaign Against State Repression

Press Release

Click to enlarge

 


Also read/watch:
Supreme Court’s suspension of Dr. G.N. Saibaba’s acquittal: ‘Technical grounds are also substantive’, says senior advocate, Mihir Desai (The Leaflet / Oct 2022)
Inconsistencies in Bail Orders Mean Individual Liberty Is Now the Outcome of Judicial Lottery (The Wire / Oct 2022)
Pandu Narote’s Death: A Reminder of Stan Swamy’s Demise, GN Saibaba’s Struggles (The Quint / Sep 2022)

● Video: Personal Liberty and the Indian Courts

25/10/2022


en | 1h 42min | 2022
The discussion examines the recent three judgements relating to
► The denial of bail of Jyoti Jagtap by the Bombay High Court in the Bhima Koregaon Conspiracy case.
► The stay on the Bombay High Court judgement of acquittal/discharge of Dr. GN Saibaba and others by the Supreme Court
► The denial of bail by the Delhi High Court of Umar Khalid in the Conspiracy case of the Delhi Riots of 2020.
Watch video (PUCL fb page)