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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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Bombay HC issues notice to NIA on bail plea by Octogenarian Stan Swamy

Bombay HC issues notice to NIA on bail plea by Octogenarian Stan Swamy

Bombay HC issues notice to NIA on bail plea by Octogenarian Stan Swamy in Elgar Parishad case

04/05/2021

The Leaflet / by Byhamza Lakdawala

The Bombay High Court Tuesday issued notice to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on a plea filed by octogenarian Father Stan Swamy, seeking bail on medical grounds.
A bench of Justices SS Shinde and Manish Pitale also directed the Taloja jail authorities to file a report indicating Stan Swamy’s health status.
The bench listed the matter in the week commencing from May 15.
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Bombay HC Issues Notice To NIA Over Activist Stan Swamy’s Bail Plea

04/05/2021

Outlook / by Outlook Web Bureau

Stan Swamy (84) was arrested in October 2020 in connection with the Elgar-Parishad Maoist links case.
The Bombay High Court Tuesday issued a notice to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) directing it to file a reply to tribal rights activist Stan Swamy’s medical bail plea.
Swamy (84) was arrested in October 2020 in connection with the Elgar-Parishad Maoist links case. He has been charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and various other sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
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By Live Law (May 4):
+++ The Bombay High Court will hear 84-yr-old tribal rights activist Father Stan Swamy’s appeal for emergency bail +++
+++ Matter begins.
J Shinde- What is the position of the proceedings before the sessions court?
Sr Adv Mihir Desai – Even the charges have not been framed +++
Desai – He is got advanced Parkinsons and has a hearing problem. With covid spreading in prisons, its become very difficult for him. APP Yagnik for the State says he needs time to file a reply +++
+++ J Shinde says they will keep the medical bail application during the vacation and regular bail application can be heard later +++
+++ Court issues notice on Fr Stan Swamy’s bail plea on merits +++
Court begins dictating the order. Court – Adv Desai submits that limitation in filing the appeal for emergency bail won’t apply in view of the SC’s orders +++
+++ Court – The fact that the appellant is in jail and did not gain an advantage by delaying the appeal. Delay condoned +++
+++ Court – Mr. Yagnik assures the court that Father Stan’s medical reports will be submitted by May 15, 2021. Father Stan Swamy’s lawyers are at liberty to mention his emergency bail application after May 17, 2021 +++
+++ Court allows an amendment for the State to be added as a party in both the bail appeals. hearing ends +++

Father Stan Swamy Moves Bombay High Court For Bail

27/04/2021

Live Law / by Sharmeen Hakim

Father Stan Swamy, tribal rights activist and an accused in the Elgaar Parishad – Bhima Koregaon Case has approached the Bombay High Court challenging rejection of his bail pleas by the Special Court under the National Investigating Agency Act.
The 84-year-old Jesuit priest has filed an appeal against two orders of the NIA court, the first rejecting his emergency bail application on health grounds in October, last year, and the second order from March 21, 2021, rejecting his bail plea on merits.
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Bhima Koregaon accused Stan Swamy files appeal before Bombay HC challenging Special NIA Court order refusing bail

27/04/2021

Bar & Bench / by Neha Joshi

Swamy was arrested from his house in Ranchi on October 8, 2020 for his alleged role in inciting riots at Bhima Koregaon in 2018. He was later remanded to judicial custody and lodged in Taloja jail.
His bail plea on the ground of medical emergency arising due to COVID-19 pandemic was rejected in October by the Special Court dealing with cases investigated by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
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Mostly Dalits, Adivasis, 97% undertials ‘falsely’ accused, release them, demands JMM

Mostly Dalits, Adivasis, 97% undertials ‘falsely’ accused, release them, demands JMM

Counterview / by Counterview Desk

Making the 84th birth anniversary of Father Stan Swamy – the veteran Adivasi rights Jesuit priest languishing Taloja Jail, Maharashtra, for about four months for his alleged role in Bhima Koregaon violence – as the occasion, the Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha (JJM), a civil rights organisation, has demanded that “lakhs of undertrials with no justice in sight” should be released immediately.
Pointing out that Stan Swamy too is an undertrial, JMM said, was involved in a study carried out in 2014-16, which revealed that about 97 percent of the surveyed undertrial prisoners “were falsely accused of being Maoists”. 
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Video: Father Stan Swamy’s 84th birthday celebrations online

Video: Father Stan Swamy’s 84th birthday celebrations online


en + hindi | 1h34min | 2021

By PUCL & friends and co-travellers of Father Stan Swamy

The PUCL along with the friends and co-travellers of Father Stan Swamy,
invite you to join online Father Stan’s 84th birthday celebrations.

Watch video @ PUCL fb page here

Through his own writings from the prison, and know why the State fears him and why the Bhima Koregaon case is cooked up, along with messages of solidarity for his release and that of other Prisoners of Conscience.
Father Stan stands as a symbol of struggle and resistance against the repression of Tribals and has been falsely implicated and arrested since October 2020 in the Bhima Koregaon “conspiracy” case. A Jesuit priest and tribal rights activist, he has worked in Jharkhand for over three decades on issues of land, forest and labour rights in order to create a world where there is love, peace and justice.
#ReleaseFatherStanNOW #ReleaseAllBK16Prisoners


Also watch: Repeal UAPA – Persecution by Prosecution (PUCL, Jan 2021)

Three Day consultation on 20th, 21st and 22nd January, 2021
► Repeal UAPA – Day Three (en + … | 2h 51min | Jan 2021)
► Repeal UAPA – Day Two (en +… | 2h 22min | Jan 2021)
► Repeal UAPA – Day One (en + … | 2h 17min | Jan 2021)


In letters, Stan Swamy speaks about co-inmates, life behind bars

27/04/2021

The Indian Express / by Sadaf Modak

Swamy, who turned 84 on Monday, was arrested on October 8, last year, from Ranchi by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for his alleged role in the Elgaar Parishad case.
From his daily routine to the experiences of his co-inmates in jail, Jesuit priest and tribal rights activist Father Stan Swamy’s communication through letters and phones calls with his colleagues and friends gives a glimpse into the 200 days spent in jail by the country’s oldest prisoner arrested in a terror case.
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Birthday greetings to Fr Stan Swamy: True Meaning of Solidarity / Video: A Caged Bird Can Still Sing

Birthday greetings to Fr Stan Swamy: True Meaning of Solidarity / Video: A Caged Bird Can Still Sing

Birthday greetings to Fr Stan Swamy, in jail: You taught us true meaning of solidarity

26/04/2021

Counterview / by Fr Cedric Prakash SJ

Dear Stan,
It is rather unusual and certainly not normal to wish someone who is in prison “A Happy Birthday!” One’s birthday cannot be ‘happy’ in prison; however, in wishing you we celebrate your life: your mission and your message and above all, those whom you have so closely identified with, all these years so “Birthday Greetings to you dear Fr. Stan!
Our prayer today is one of thanksgiving to Almighty God for the Gift of You: to so many people everywhere: particularly the poor and the excluded, the Adivasis and Dalits; to the Country, the Church and the Society of Jesus.
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Music video: A Caged Bird Can Still Sing

26/04/2021


en | 3:47min | 2021

By Bombay Jesuits

This Rap song is a tribute to Fr. Stan Swamy SJ on the occasion of his 84th Birthday (26th April) Since October 2020 he has been in prison arrested under UAPA in Bhima Koregaon case. He has dedicated his life for the service of the Tribals and marginalized in central India. A true prophet of our times he continues to be a symbol of resistance and a messenger of justice, peace and love not just in the world outside but even in jail. The chorus of this song- “We’ll still sing in chorus, a caged bird can still sing” is taken from one of his letters written from the prison.
Watch video


Birthday cards for Fr Stan Swamy SJ

26/04/2021

By SJES ROME

Video: Why an 83-year-old Indian Jesuit – Fr. Stan Swamy – is still in prison

Video: Why an 83-year-old Indian Jesuit – Fr. Stan Swamy – is still in prison


en | 40min | 2021

By America – The Jesuit Review

For almost six months, 84-year-old Stan Swamy, S.J., has been held in a Mumbai jail on charges of sedition and contravention of India’s Unlawful Activities (Prevention Act) (U.A.P.A.) of 1967. Repeated requests for his release on humanitarian grounds have been denied. In this episode of Behind the Story, America editor Ricardo da Silva, S.J., is joined by two Jesuits who know Fr. Swamy—Xavier Jeyaraj, S.J., and Cedric Prakash, S.J.—to assess Fr. Swamy’s current situation, why his request for bail has been twice denied and the next steps in his legal case.

Watch video

A roadmap of our conversation:
02:12 — The situation of Father Stan Swamy, S.J. as of April 2020
04:10 — The accusations brought against him
05:58 — The circumstances that mitigate against his release
08:35 — Links to Bhima Koregaon and Elgar Parishad
12:55 — The evidence the National Investigation Agency alleges to have against him
17:25 — The Maoists; the Naxalites and the Communist Party of India?
22:55 — The campaign for his release #StandwithStan​?
25:00 — Father Swamy’s work and ministry to the most impoverished of India
28:25 — What the Vatican knows about the situation and what the Catholic Church is doing
30:00 — The larger politics at play and the threats to democracy in India
34:45 — The future of his case and further attempts to grant bail on humanitarian grounds

Irish & Canadian Jesuits call for the release of Stan Swamy / Video: Campaigns calling for release continue

Irish & Canadian Jesuits call for the release of Stan Swamy / Video: Campaigns calling for release continue

Release Human Rights Defender Stan Swamy SJ

16/04/2021

Irish Jesuits International / by Irish Jesuits International

Fr Swamy is in poor health. He is hearing impaired and has Parkinson’s disease, and there have been calls from around the world – including from Pope Francis – to free him. He had been harrassed by authorities for some time and anticipated the likelihood of his arrest. He spoke about it in a video he made just two days before it occurred. But he is still in prison, and had his application for bail rejected on 22nd March 2021.
Jesuit Response
On hearing the news of the bail refusal, the Jesuits’ Social Justice and Ecology Secretariat (SJES) in Rome released a Statement of Solidarity in which Fr Xavier Jeyaraj SJ said:
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Canadian Jesuits call for the release of 83-year-old human rights defender

14/04/2021

Broadview / by Kiernan Green

Jesuits in Canada and around the world continue to call for the release of Father Stan Swamy, an 83-year-old Indian Jesuit and human rights defender charged and imprisoned under India’s anti-terror laws…
The Indian Jesuit father advocated for the land rights of the Indigenous people of eastern India for five decades. In 2018, he co-filed a public interest litigation on behalf of over 3,000 Adivasi villagers imprisoned without the due process of a timely trial.
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Video: Campaigns calling for release of India´s Father Stan Swamy continue

14/04/2021


en | 2:36min | 2021

By Rome Reports

This Rome Reports video above features efforts — including those made by the Jesuits — to free Indian Father Stan Swamy from prison.
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Jesuit Missions UK: Stand with Stan on his 84th birthday (April 26)

Jesuit Missions UK: Stand with Stan on his 84th birthday (April 26)

By Jesuit Missions UK

Fr Stan Swamy SJ celebrates his 84th birthday on 26 April. This year we want to let him know he is not forgotten.
Fr Stan Swamy SJ is an 83-year-old priest and human rights activist who has spent his life working for the poorest and most marginalised people in India. The Indian government has pursued a campaign of harassment against Fr Stan and other human rights activists in recent years …
Please join us in sending him a message of hope and solidarity this Easter. The card can be very simple or even a piece of folded paper.
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To The Jailed Priest Who Loves People: Friends Remember Stan Swamy

To The Jailed Priest Who Loves People: Friends Remember Stan Swamy

The Quint / by Asmita Nandy

Even as Father Stan Swamy fights for bail, his friends remember him as the man who “loves and lives for the poor.”
A four-minute call every 10 days from Taloja jail and a chirpy “I am managing here” keep the hope alive for friends of 83-year-old human rights activist and Jesuit priest Stan Swamy, booked by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the Bhima-Koregaon case.
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Al report slams India / Excerpts: US State Dept Report Records Increasing Use of UAPA in India

Al report slams India / Excerpts: US State Dept Report Records Increasing Use of UAPA in India


Drawing by Arun Ferreira

Amnesty International report slams India

08/04/2021

Pakobserver / by News Desk

The London-based rights watchdog, Amnesty International has slammed India for its clampdown on civil liberties in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir as well as punitive lockdown in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, use of force against the anti-CAA (Citizenship (Amendment) Act) protests, farmers’ protests and handling of Delhi riots.
… On arbitrary arrests and detentions, the Amnesty International said that seven human rights activists – Father Stan Swamy, Jyoti Raghoba Jagtap, Sagar Tatyaram Gorkhe, Ramesh Murlidhar Gaichor, Hany Babu, Gautam Navlakha and Anand Teltumbde – were arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for their alleged involvement in violence during the Bhima Koregaon celebrations near the city of Pune in 2018.
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Full report: AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL REPORT 2020/21: THE STATE OF THE WORLD’S HUMAN RIGHTS (April 2021)


Excerpts: US State Dept Report Records Increasing Use of UAPA by Indian Government

05/04/2021

The Wire / by The Wire Staff

The report cites the conditions in which the incarcerations of a pregnant Safoora Zargar, and ageing activists Varavara Rao, Sudha Bharadwaj and Stan Swamy progressed.
The US state department released the 2020 human rights report last week, accompanied by renewed rhetoric of putting emphasis on human rights at the heart of American diplomacy.
From the India chapter, here are excerpts from the report on the use of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) from its section on ‘Arrest Procedures and Treatment of Detainees’.
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