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Stan Swamy’s second death anniversary: Stand Up for What Is Right, demand Co-Accused

Stan Swamy’s second death anniversary: Stand Up for What Is Right, demand Co-Accused

poster by @/bakeryprasad

In a Letter From Jail, Stan Swamy’s Co-Accused Ask President Murmu to Stand Up for What Is Right

05/07/2023

The Wire / by The Wire Staff

Today is Father Stan Swamy’s second death anniversary.

Two years ago on this day, 84-year-old Jharkhand-based tribal rights activist Father Stan Swamy breathed his last while in custody. His death exposed the state’s negligence and inability to protect prisoners. Swamy, a Parkinson’s patient, spent close to a year in jail, deprived of the most basic facilities – one of which was a sipper to drink water from.

On his second death anniversary, 11 of his co-accused (Sudhir Dhawale, Rona Wilson, Surendra Gadling, Shoma Sen, Mahesh Raut, Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira, Hany Babu, Ramesh Gaichor, Sagar Gorkhe and Jyoti Jagtap) – all human rights activists and academics – write a letter to President of India Draupadi Murmu, who belongs to the tribal community that Swamy worked very closely with. Murmu, who recently spoke passionately about the conditions of Indian prisoners, was the governor of Jharkhand when Swamy’s organisation, Bagaicha, was raided and eventually he was arrested by the National Investigation Agency.
Along with the letter, the still-arrested human rights defenders also announced their one-day symbolic hunger strike in Mumbai’s Taloja and Byculla jails, where they are presently lodged.
The full text of their letter to the president is below.
Read more


Caged birds and prison songs: In chorus, Stan Swamy and the Bhima Koregaon accused kept hope alive

05/07/2023

Vernon Gonsalves

Scroll.in / by Vernon Gonsalves

A fellow prisoner’s recollections of the Jesuit priest, who died on July 5, 2021.

“…I am ready to pay the price, whatever be it. But we will sing in chorus. A caged bird can still sing.”
– Father Stan Swamy

When Stan Swamy, in his last message before landing in Navi Mumbai’s Taloja Central Prison in October 2020, declared that a “caged bird can still sing”, he was not talking about the tunes prisoners sing in jail. He had then not been imprisoned before that and was probably not acquainted with prison-singing in its various forms.
Read more


On Father Stan Swamy’s second death anniversary, two letters, a painting and the triumph of memory against forgetting

05/07/2023

The Leaflet / by Sarah Thanawala

Father Stan Swamy’s death was an international shock the ripples of which can still be felt, and a blot on the record of a State that treats criminal justice as its plaything. His legacy is treasured by his co-accused in the Bhima-Koregaon case inside the prison, and everyone who stands for justice and democracy outside the prison.
… The 11 incarcerated accused persons in the Elgar Parishad case are set to go on a day-long hunger strike today. They pen an imaginary letter from Swamy to the President of India Droupadi Murmu, terming it “Prayers that never came to be”.
Read more


“Hopefully waiting” writes Shoma Sen from prison

07/07/2023

InSAF India / by Shoma Sen

This handwritten note by Shoma Sen marks five years in prison for the activist and academic.
As we enter the sixth year of our incarceration the predominant feeling over the last five years is that of waiting. From waiting for default bail in the seventh month of our imprisonment, most of us are still waiting. In jail, we sit there waiting for court dates, waiting for mulakaat, waiting for the newspaper, waiting for bail and for the jail God called Memo. In jail, our sense of time itself gets warped. When a lawyer tells a prisoner that she will get bail in one or two days, it may actually mean one or two years. 24 hours of clock time could mean 24 months in judicial time.
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I Am Not A Mute Spectator – Conversation with four Jesuit priests

I Am Not A Mute Spectator – Conversation with four Jesuit priests

Asianspeaks / by Rejaz M Sheeba Sydeek 

… Rejaz M Sheeba Sydeek had a conversation with four Jesuit priests, Fr. Cedric Prakash, Fr. Joseph Xavier, Fr. Frazer Mascarenhas, and Fr. Martin Puthussery, who were known to Stan and were outspoken against his extra judicial murder.

Rejaz: Several Christian clergymen were executed for opposing fascism during Hitler’s regime in Nazi Germany. Can we equate those institutional murders with Fr. Stan Swamy’s who was killed in India during Narendra Modi’s RSS led Brahmanic hindutva fascist regime because he was working for the liberation of the oppressed?

Fr. Cedric Prakash: Yes, we certainly regard the death of Fr. Stan Swamy as an institutional murder. Fr. Stan we all know accompanied the poorest of the poor, the excluded, and the exploited, the Adivasis and the Dalits in their struggle for a more humane, just, dignified, and equitable life. In doing so he had to take on the most powerful of the land like the politicians, the crony capitalists, the mining mafia, and other vested interests. Because of their illegal unconstitutional and nefarious deeds, Fr Stan was a thorn in their side. He was arrested on absolutely fabricated charges.
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Let us remember Father Stan Swamy and take forward his legacy! Justice for the BK16!

Let us remember Father Stan Swamy and take forward his legacy! Justice for the BK16!

by PUCL India / @PUCLindia (July 4, 2023):
The National Campaign to Defend Democracy, a coalition of over 150 organisations, is hosting a discussion tomorrow at 9 PM to remember Father Stan Swamy & talk about the stories of the accused in the Bhima Koregaon case.
Let’s demand immediate bail and release of all the BK16!


by PUCL India / @PUCLindia (July 4, 2023)
PUCL Karnataka is hosting an event tomorrow at @AshirvadSocial at 5:45 PM!
Join @VSuresh_Rights, Fr. Frazer Mascarenhas and Maitreyi Krishnan (@AilajHq) for a discussion on the work & life of Father Stan Swamy, the abuse of draconian laws like UAPA & the rights of prisoners.


by Jesuit conference of South Asia / @JCSADelhi
On the occasion of the 2nd Death Anniversary of Stan Swamy, you are invited to join a panel discussion on civic literacy and political participation.
#StanSwamy

by Jesuit conference of South Asia / @JCSADelhi (Jul 4, 2023):
We pay tribute to our martyr, Fr. Stan Swamy, on the occasion of the second anniversary of his martyrdom.
#StanSwamy #ReleaseAllPoliticalPrisoners


Stan Swamy Commemorative Convention

by Justice for Father Stan Swamy / @FreeFrStanSwamy (June 23, 2023):
Stan Swamy Commemorative Convention
Children’s Theatre Park, Ernakulam
5th July,
3 p.m. IST


Human rights activists to hold Sankalp Sabhas on July 5

04/07/2023

The Telegraph / by Animesh Bisoee

Activists in Jharkhand have decided to take a pledge to continue their fight for jal, jungle and jameen, along with a demand for punishment to those responsible for ‘murder’ of Stan Swamy.
Human rights activists in Jharkhand have decided to take a pledge to continue their fight for jal (water), jungle (forest) and jameen (land), along with a demand for punishment to those responsible for the “murder” of Stan Swamy, on July 5 which marks the third death anniversary of the Jesuit priest.
Read more


The Challenge to Live Fr. Stan Swamy’s Legacy Today!

04/07/2023

Countercurrents.org / by Cedric Prakash

… Given the grim realities which throttle the nation today, one person whose physical presence is greatly missed today is that of Jesuit Father Stan Swamy. Two years ago on 5 July 2021, he said ‘good-bye’ to us, having completed his pilgrimage here on earth. He was arrested on 8 October 2020 on fabricated charges, incarcerated in the Taloja jail where he suffered very much. His terrible and untimely death is regarded by many as ‘institutional murder’. He has still not been declared ‘innocent’ by the courts. However, Stan (as he was called by all very lovingly) the man, mission and message -lives on in the hearts and lives of thousands everywhere. He has left us with a rich legacy and challenges us to live that legacy today.
Read more


Also read/watch:

Video: Testimony of Stan Swamy, two days before his arrest on 8 October 2020.


en | 7:48 min | Oct 6, 2020
Watch video

I am not a Silent Spectator – Why Truth has become so bitter, Dissent so intolarable, Justice so out of reach

An Autobiographical Fragment, Memory and Reflection


Indian Social Institute, Bangalore | by Stan Swamy | August 2021
Edition: Aug 2021
Publisher: Indian Social Institute, Bangalore
Language: English
Paperback: 149 pages
Access a free PDF copy of the book here

Institutionalisation of injustice the order of the day, says noted journalist-author

Institutionalisation of injustice the order of the day, says noted journalist-author

The Telegraph / by Achintya Ganguly

P. Sainath said this while delivering the second Father Stan Swamy memorial lecture on ‘Governance by gagging and the moral universe of media’
Earlier the media was expected to speak the truth to the power that be but now it also needs to speak the truth about that power.
Magsaysay award-winning journalist-author P. Sainath said this while delivering the second Father Stan Swamy memorial lecture on “Governance by gagging and the moral universe of media” at XISS auditorium in Ranchi on Sunday afternoon.
Read more

Digital archive on Adivasis named after Father Stan Swamy / Justice for Stan Swamy

Digital archive on Adivasis named after Father Stan Swamy / Justice for Stan Swamy

Independent filmmaker sets up digital archive on Adivasis named after Father Stan Swamy

25/06/2023

The Telegraph / by Animesh Bisoee

The Stan Swamy Archive of Adivasi Narratives is available on YouTube as a repository of videos on the tribal way of life, interviews with achievers and common Adivasis and their problems
An independent filmmaker and poet has set up a digital archive on Adivasis named after Father Stan Swamy, the Jesuit priest and tribal rights activist who died in custody in July 2021 and became a symbol of State repression.
Read more


Stan Swamy Commemorative Convention

by Justice for Father Stan Swamy / @FreeFrStanSwamy
Stan Swamy Commemorative Convention
Children’s Theatre Park, Ernakulam
5th July,
3 p.m. IST


Equality, Liberty, Fraternity: During Emergency and at Present

by Justice for Father Stan Swamy / @FreeFrStanSwamy / program by (PUCL Delhi)
Gandhi Peace Foundation,
New Delhi
24 June,
5.30 p.m. IST


Also read:
● Vigil for Stan Swamy (jesuits.org.uk / June 2023)
● Remembering Stan Swamy. July 5, 2022

Who are the acclaimed ‘BK-16’? / HRDs and families await justice, five years down

Who are the acclaimed ‘BK-16’? / HRDs and families await justice, five years down

HRDs and families await justice, five years down

22/06/2023

cjp / by Sabah Maharaj

Faulty investigation and severe loopholes in investigation, surrounds the controversial BK-16 case. International outcry has not helped move the trial five years down even while the targeted languish, families await the return of their loved ones
In June 2021, European Union parliamentarians, Nobel Laureates, renowned academics, and internationally known figures wrote a letter to the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, the then Chief Justice of India as well as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, and other authorities in India, demanding to the release of political prisoners arrested with relation to the Elgar Parishad and Bhima Koregaon incident.
Amidst contested accusations of an anti-India conspiracy, militancy, and violence, five long years have passed since the BK-16 have been imprisoned without trial.
Read more


Who are the acclaimed ‘BK-16’?

22/06/2023

cjp / by CJP Team

Five years have passed, and human rights defenders (HRDs) and their families continue to await justice.

Surendra Gadling
Status: Detained without trial
Charges:Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) since June 2018
Location: Taloja Central Prison, Mumbai

Gadling is a human rights lawyer and a Dalit activist. Over time, Gadling established himself as a keen advocate and a key figure in cases related to extrajudicial killings, police misconduct, false accusations, and injustices against Dalits and Adivasis in the region…
Read more


Also read:
Five years behind bars for five activists – Without bail, without charges being framed, without justice! – Various statements

Fr Stan Swamy – Clear his Name. Silent Vigil in London

Fr Stan Swamy – Clear his Name. Silent Vigil in London

By Jesuits in Britain / @JesuitsBritain

Fr Stan Swamy SJ died after being accused of terrorism and imprisoned in India.
The team @JesuitMissions are marching in London today to raise awareness and clear his name! #standwithstan
Please sign the petition here

Thread by Jesuits in Britain / @JesuitsBritain (June 20, 2023)
While the Indian High Commissioner was practicing yoga in Trafalgar Sq, we were @HCI_London demanding justice for Fr Stan Swamy SJ

The @HCI_London wouldn’t come to the door to speak to a group of priests and lay people, or accept our letter and petition calling for justice for Fr Stan Swamy

The facts are these:
– Fr Stan Swamy was 84 years old and suffering from Parkinson’s; in no position to ‘otherthrow’
@narendramodi
– Fr Stan died of Covid after being mistreated in jail
– We have proof that incriminating evidence was placed on his PC.
– India should clear his name


Vigil for Stan Swamy

20/06/2023

jesuit.org.uk / By Jesuits in Britain

This morning (20th June 2023) staff at the Indian High Commission in London refused to engage with Jesuits priests and laypeople who attempted to hand in a petition calling for justice for a priest who died of Covid whilst in Indian custody.
While the High Commissioner visited Trafalgar Square to view the celebrations marking the International Day of Yoga, British Jesuits and their supporters marched to the Indian High Commission in Aldwych where they held a peaceful vigil and then attempted to hand in a petition containing thousands of signatures calling for justice for Father Stan Swamy SJ.
However, as Met police officers looked on at the peaceful protest, Commission staff went through their own contortions as they refused to answer the door, or accept the petition.
Read more



Fr Stan Swamy – clear his name – silent vigil in London

15/06/2023

By Independent Catholic News

A silent demonstration, prayers and petition in support of Fr Stan Swamy will take place on Tuesday 20th June 2023.

Schedule
8 – 8.30am Parish Mass – Church of the Immaculate Conception
Fr Dominic Robinson SJ, Parish Priest
8.30 – 9am Coffee – Arrupe Hall, London Jesuit Centre (location tbc)
Welcome by Paul Chitnis, Director Jesuit Missions
9 – 9.15am Gather in courtyard outside London Jesuit Centre
Collect placards
9.15 – 10am Walk to High Commission of India

Read more


MP raises case of Indian Jesuit priest Fr Stan Swamy SJ in House of Commons

14/06/2023

By The Catholic Network UK

A Conservative Party politician has called on the Foreign Office to ”make representations” to the Indian government over the treatment and death in custody of an Indian Jesuit priest.
Speaking during Foreign, Commonwealth and Development questions in the House of Commons this morning, Simon Fell, Member of Parliament for Barrow in Furness, said that “Fr Stan Swamy, aged 84, died in custody with Parkinsons only a couple of years ago.”
In his lifetime, Fr Stan Swamy SJ stood with the excluded, championing the rights of indigenous people in India.
Read more


Also read:
Fabricating Evidence Against Life and Liberty: Tampering with Fr. Stan Swamy’s computer and its implications for Bhima Koregaon case (Press Release by Mumbai Rises to Save Democracy / Dec 2022)
Hackers Planted Files to Frame an Indian Priest Who Died in Custody (Wired / Dec 2022)
Fight to clear Fr Stan Swamy’s name ‘will continue’ (UCA News / Dec 2022)

Stan Swamy’s birth anniversary celebrated in Bagaicha / Fellowship for rights defenders

Stan Swamy’s birth anniversary celebrated in Bagaicha / Fellowship for rights defenders

Stan Swamy’s birth anniversary celebrated at his center

26/04/2023

Matters India / by P M Antony

Bagaicha, April 26, 2023: Friends and associates of late Jesuit social scientist Father Stan Swamy on April 26 observed his 86th birth anniversary at a center he founded near Ranchi, capital of Jharkhand state in eastern India.
Father Stan, as he was popularly known, died on July 5, 2021, as an undertrial prisoner at Mumbai, western India.
For his 86th birth anniversary, about 70 friends of Stan gathered at Bagaicha to cherish his memories, works and get energized and inspired by his life and works towards creating a more just and democratic society.
Read more


Father Stan Swamy’s acquaintances launch fellowship for rights defenders

28/04/2023

The Telegraph / by Animesh Bisoee

‘Most of us are aware of Stan Swamy’s work and contribution to defending human rights, especially the Adivasis’ right to jal, jungle aur zameen’
Friends and acquaintances of Father Stan Swamy have on his birth anniversary launched a fellowship for rights defenders like him and individuals involved in social work.
Read more


by Cedric Prakash / @CedricPrakash (April 26, 2023)
Today birth anniversary of #stanswamy He is fondly remembered by many as a brother, friend, mentor, guide, companion, human rights defender, crusader for justice & more! He was institutionally murdered on 5 Jul 2021; he will never die he LIVES in the hearts of many FOREVER !

Earthly Birthday Greetings to Stan Swamy in Heaven

26/04/2023

Countercurrents.org / by Cedric Prakash

Dear Stan,
It is your birthday today here on earth! You would have completed eighty-six years, if you were around. Well, that was not to be; on 5 July 2021 you were murdered by a brutal and fascist regime, which did not want a human rights defender like you to continue living! This is your second earthly birthday up above. Not sure how you will be celebrating it!

Read more


Swamy and Friends: A Poem by Keki Daruwala

26/04/2023

LiveWire / by Keki N. Daruwalla

This poem was originally published on July 9, 2021 and is being republished on April 26, 2023.

Beyond the Gangetic plain and the Jumna,
they had their world,  women dancing in the night
tapping their earth-and-sky-world into rhythm;
their days ruled by taboo and totem
long before Freud had  heard of them;
cults flowered, and shamans held the long stick

Read more


Indian Jesuit who died in jail hailed for exemplary life

26/04/2023

UCA News / by UCA News reporter

84-year-old Father Stan Swamy was arrested on false charges and denied bail despite suffering from multiple ailments
The birth anniversary of Father Stan Swamy was observed in India by exhorting the youth to follow the Indian Jesuit priest’s path of dedicating life to the poor indigenous people.
“Usually, after death, one is buried. But Father Swamy was sown. His ideals and sacrifices have to be taught to people,” said Justice K Chandru, a retired Madras High Court judge in Tamil Nadu, the home state of Father Swamy.
Read more

Fourth Drone Bomb Attack on Indigenous People in Bastar, Chhattisgarh

Fourth Drone Bomb Attack on Indigenous People in Bastar, Chhattisgarh

IndiaMatters UK / by over 60 international organisations and individual campaigners, activists and academics

Fourth Drone Bomb Attack on Indigenous People in Bastar, Chhattisgarh
Stop This State Terror Now!

Press Note

Indigenous (Adivasi) people in Bijapur district of Bastar, in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh, have been traumatised by yet another aerial bomb attack from the security forces which have been using drones to carry out these operations. Although the Indian Air Force is not officially deployed for combat in Chhattisgarh, the repeated use of aerial bombardment on civilian populations suggests a new dimension to the state terror being inflicted on the Adivasi population of Bastar for years.
… Social activists who have been speaking out against this injustice have also ended up in prisons … there are the well known sixteen democratic rights activists falsely implicated in what has come to be known as the Bhima Koregaon case. These sixteen were locked in prison between 2018 and 2020 on the basis of an essentially fabricated case prepared by the notorious National Investigative Agency against them under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.
Read full statement


Also read:
▪ Security forces’ operations in adivasi areas compared with Russia-Ukraine war (Counterview.net / April 2022)
▪ In Jharkhand, Scheduled Tribes Still Battle Flimsy Criminal Cases Filed With Little Evidence (Indiaspend.com / Oct 2021)
▪ Gadling in jail. Reason? As lawyer-activist he has been ‘unpleasant’ to India’s topcops (Counterview.net / Dec 2020)
▪ Gadchiroli’s 300 Gram Sabhas Pass Resolution in Support of Activist Mahesh Raut (The Wire / Oct 2018)
▪ Condemn the State Sponsored Massacre Scripted as ‘Encounter’ in Gadchiroli and Bijapur in Central India (wssnet.wordpress.com / May 2018)
How corporate land grab is sought to be legitimized in Chhattisgarh by misusing legal framework (Kractivism │ by Sudhy Bharadwaj │ Feb 2018)

Invitation to Stan Jayanti Day at Bagaicha (April 26)

Invitation to Stan Jayanti Day at Bagaicha (April 26)

By Justice for Father Stan Swamy / @FreeFrStanSwamy

Click to enlarge poster

Also read/watch:
Jesuit priest accused of terrorism was victim of digital hacking (Independent Catholic News / Apr 3, 2023)
Fabricating Evidence Against Life and Liberty: Tampering with Fr. Stan Swamy’s computer and its implications for Bhima Koregaon case (Mumbai Rises to Save Democracy / Dec 22, 2022)
Hackers Planted Files to Frame an Indian Priest Who Died in Custody (Wired / Dec 13, 2022)


Video: Testimony of Stan Swamy, two days before his arrest on 8 October 2020.


en | 7:48 min | Oct 6, 2020
Watch video