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VV Rao’s Bail: Leading Newspapers Urge Courts to Protect the Fundamental Right to Liberty

VV Rao’s Bail: Leading Newspapers Urge Courts to Protect the Fundamental Right to Liberty

Varavara Rao’s Bail: Leading Newspapers Urge Courts to Protect the Fundamental Right to Liberty

27/02/2021

The Leaflet / by Manya Saini

Poet-Activist Varavara Rao’s extended judicial custody amid severe medical concerns has brought into question the rights of accused persons awaiting trial. Leading newspapers have pressed upon the need for judicial reform and argued that courts must come forward to protect the fundamental rights of citizens that are threatened by draconian laws like sedition and UAPA.
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Justice lives: Rao and Ravi granted bail

25/02/2021

The Telegraph / by editorial board

The momentum generated by these verdicts needs to be taken forward to kindle an informed debate on judicial reform.
A fair investigation is one of the prerequisites of justice. The infirmities in two separate investigations that were exposed and castigated by the courts in two recent judgments merit attention. The Bombay High Court granted conditional bail to the poet, Varavara Rao, infirm and an accused in the Elgaar Parishad case, observing that the National Investigation Agency had kept him in custody without framing charges for an extended period of time.
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Bail as right: On bail to Varavara Rao

22/02/2021

The Hindu / editorial

Laws, however stringent, cannot be allowed to trump basic rights.
n granting bail for six months to poet Varavara Rao in the Bhima Koregaon case on medical grounds, the Bombay High Court has affirmed the principle that even the stringent provisions of an anti-terrorism law are not invincible before a prisoner’s constitutional rights.
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Statement by Pen International

23/02/2021

By Pen International


Sharper Fights Ahead – Statement in view of VV’s Interim Bail

22/02/2021

By Release the Poet Committee

People’s Poet Varavara Rao’s interim (medical) bail granted by Mumbai High Court is a small but vital breakthrough, which was long overdue, is indeed an outcome of people’s rejection of state atrocities – but leaves no space for any self-satisfaction for them, who are unceasingly fighting in defense of VV and other victims of Bhima Koregaon-Elgar Parishad case.
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Varavara Rao’s bail: Hope for other accused

22/02/2021

The Times of India / by Shruti Ganapatye

With the Bombay high court granting bail to ailing activist Varavara Rao in the Bhima-Koregaon case on Monday, there is a renewed hope among other accused about similar relief coming their way.
Top lawyers, some of them representing the accused in the case, said though bail is difficult to secure in Unlawful Activitities Prevention Act (UAPA) cases, Rao’s case, where bail was granted on health grounds, has set a precedent.
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Video: VV Rao – Poet, Activist, Political Prisoner

22/02/2021


en | 5:54 | 2021

By Karwan e Mohabbat

Varavara Rao is no stranger to being imprisoned, but the 82-year-old is also the conscience of our society-an intellectual we need to protect from the excesses of a state determined to destroy dissent.
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Telugu, Wheelchair & Blanket: How Varavara Rao slipped into dementia during his time in prison

Telugu, Wheelchair & Blanket: How Varavara Rao slipped into dementia during his time in prison

The Quint / by Nikhila Henry

The octogenarian slipped into dementia during his time in prison, thereafter believing that his wife was dead.
Varavara Rao was incoherent on the phone. The president of Viplava Rachayitala Sagham (Revolutionary Writers’ Forum) spoke in Hindi instead of Telugu, his mother tongue, in which he has penned many poems.
“Her body was taken to the mortuary. Many people visited,” Rao said.
P Hemalatha, his wife, patiently listened to him during the five-minute-long phone call in June 2020 from Taloja Central Prison, Maharashtra, even as she was unsure of what he meant.
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Video: VV Rao – Poet, Activist, Political Prisoner

22/02/2021


en | 5:54 | 2021

By Karwan e Mohabbat

Varavara Rao is no stranger to being imprisoned, but the 82-year-old is also the conscience of our society-an intellectual we need to protect from the excesses of a state determined to destroy dissent.
Watch video

Video: Decoding the Arsenal Report – Curious Case of Questionable Evidence in the Case / Press Release

Video: Decoding the Arsenal Report – Curious Case of Questionable Evidence in the Case / Press Release

Video: Decoding the Arsenal Report – Curious Case of Questionable Evidence in the Case

16/02/2021


en | 1h 36min | 2021

By Mumbai Rises to Save Democracy

PRESS CONFERENCE
Speakers
Jedidiah Crandall: Associate Professor, Biodesign Center for Biocomputing, Security and Society; Associate Professor, School of Computing, Informatics and Decision Systems Engineering, Arizona State University Sandeep Shukla: Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT Kanpur
Adv. Mihir Desai: Senior Advocate Bombay High Court Lawyer, PUCL
Father Solomon: Director, Bagaicha, Ranchi, Fr Stan Swamy’s colleague
Sagar Abraham Gonsalves: Vernon Gonsalves’ son
Watch @ YouTube


The NIA’s ‘No Malware Found’ Response to New Forensic Report Points to Ineptitude
Bhima Koregaon Conspiracy Case Must be Quashed in Light of Explosive Forensic Evidence

16/02/2021

By Mumbai Rises to Save Democracy

PRESS RELEASE
On February 10, 2021 the Bhima Koregaon defense team filed a petition in the Bombay High Court seeking the release of Rona Wilson and the quashing of all charges against him. The petition was filed in light of startling new evidence of a forensic analysis that establishes that the top 10 files used to implicate Mr. Wilson with conspiracy to assassinate the Prime Minister and several other charges were fabricated and had been planted on Mr. Wilson’s hard drive by a cyber attacker using the NetWire malware. The forensic analysis was conducted by one of the world’s leading forensic analysis firms, Boston-based Arsenal Consulting and the story was first reported by The Washington Post on February 10.

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Video: The Needle of Doubt is Now on All Matters, says Mihir Desai / India’s democracy in decline

Video: The Needle of Doubt is Now on All Matters, says Mihir Desai / India’s democracy in decline

Video: Not Just Bhima Koregaon, the Needle of Doubt is Now on All Matters, says Mihir Desai

12/02/2021


hindi | 23:12min | 2021

Newsclick / Bhasha Singh in conversation with Mihir Desai

In a special offering by Newsclick, senior journalist Bhasha Singh spoke to Mihir Desai, a senior advocate at the Bombay High Court about the new revelation by The Washington Post in the Bhima Koregaon case which has revealed that offensive material was planted through a software on arrested political activist Rona Wilson’s laptop. The disclosure is important because it almost makes it clear that electronic evidence was planted in the Bhima Koregaon case and there is a strong sense of fear that it may happen in other cases as well.
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Also Read: Computer of Rona Wilson was compromised, malware planted from outside: US Forensic Firm report (Feb 10, 2021)


India’s democracy in decline

12/02/2021

Washington Post / by Joanna Slater and Niha Masih

The future of the world’s largest democracy is looking increasingly less democratic. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the most dominant Indian leader in five decades, while the country’s independent institutions have rarely appeared weaker…
One case in particular has become a litmus test for the rule of law and freedom of expression in India. Three years ago, police in a state controlled by Modi’s party began arresting activists under a stringent anti-terrorism law.
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Our battle for love must be militantly waged – and beautifully won / Video: Free BK16

Our battle for love must be militantly waged – and beautifully won / Video: Free BK16

Arundhati Roy: Our battle for love must be militantly waged – and beautifully won

30/01/2020

Scroll.in / by Arundhati Roy

The text of Arundhati Roy’s speech at the Elgar Parishad 2021 on January 30.
I thank the organisers of the 2021 Elgar Parishad for inviting me to speak at this forum to mark what would have been Rohit Vemula’s 32nd birthday and the 1818 victory of the battle of Bhima Koregaon. Not far from here, Mahar troops fighting in the British Army defeated the Peshwa King Bajirao II under whom Mahars and other Dalit castes were cruelly persecuted and ritually debased in indescribable ways.
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Video: Free BK16 – Repeal UAPA

30/01/2020


hindi | 3:09min | 2021

By National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM)

NAPM strongly condemns the imprisonment of senior social and human rights activists on false and baseless allegations in the name of ‘Bhima Koregaon Conspiracy Case’.
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Video: Keeping Hope, An Everyday Challenge: Imprisoned Activist Gautam Navlakha´s Partner

Video: Keeping Hope, An Everyday Challenge: Imprisoned Activist Gautam Navlakha´s Partner


en | 20:10min | 2021

The Wire / by The Wire Staff

An accused in the 2018 Bhima Koregaon case, Navlakha is a civil liberties, democratic, human rights activist, and journalist. He has been charged with the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, which many human rights activists across the world say is a tool used by the government to silence dissent. In this video, we speak to Navlakha’s partner, Sahba Hussain, and try to get some insight into his life – public as well as private.
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Book release: Sudha Bharadwaj speaks – A Life in Law and Activism [PDF copy]

Book release: Sudha Bharadwaj speaks – A Life in Law and Activism [PDF copy]

PDF copy: Sudha Bharadwaj speaks – A Life in Law and Activism

24/01/2021

By People’s Union for Civil Liberties

Sudha Bharadwaj speaks – A Life in Law and Activism

Publisher: Peoples Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL)
Edition: January 2021
Language: English
Sudha Bharadwaj’s interview by: Darshana Mitra and Santanu Chakraborty
Pictures credit: PUCL
Cover Design / Layout: Vinay Jain
Paperback: 316 pages

Access a free PDF copy of the book here:
Sudha_Bharadwaj_speaks (2,1 MB)

Please download and share widely!
#RepealUAPA


Video – Book Release: Why is the state afraid of Sudha Bharadwaj?

24/01/2021


en + hindi | 2h 53min | 2021

By People’s Union for Civil Liberties and more than 100 other organizations

Topic: Why is the state afraid of Sudha Bharadwaj?
Sudha Bharadwaj, a renowned human rights lawyer, trade unionist, is one of 16 activists incarcerated in the infamous Bhima Koregaon case for more than 2 years. A long interview conducted with Sudha over several days before she was arrested is now being published as an online book “Sudha Bharadwaj Speaks – A Life in Law and Activism”, and will be released at this webinar by the well-known writer, Nayantara Sahgal. Sudha’s daughter, Maaysha, her lawyer Yug Chaudhary, social activist Harsh Mandar, historian Uma Chakravarti amongst other coworkers & colleagues, will also share their experiences and memories of working with her.
Watch video @ PUCL Facebook (videos)

Programme – click to enlarge
Videos: Persecution by Prosecution – PUCL and 100 Organisations demand: Repeal UAPA / Session Reports

Videos: Persecution by Prosecution – PUCL and 100 Organisations demand: Repeal UAPA / Session Reports

en | 2h 17min | 2021

The Leaflet / by People’s Union for Civil Liberties

PUCL India and over hundred organisations present:

Repeal UAPA – Persecution by Prosecution

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)


Also watch:
► Why is the state afraid of Sudha Bharadwaj? (en + hindi | 2h 53min | Jan 2021)
► 100 Days of the incarceration of Fr. Stan Swamy (en + hindi | 3h | Jan 2021)


Session Report: Under UAPA, anything can be an offence based on flimsy evidence

22/01/2021

The Leaflet / by Megha Katheria

Bringing together lawyers, activists, and victims of UAPA, the second day of PUCL’s national consultation on repealing UAPA was packed with heart-wrenching stories of abuse and torture by the law. This underpinned the passionate launch of the campaign to repeal UAPA by PUCL and 100 other organisations. It is similar to the cohesive action by human rights organisations against TADA in 1990s and POTA in the early 2000s.
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Session Report: PUCL and 100 Organisations demand the repeal of the UAPA

21/01/2021

The Leaflet / by Parvathi Sjiv

In a session packed with human stories of abuse and misuse of law where activists and commoners were abused, the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL)  began a three-day session on January 20th with over 100 other organisations comprising advocates, activists and others who spoke about the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
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Video: 100 Days of the incarceration of Fr. Stan Swamy, SJ and the brutal face of the Indian State

Video: 100 Days of the incarceration of Fr. Stan Swamy, SJ and the brutal face of the Indian State

By Stand with Stan Campaign and 100 other civil society organisations

A programme in solidarity with the 16 human rights defenders arrested in the Bhima Koregaon case

Date: Jan 15, 2021
en + hindi | 3h | Jan 2021
Watch video @ PUCL fb page

Moderator: Apoorvanand, Teacher and Writer
Special Address: Mary Lawlor, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders
Speakers: Mihir Desai, Xavier Dias, Dayamani Barla, Aloka Kujur, Virginius Xaxa, Dorothy Fernandes
Performances:
Mallika Sarabhai, “I Shall Rise” (Maya Angelou’s poem)
Santhali Dance by Shikari Pada Santhal Pargana and other cultural expressions from Jharkhand
Performance video of arrested artists from Kabir Kala Manch

More programmes:

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