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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)

Interview with Sudha Bharadwaj: One Year in Exile

Interview with Sudha Bharadwaj: One Year in Exile

By Workers Unity

Sudha Bharadwaj

hindi | 36min | 2022

Eminent trade union activist Sudha Bhardwaj was released on 9 December 2021 after being in jail for three years. She is not allowed to go out of Mumbai. How has this one year been for her, Chhattisgarh has been the field of work, the regret of not being able to go there, what were her experiences in jail, what were the challenges of being a trade union leader as a woman. Workers’ Unity talked to him in detail on these subjects.
Watch video


Also read/watch:
ACTIVIST SUDHA BHARADWAJ WALKS OUT OF JAIL AFTER OVER THREE YEARS / SPONTANEOUS CELEBRATIONS (Dec 9, 2022)

● Video: The Conditions of Prisoners in Indian Jails

By All India Lawyers’ Association for Justice – AILAJ / March 2022


en | 1:21:23 | 2022
The huge number of undertrials, the overcrowding, and the disproportional numbers of Dalit, Muslim and Adivasi prisoners are part of the prison problem in India.
We are joined by Adv. Sudha Bharadwaj for a discussion on the Conditions of Prisoners in Indian Jails.
Watch video

● 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)

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)

Supreme Court allows Gautam Navlakha to be shifted to house arrest from jail for 1 month

Supreme Court allows Gautam Navlakha to be shifted to house arrest from jail for 1 month

Gautam Navlakha

by Bar & Bench (Nov 10, 2022):
#BREAKING Supreme Court allows Gautam Navlakha plea for house arrest instead of being lodged in jail.
Bench led by Justice KM Joseph permits house arrest for a month subject to conditions.


Supreme Court allows Gautam Navlakha’s plea seeking house arrest

10/11/2022

The Leaflet / by Sarah Thanawala

On Thursday, in Gautam Navlakha versus National Investigation Agency and Anr., a division bench of the Supreme Court, comprising Justices K.M. Joseph and Hrishikesh Roy, allowed the plea to place the petitioner, Gautam Navlakha, under house arrest for a period of one month subject to stringent restrictions and conditions.
Journalist and human rights activist Navlakha, an accused in the Bhima Koregaon-Elgar Parishad case, is charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (‘UAPA’). During his custody as an undertrial prisoner, a charge sheet was filed on October 9, 2020, and charges are yet to be filed by the court. The petitioner, in custody since April 2020, stands accused along with 15 others. He is currently lodged at Taloja jail in Mumbai, awaiting trial.
Read more


Supreme Court allows Gautam Navlakha to be shifted to house arrest from jail for 1 month

10/11/2022

Bar & Bench / by Abhimanyu Hazarika

The Court directed that Navlakha shall not be permitted to use computer, internet or any other communication device while under house arrest.
The Supreme Court on Thursday allowed a plea filed by Bhima Koregaon accused Gautam Navlakha to be shifted from jail to house arrest for a month.
Navlakha has to deposit an amount of ₹2.4 lakh as expenses for his security cover when he is under house arrest, a bench of Justices KM Joseph and Hrishikesh Roy ordered.
Read more


Supreme Court Allows Transfer Of Bhima Koregaon Accused Gautam Navlakha To House Arrest For One Month, Imposes Conditions

10/11/2022

Live Law / by Livelaw News Network

The Supreme Court has ordered that 73-year-old human rights activist Gautam Navlakha, who is in custody in connection with the Bhima Koregaon case, be transferred to house arrest within 48 hours on account of his medical condition. The order is interim in nature and will be reviewed after one month.
Read more

Supreme Court Allows Transfer Of Gautam Navlakha To House Arrest For One Month [VIDEO]

Live Law / by Aaratrika Bhaumik


en | 5:37min | 2022
Watch video


SC allows Gautam Navlakha to be under house arrest

10/11/2022

Scroll.in / by Scroll Staff

The 70-year-old activist had cited ill health and poor facilities in prison as the reasons behind his transfer from Taloja Jail.
The Supreme Court on Thursday allowed jailed activist Gautam Navlakha to be under house arrest for a month, Live Law reported. Navlakha had filed a plea seeking to be shifted from jail on grounds of ill health and poor facilities in prison.
A bench headed by Justice KM Joseph ordered jail authorities to carry out the necessary evaluation of the premises where Navlakha will be kept and directed them to shift him within 48 hours.
Read more


Live Thread: #SupremeCourt continues hearing plea by Gautam Navlalha seeking house arrest

10/11/2022

By Bar & Bench – Live Threads

#SupremeCourt continues hearing plea by Gautam Navlalha seeking house arrest.
ASG SV Raju: There’s a twist in the tale. We have reason to believe that the medical report is tainted. The doctor at Jaslok hospital is his sister’s husband.
Adv: That was never a secret.
ASG: That doctor has a senior position. Please see the medical report. We are investigating.
Justice Roy: You are trying to make an argument of prejudice, his was one of many specialists’ opinions. If one of them is related will it make the report biased? Please be responsible with your arguments.

SC: you can deposit 2,40,000 and then have it refunded if you are acquitted.
Sibal: But my lords, that deposit will then keep increasing.
But we will deposit.

Order: We would this think that he should be allowed to be placed for house arrest for a period of one month.

Read full thread


Gautam Navlakha gets Supreme Court relief, to be shifted to house arrest

10/11/2022

The Indian Express / by Express Web Desk

Earlier, the NIA opposed Gautam Navlakha’s plea to be shifted to house arrest, claiming that he is “in touch with Kashmiri extremists” and Pakistani intelligence agency “ISI”.
The Supreme Court Thursday allowed Bhima Koregaon violence case accused Gautam Navlakha to be shifted to house arrest.
In its order, the bench noted, “We consider it appropriate to grant house arrest given his age. Still further, our attention is drawn to the multiple medical problems the petitioner is faced with, and that charges have not been framed in a trial that will not happen in the foreseeable future.”
Read more


Also read:
Who is Gautam Navlakha, soon to be under house arrest after Supreme Court relief? (The Indian Express / Nov 2022)
Relatives of BK16 Flag Prison Authorities’ ‘Criminal Negligence’ and Deteriorating Health of Undertrials (Newsclick / Sep 2022)

Should anyone be jailed for shouting ‘murdabad’?/ Video: Personal Liberty and the Indian Courts

Should anyone be jailed for shouting ‘murdabad’?/ Video: Personal Liberty and the Indian Courts

posters by @/bakeryprasad

Supreme Court’s suspension of Dr. G.N. Saibaba’s acquittal: ‘Technical grounds are also substantive’, says senior advocate, Mihir Desai

26/10/2022

The Leaflet / by Gursimran Kaur Bakshi

Three recent judgments, controversial for their adverse impact on civil liberties, came in for critical review at an online event, organised by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties.
On October 25, the human rights body, People’s Union for Civil Liberties (‘PUCL’) hosted a webinar on the effect of three recent judgments: Jyoti Japtap versus NIA (in which the Bombay High Court denied bail to activist and performer Jyoti Japtap, detained as an accused in the Bhima Koregaon case), State of Maharashtra versus Mahesh Kariman Tirki & Ors. (in which the Supreme Court stayed the acquittal by the Bombay high court of scholar, writer and activist Dr. G.N Saibaba’s conviction in a Maoist links case), and Umar Khalid versus State of NCT of Delhi (in which the Delhi High Court denied bail to activist Umar Khalid, detained as an accused in the Delhi riots case).
Read more


Should anyone be jailed for shouting ‘murdabad,’ says senior advocate Mihir Desai

26/10/2022

Scroll.in / by Scroll Staff

He made the statement during a discussion on three judgements that denied bail to activists Jyoti Jagtap and Umar Khalid.
Should a person be jailed if he shouts murdabad (death to) slogans, asked senior advocate Mihir Desai during an event organised by People’s Union for Civil Liberties on Tuesday, reported Live Law.
He made the statement during a discussion on three judgements that denied bail to activists Jyoti Jagtap and Umar Khalid and stay on the acquittal of former Delhi University professor GN Saibaba.
Read more


Conspiracy Allegation Used To Fill Gaps, Speeches Given A Criminal Colour: Gautam Bhatia On Umar Khalid, Jyoti Jagtap Bail Orders

26/10/2022

Live Law / by Padmakshi Sharma

People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) hosted an online event to discuss three recent judgements pertaining to civil liberties. The judgements included Bombay High Court’s denial of bail to Jyoti Jagtap (Jyoti Jagtap v. National Investigating Agency and Anr.), Supreme Court’s stay on the acquittal of Dr G.N. Saibaba (State of Maharashtra v. Mahesh Kariman Tirki And Ors.) and Delhi High Court’s denial of bail to Umar Khalid (Umar Khalid v. State of NCT of Delhi).
Read more


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.
Senior Advocate Mihir Desai and Advocate Gautam Bhatia spoke at the meeting and responded to these judgements.
An update on the delay in the release of Siddique Kappan was shared by Advocate Mohammed Danish from Kappan’s legal team
The discussion moderated by PUCL General Secretary, V Suresh, Arvind Narrain, VP Karnataka State PUCL and Kavita Srivastava, National Secretary PUCL
Watch video (PUCL fb page)


by Live Law (Oct 25, 2022)
People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) hosts an online discussion on 3 recent judgements- denial of bail of #JyotiJagtap; Supreme Court’s stay on the acquittal of #DrGNSaibaba and; the denial of bail of #UmarKhalid

The judgments will be discussed by Senior Advocate Mihir Desai (@mihirde19079979) Advocate Tara Naruala (@taranarula1) and Advocate Gautam Bhatia (@gautambhatia88)

Advocate Gautam Bhatia: We often hear that the trial courts and the High courts, when they are dealing with UAPA, have their hand tied owing to the text of the UAPA and the Watali judgement. I believe that there is space for the courts to work around.

Desai: Jyoti’s name was there in FIR from Day 1 as having shouted slogans at Elgar Parishad and being part of a play which dealt with issues such as demonitisation and dalit rights, which is now considered by the court as serious.
Desai: Most important aspect is the question of frontal organization. Jyoti was a part of Kabir Kala Manch, which is a frontal organisation but no-one knew that it was a frontal organisation.
Desai: You can’t throw names that this is a frontal organisation unless you come with a clear government notification. What is the basis of holding Kabir Kala Manch as a frontal organisation? Nothing.
Desai: Just the other day the prime minister called narmada bachao andolan as an urban naxal movement – anything can be called…which is okay for politicians but for courts to hold such organisations as frontal organisation is wrong.
Desai: In Jyoti Jagtap’s case, even prosecution admitted that there were around 150 organisations…even retired HC and SC judges included in Elgar Parishad…how are you picking one or two members like that? There is no link.

Read full thread


Also read:
Inconsistencies in Bail Orders Mean Individual Liberty Is Now the Outcome of Judicial Lottery (The Wire / Oct 2022)
Kabir Kala Manch Incited Hatred By Ridiculing Phrases Acche Din, Demonetization In Plays: Bombay HC [read order] (Live Law / Oct 2022)
Supreme Court Stays Release Of Prof GN Saibaba & Others In UAPA Case, Suspends Bombay HC’s Acquittal Order (Live Law / Oct 15, 2022)
Report: UAPA – CRIMINALISING DISSENT AND STATE TERROR (PUCL / Sep 2022)

Download report

Video: Sudha Bharadwaj on activism, her time in jail & why Chhattisgarh will always be home

Video: Sudha Bharadwaj on activism, her time in jail & why Chhattisgarh will always be home


en | 13:32min | 2022

Newslaundry / by Manisha Pande; NL Interview

The trade unionist and lawyer sits down with Manisha Pande in Mumbai.
Sudha Bharadwaj loves mathematics, wonders whether she gave her daughter the “right” kind of childhood, and became a lawyer when she was 40 years old.
“Had I not become a lawyer,” she says, “I don’t think I would have been very easily accepted as a leader.”
Sudha was released from Mumbai’s Byculla Jail in December last year after spending three years in prison. She was arrested in connection with the #BhimaKoregaon violence and was repeatedly denied bail until December 1. She was also dubber an ‘urban naxal’ by TV channels that made little attempt to understand her work. Sudha says she now wants to go to her real home, to Chhattisgarh, where she’s lived since the 1980s.
In this interview, she talks about her childhood in Bilaspur and her educational journey, culminating in IIT Kanpur. Her mother, a #JNU professor, helped shape the ideology of this self-proclaimed #Marxist – though she confesses her mother had many “apprehensions” – who began working with trade unions at the age of 25.
Working with people on the ground, Sudha is only too aware of how “alien” the judicial process is to the majority of India’s population. “The notification comes out in the gazette. You are somewhere, miles away in a village which is not even accessible, and nobody even tells you about it,” she says. She also thinks it’s important for young lawyers to cut their teeth by representing the most marginalised.
In Byculla jail, where she remembers she once saw #RheaChakraborty, Sudha continued her work, trying to secure legal aid for those imprisoned with her. She believes in the importance of a “united front” – the farm law protests are an example, with people holding differing ideologies coming together – and worries that the lack of this unity gives rise to dogma.
Watch 13 min video clip here

by newslaundry (Oct 21, 2022):
‘He was never an opportunist in his politics.’ @Sudhabharadwaj talks about labour law leader and founder of the #Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha Shankar Guha Niyogi and the actual movement that led to his assassination.
Watch video clip (3:46min)

by newslaundry (Oct 20, 2022):
In conversation with @MnshaP @Sudhabharadwaj details the #Sarkeguda encounter case in #Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur district in which unarmed villagers including minors were killed, and the legal battle that ensued.
Watch video clip (4:30min)

by newslaundry (Oct 19, 2022):
‘So much money goes to defend the state.’ Speaking with @MnshaP, @Sudhabharadwaj
talks about legal aid in India and how there is no level playing field for citizens.
Watch video clip (2:34min)

Watch the full interview (for subscribers only) here

BK16 Relatives Flag Prison Authorities’ ‘Criminal Negligence’ of Undertrials / Custodial Violence, Judicial Negligence & State Apathy

BK16 Relatives Flag Prison Authorities’ ‘Criminal Negligence’ of Undertrials / Custodial Violence, Judicial Negligence & State Apathy

NewsClick / by Relatives and Representatives of the BK16; NewsClick

The relatives and representatives of the accused persons in the Bhima Koregaon case have released a statement drawing attention to the deteriorating health of several undertrials – including Vernon Gonsalves – and the brazen negligence of the prison authorities...

Statement:
In yet another act of criminal negligence, the prison authorities of Taloja Central Jail, Maharashtra, have delayed medical treatment for Vernon Gonsalves, a prominent activist and one of the accused in the Bhima Koregaon – Elgar Parishad case.
Gonsalves, who is 65 years old, fell ill with fever on August 30th, and even though his condition was steadily deteriorating, he was treated with just paracetamol and antibiotics in jail, for almost a week. After much pleading, he was taken to JJ hospital on September 7 and was given oxygen support. However, instead of continuing his treatment, he was callously brought back to jail where his condition continued to worsen. It is only after his lawyer and wife, Susan Abraham, approached the court and obtained an order, that the prison authorities finally admitted him to the emergency ward of JJ hospital, where he is still under treatment.

Read full statement


Video: Custodial Violence, Judicial Negligence and State Apathy

12/09/2022

en │ 52min │2022

By The Polis Project

On 5 October 2020, Atikur Rahman, journalist Siddique Kappan, student Masood Ahmad, and taxi driver Mohammad Alam were arrested in Mathura, in Uttar Pradesh in, India They were on their way to meet the family of a Dalit woman who was raped and murdered by a group of men from the dominant caste in Hathras…
The denial of medical treatment and bail must be seen as a part of a larger pattern of abuse of power directed toward dissenters and political prisoners in India. On 5 July 2021, 84-year-old Jesuit priest and human rights defender Father Stan Swamy died in judicial custody at the Holy Family Hospital in Mumbai, India.
Watch video


► Also read/listen: Bhima Koregaon, COVID-19 And Custodial Apathy In Jails / Audio + Press Release (May 2021)

#India@75: Song by Sagar Gorke, sung by Surendra Galding / PEN America …

#India@75: Song by Sagar Gorke, sung by Surendra Galding / PEN America …

1:30min | 2022

by Panther Ajay

Lyrics by Shahir Sagar Gorkhe, sung by Adv Surendra Gadling
Watch video



PEN AMERICA, WITH 102 INTERNATIONAL WRITERS AND ARTISTS, CALLS FOR INDIA TO UPHOLD THE FREEDOM TO WRITE AHEAD OF 75TH INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION

15/08/2022

Pen.org / by PEN America

Raises Ongoing Concerns About Fraying of Free Expression and Jailing and Silencing of Writers

(NEW YORK)—As India marks 75 years of independence today, 102 notable U.S. and international writers and creative artists, including Marina Abramovic, Paul Auster, J.M. Coetzee, Jennifer Egan, Jonathan Franzen, Azar Nafisi, and Orhan Pamuk, joined PEN America and PEN International in signing a letter to Indian President Droupadi Murmu, raising concern over the deterioration of free expression and calling for the release of imprisoned writers and dissident and critical voices…
Seven of the eight writers in prison in India during 2021 have been detained in connection with the ongoing Elgar Parishad case, concerning a deadly inter-caste altercation in the village of Bhima Koregaon in 2018. In response, state- and national-level authorities detained a broad swathe of leftist writers and intellectuals, accusing them of inciting the violence and of links to banned groups.
Read full statement

INDIA AT 75 | CONTRIBUTORS S – Z

15/08/2022

PEN America / by Siddhartha Deb

Siddhartha Deb

I am not allowed to say the name of the person who told me, years ago: “India is not a nation. It is a prisonhouse of all possible nations.” Now this person is incarcerated, but I can’t describe the specifics of their suffering…
I can say the name of Stan Swamy, incarcerated and, eventually, killed by the Indian state on July 5, 2021. I can say his name because his life, if not his memory, is beyond the reach of the prisonhouse. Father Stan, dead at 84 because those running India are terrified of a Jesuit priest whose life was dedicated to working with indigenous people brutalized by Hindutva, the state, and the market.
Read more


by Priyanka (Aug 15):

Mahesh Raut

Our friend Mahesh is spending his 5th Independence Day in the prison with all the other activists in the Elgar Parishad case. They await their freedom. Please spare a thought for each one of them.


Ideas Behind Bars Podcast

– upcoming –

by InSAF India (Aug 15):



Also watch:

Video: The Prison Song of Surendra Gadling

hindi | 11min | 2021

The Wire / lyrics by Ramesh Gaichor

51- year-old Gadling, a well-known criminal lawyer in Nagpur, was once a cultural activist, who sang songs of political resistance. The 11- minutes- long rendition tells you what it means to be incarcerated in Indian prisons. From food, water, to medical care, everything is a struggle, Gadling narrates. The song was recorded by one of Gadling’s colleagues and was made available to The Wire after obtaining his consent.

Watch video

‘First Step Towards Acquittal’: Varavara Rao’s Family on Bail by SC / #VaravaraRao

‘First Step Towards Acquittal’: Varavara Rao’s Family on Bail by SC / #VaravaraRao

By @poetdesaraju

Bail the first step, hopes Varavara family

11/08/2022

The Telegraph / by Pheroze L. Vincent

The apex court has ordered Rao to remain in Mumbai and said the regular bail granted to him was not a reflection on the merits of case
Telugu litterateur P. Varavara Rao’s family on Wednesday welcomed the Supreme Court’s judgment granting him regular bail on the grounds of advanced age and multiple ailments, hoping this could eventually lead to him being in the care of his family in Hyderabad and possible acquittal.
Read more


‘First Step Towards Acquittal’: Varavara Rao’s Family on Bail by Supreme Court

10/08/2022

The Quint / by Nikhila Henry

On 10 August, the Supreme Court granted bail to Telugu poet and activist Varavara Rao, who has been waiting for a respite on medical grounds for 19 months. His family, however, thinks the 83-year-old’s fight is far from over.
“In today’s mood, I am hopeful that he will come back home,” Rao’s daughter P Pavana told The Quint. “This is only the first step. We are hoping that he will be allowed to come to Hyderabad and be with his family. And finally, we are hoping that he will be acquitted in this case,” N Venugopal, Varavara Rao’s nephew, told The Quint.
Read more


by Samayam Telugu (Aug 10):

VV with family and friends

PEN International (Aug 10):
#India: We are pleased that poet #VaravaraRao has been granted regular bail today. However, he remains subject to onerous bail conditions and with a trial pending. If convicted, he faces a potential death sentence. We continue to call for his immediate and unconditional release.


Video


en | 5:55min | 2022

By Karwan e Mohabbat (Aug 10):

#VaravaraRao granted bail
Varavara Rao is no stranger to being imprisoned, but the poet and activist is also the conscience of our society – an intellectual we must protect from the excesses of a state determined to destroy dissenters.
Watch video


by Cedric Prakash (Aug 10):
Supreme Court Grants Bail To Varavara Rao On Medical Grounds In Bhima Koregaon Case, Deletes HC Condition. Delayed but good news Hopefully all incarcerated in #BhimaKoregaonCase will be given bail & acquitted incl late #FrStanSwamy


by Amnesty India (Aug 10):
We welcome Supreme Court’s decision to grant regular bail to Varavara Rao, arrested in August 2018 & given interim bail last year on medical grounds.
But 13 others continue to be imprisoned without trial in the case.
Authorities must stop the crackdown & free them all.
#FreeBK16


“Free them all!” A call of solidarity with political prisoners in India, America, and beyond

“Free them all!” A call of solidarity with political prisoners in India, America, and beyond

“Free them all!” A call of solidarity with political prisoners in India, America, and beyond

08/08/2022

SASW / by Padma B and Beena Sarwar

… Whereas ‘fascism’ isn’t a phrase to be taken evenly, it’s tough to keep away from given how political dissent is being crushed in numerous nations. This got here by in shows at a current seminar within the Boston space about political repression and incarceration in India and the USA.
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Video: Political Incarceration and Resistance in India and the United States

31/07/2022

en | 1h26min | 2022

By Boston South Asian Coalition & Jericho Boston

1. Resisting the Political Incarceration in India. Speakers: Kavita Srivastava is the national secretary of the People’s Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL). She is a dedicated human rights worker, working collectively towards restoring democracy, justice and ending inequalities. Prachi Teltumbde is a doctor and researcher based in London. She is also the daughter of Anand Teltumbde, a prominent public intellectual and one of the BK 15.
2. Mumia Abu Jamal’s Monumental Struggle Against Corruption and Empire. Speaker: JD

The demand to release incarcerated political activists in South Asia and the United States is gaining momentum. The incarceration of Bhima Koregaon 15 (BK 15), the institutional murder of Father Stan Swamy, and recent arrest of Teesta Setalwad and Mohammad Zubair has been condemned worldwide. In the US, the struggle continues to release the famous political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal, well known for his powerful struggle against the Philadelphia political machine and analysis of current events. Boston South Asian Coalition’s (BSAC) and Jericho Boston are holding a joint event on July 30th (Saturday) 11:30am EST to discuss the state of political prisoners in India and the US.
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