After completing the 74th anniversary of its independence on August 15, India Facing a crossroads: Will the constitutional values of secularism, equality and social justice prevail or, conversely, will the trend towards authoritarianism and the continued destruction of fundamental rights continue?
Today there are many voices in the country condemning the destruction of democracy and human rights, as well as the dictatorial path of government Narendra Modi. Peaceful protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, described as discriminatory against the Muslim minority or more recently By the three laws that left them at the mercy of the peasant capitalMany cases have resulted in thousands of arbitrary arrests without trial or indictment. On the contrary, as many activists denounce, the authorities do not investigate violent perpetrators of violence against the Muslim minority or against Muslims. Dalits (Social class is considered inferior) or Aborigines (Native), promoting a radical nationalist discourse (“India for Hindus”) and, in many cases, inciting hatred.
Through various laws, the Modi government prevents any disagreement against its policies. Among other things, the Prevention of Illegal Activities Act (UAPA). Transferred under his command and initially intended to combat terrorism, today it allows anyone who does not publicly adhere to government policies to be imprisoned for treason offenses and denied bail without trial for many years. Thousands of people are being held in Indian jails under the arbitrary application of this law.
The Prevention of Illegal Activities Act today allows those who publicly disagree with government policies to be imprisoned for treason.
This is evident from the number of prisoners between 2015 and 2019 (5,922 cases) and actually convicted (about 2%). Countless Voices And international reports echo the government’s harassment of peace activists, defenders and protesters. Organization Report Civicus Identifying dissent with anti-national and defamatory propaganda against human rights defenders points to India’s decline towards dictatorship. One more statement Freedom in the world This year, it notes that the Indian government and its Bharatiya Janana Party (People’s Party of India) have intensified violence against the Muslim population and are harassing journalists, NGOs and other critics.
On July 5, 2021, the Badre Stan Swami S.J., At Holy Family Hospital in Bombay, in court custody. He spent nine months in the Taloja jail in the city, falsely accused of maintaining links with Maoist extremists (a banned party in India) and plotting to overthrow the government. He was one of 16 people arrested in the Bhima Goregaon incident, and one died in 2018 when violence erupted at a rally commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Goregaon war. Thousands of people attended the event. Dalits And accused authorities of inciting violence by activists including Swamy.
All but one prisoner are known to defend the rights of marginalized communities in Indian civil society. The allegations have been denied by the defendants. Stan Swami Definitely denies them Video Recorded two days before arrest. As he points out, his “crime” has been fighting for more than four decades for the rights of indigenous communities to land and resources, or Aborigines In the state of Jharkhand. These allegations are based on information taken from computers confiscated from detainees.
But in one’s opinion it is very serious Investigation From the US-based Arsenal Consulting firm, key evidence used to accuse several activists and human rights defenders, including Fr.Stan Swami SJ, was deliberately placed on Rona Wilson’s laptop. Malware. The Washington Post He asked three experts to verify the validity of the Arsenal report, and its credibility was confirmed.
According to an Arsenal consulting firm, key evidence used to convict a number of activists and human rights defenders was deliberately placed on activist Rona Wilson’s laptop by malware.
As he pointed out Stan SwamiHis case was not unique, but was part of a broader harassment process against activists, defenders and students, and the atrocities on the Jesuits are astonishing. Despite his old age (he was 84 years old in prison), his illnesses (including severe Parkinson’s, hearing aids, hernia surgery and finally, Govit-19), the severity of the epidemic in India Mobilization Promotion in favor of him Jesus Institute And other groups and innumerable Requests Individuals and agencies in India and internationally repeatedly denied his bail, despite his deteriorating health as a result of his imprisonment. Relatives and friends of Bima Gorekovan’s defendants have described Swamy’s death as “corporate murder”.
Demands for compensation to Stan Swamy, repeal of UAPA law and release of detainees continue in India. May Stan Swamy’s legacy bear fruit in the movement for greater justice, human rights and democracy in India.
Valeria Mundes de Vigo is the Communications Coordinator Secretariat of Social Justice and the Environment Compañía de Jesús.
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