PROTEST THE UNJUST DETENTION OF DR. BINAYAK SEN
Disband Salwa Judum! Repeal Repressive Laws!
MARCH TO THE INDIAN CONSULATE: Tuesday, May 13, 2008 - 9.30 AM. See DETAILS HERE
APPEAL TO OBSERVE ONE YEAR OF DR. BINAYAK SEN’S UNJUST DETENTION
May 13th/14th, 2008 Dr. Binayak Sen, an activist with a lifelong
commitment to the issues of community health and human rights, will
complete his first year of unjust imprisonment at the Raipur Central
jail in Chhattisgarh. Organizations across the globe will be holding
events on the evening of May 13th, 2008 to mark one year of his
imprisonment. We appeal to your organization to hold rallies,
candlelight vigils or lectures against his unconstitutional detention.
Please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org if your organization would
endorse this appeal.
Dr. Sen’s life has been focused on
providing healthcare to the most marginalized sections of the society.
By setting up the unique Shaheed Hospital, the community-driven work of
Rupantar and his broader involvement with Jan Swasthya Abhiyan – the
Indian circle of the People’s Health Movement, Dr. Sen has made
healthcare available to people who have been ignored by government or
As the State Secretary of People’s
Union for Civil Liberties of Chhattisgarh and the national Vice
President, Dr. Sen has uncovered human rights violations by the state
and other armed groups. He has highlighted starvation deaths, dysentery
epidemics, poor conditions of under trial prisoners, custodial deaths
and extra judicial killings. Dr. Sen has also worked on the issues of
right to food, work, health and education. He has been amongst the most
vocal opponents of Salwa Judum, a private militia movement armed by the
Chhattisgarh Government to combat Maoist insurgency – that has
contributed to a spiraling increase in violence and displacement of
thousands of tribals. Even the Supreme Court of India has issued a
strong disapproval of the Salwa Judum, citing concerns similar to those
raised by Dr. Sen.
On May 14th, 2007 Dr. Sen was
arrested in Raipur under the repressive Chhattisgarh Special Public
Security Act, 2005 (CSPSA) and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act
2004 (UAPA) on charges of sedition, conspiracy to wage war against the
state and conspiracy to commit other offences. The continuing detention
of an activist committed to non-violence and social justice is a
mockery of justice itself. He now remains imprisoned for a year without
trial or bail, including a cruel spell of solitary confinement.
Sen is victim to an increasing trend of arresting human rights
activists in India for challenging state authority. Lachit Bordoloi, a
human rights activist from Assam; Prashant Rahi, journalist from
Uttarakhand; Govindan Kutty, editor of People’s March in Kerala; Praful
Jha, a journalist from Chhattisgarh; Vernon Gonsalves, an activist from
Nasik; Arun Ferreira, Ashok Reddy, Dhanendra Bhurule, Naresh Bansode,
activists from Vidarbha have all been charged under the UAPA and kept
under prolonged detention without bail.
We appeal to the
international community to speak out against the stifling of pro-poor
and democratic voices such as Dr. Binayak Sen’s. The international
community has already shown its appreciation by bestowing the Jonathan
Mann award for public health and human rights on him. In addition, the
UAPA and the CSPSA must be repealed, and the Chhattisgarh government
should stop its support for Salwa Judum.
Resources on Dr. Sen and Status of the Trial
Information on other activists under the UAPA, 2004
Information about SALWA JUDUM
When the State Makes War on its Own People—A report from human rights organizations in India, 2006 http://www.pucl.org/Topics/Human-rights/2006/slawajudum.htm