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International Solidarity India started this petition to the international press
As India celebrates Independence Day, we add our voices to the global outcry against the Modi regime’s assault on activists defending human rights and democratic dissent.
The regime has imprisoned student protestors, feminist campaigners, human rights activists and prominent civil society figures. Many arrests were made on the basis of emergency laws that have no accountability, like the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). In some cases, patently absurd charges of rioting have been concocted, to frame activists whose protests have been peaceful and constitutional.
These arrests have been made while the COVID crisis rages across India. In addition to its incompetence in dealing with the pandemic, the BJP led government has demonstrated its trademark cruelty in incarcerating activists and exposing them to India’s unsanitary jails, which are breeding grounds for disease. Several activists have already caught the virus.
This assault has intensified in unprecedented ways in recent months, and is linked to the regime’s violent repression of the vast peaceful protest movement that swept the country between December 2019 and March 2020. Horrific riots in Delhi in March were evidently linked to inflammatory hate speeches, made by BJP leaders like Anurag Thakur and Kapil Sharma, which openly called for violence against democratic protestors. Muslims were targeted by organized mobs of rioters associated with the Hindu Right. It is very clear, though, that the police and the courts have chosen to ignore the violence against Muslims, and to ignore the instigation of hatred by ruling-party leaders. There is mounting evidence that the Delhi Police were complicit in abetting and even committing violence against Muslims.
The Modi regime is systematically destroying India’s constitutional democracy in pursuit of its dictatorial and majoritarian agenda. India’s image in the world has never been tarnished as badly as it has by this government. We stand with those in India actively opposing this vicious regime, and call upon the solidarity of global public opinion to demand the release of all political prisoners.
Let our voices join those demanding:
Modi, stop arrests based on lies.