Staying Vigilant As Women Being Persecuted For Peaceful Dissent In India

Original article here. Click to read about the profiles of dissent and status of their detention/arrests.

In targeted attacks on activists, Indian authorities have been trying to strategically erase any space for dissent, primarily through the oppressive colonial-era sedition law and the anti-terror law UAPA (Unlawful Activities [Prevention] Act). This is happening even though the right to protest is a fundamental right in India; the police and government have a constitutional responsibility to facilitate protests.

A staggering number of women are being framed in trumped up charges and even being jailed. Dalit and Muslim women are being targeted even more for voicing their dissent, and endure heightened discrimination in custody. In many of these cases, women languish in custody with no sign of trial beginning.

“The offence of sedition cannot be invoked to minister to the wounded vanity of the governments,” said the Additional Sessions Judge, Dharmender Rana in Disha Ravi’s bail order.

People’s protests against this kind of intimidation continue to put pressure on the government. In an effort to remain vigilant, we are collating a list of present and past women detainees. It is not an exhaustive list and we hope we will not have to keep adding more names here. But as Meena Harris rightly said, “Please stay loud — this fight is far from over.”

To mark International Women’s Day 2021, @_Smashboard called to action to support and defend #RightToDissent, to back our right to peaceful protest; to stand with brave women attacked & arrested on trumped up charges in India – only for defending democracy.

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