In June 2021 groups around the world urged the Indian government, judiciary and HPCs to allow maximum releases based on widened criteria.
- Age and vulnerability criteria
- Equal treatment irrespective of offences/charges
- Grant of bail wherever possible, and release (with consent) of those already granted bail
- Bail for political prisoners and “treatment like they are in detention (house arrest)”
- Submitted by organizations and individuals working on health from India and joined by Congo, Philippines, Moldova, Kenya, UK, Greece, Romania, USA, Nepal, Lebanon and South Africa.
A joint submission by five international human rights groups highlights that in India, those speaking out on human rights risk being jailed and denied bail under harsh terrorism laws like the UAPA. It urges the UN Human Rights Council to call on the Indian government to:
- Dismiss all charges against HRDs imprisoned for peaceful activism
- Advise HPCs to refrain from an offence-centric approach and reconsider criteria for release to prioritise i) age and/or comorbidities, ii) current health conditions, and iii) time spent in custody, especially for undertrials whose trials are delayed
- Improve medical facilities in jails, including measures to protect prisoners from Covid-19 like testing and vaccination
- Ensure all prisoners have prompt access to family members and lawyers.