Original video here.
VIGIL FOR FATHER STAN SWAMY – MURDERED BY THE INDIAN STATE. NEVER FORGET! FREE THE BHIMA KOREGAON ACCUSED! REPEAL THE UAPA! FREE ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS!
On 5th July, 84 year old Father Stan Swamy, a tireless activist for Adivasi rights and for democracy and justice, who had been arrested in October 2020 and remained in jail after being charged under the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), died from Covid-19 complications after repeatedly being denied bail on medical grounds. Join us for a Vigil outside the Indian High Commission in London, to remember Father Stan Swamy, murdered by the Indian State. We will never forget.
Statement by Diasporic and Human Rights Groups on the Passing of Father Stan Swamy: ‘In spite of repeated exposes showing that Fr. Stan Swamy was falsely implicated in the case filed against him; in spite of the valiant efforts of his lawyers, fellow Jesuits, a wide array of activists across the world who loved him and drew inspiration from him; and in spite of the strenuous efforts of his doctors, Father Stan Swamy passed away on the 5th of July, 2021.
His death is the direct result of the inhumanity of a regime that filed the false case against him. It is the direct result of the draconian law, the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), and the inhumane treatment meted out to prisoners during a global pandemic. And in this, Fr. Stan is not alone: there are many other political prisoners held under false pretenses under the same draconian law, who are all still at risk of death, including fourteen of the Bhima-Koregaon 16. This was not unforeseen: over and over again, the authorities persecuted Father Stan and the other arrestees; over and over again, the authorities were warned that, especially after the outbreak of the pandemic, death would result if they did not release them. Far from heeding these warnings, the Central government took extraordinary measures to subvert a review of this baseless case by the Government of Maharashtra which may have resulted in its dismissal, and transferred the Bhima-Koregaon case to the NIA. The NIA, and the Taloja jail authorities, in turn, did all they could to keep Fr. Stan under deplorable conditions in prison, just as they continue to persecute other Bhima-Koregaon arrestees. It has only been a few weeks since an international effort was required just to get Prof. Hany Babu the basic care he needed for an infection. From UN Special Rapporteurs to members of the US Congress to members of the European Parliament, to legions of social movement groups in India, all kinds of people from all walks of life spoke up in support of Fr. Stan, to no avail. Now it is all too late. In one voice, we in the Indian diaspora, as well as allied groups, condemn the regime that persecuted Father Stan, denied him dignity and care, and hounded him to his death. We demand a judicial enquiry into his death. We condemn the continued persecution of the rest of the arrestees under false and trumped up charges during a global pandemic. We demand the release of all the rest of the Bhima-Koregaon arrestees. We demand the repeal of the unlawful UAPA. … Fr. Stan set an example for us all: to be steadfast, to persevere, and to keep rekindling the flame of hope, no matter how many times it is extinguished. We are bereft without him, but the work he began will continue. We will not stop until this injustice is at an end.’
Signatories: Alternatives International, Canada Ambedkar International Center, USA Ambedkar King Study Circle, USA Americans For Kashmir, USA Amnesty International USA Aotearoa Alliance of Progressive Indians, New Zealand Boston South Asian Coalition, USA Canadians Against Oppression And Persecution (CAOP), Canada CERAS (Centre sur l’asie du sud), Canada Coalition Against Fascism in India, USA Coalition of Seattle Indian Americans, USA The Crescent Hub, Middle East Dalit Solidarity Forum, USA Foundation London Story, Europe Hindus for Human Rights, USA The Humanism Project, Australia Indian Alliance Paris, France India Civil Watch International, North America Indian American Muslim Council, USA Indian Farmers and Workers Support Group, Vancouver, Canada Indian Solidarity Finland, Finland Insaf Bulletin, New York, New Jersey, USA, and Montreal, Canada International Council of Indian Muslims, USA InSAF India (International Solidarity for Academic Freedom in India), Europe and USA Le Groupe Culturel Montreal Serai, Montreal, Canada Peace Vigil, USA The Polis Project, New York, USA Progressive India Collective, USA Punjabi Literary and Cultural Association, Winnipeg, Canada SADAN (South Asian Dalit Adivasi Network), Canada South Asian Left Activist Movement (SALAM), USA South Asia Solidarity Group, UK Scottish Indians for Justice, Scotland Students Against Hindutva Ideology, USA Voices Against Fascism in India, USA Women of Diverse Origins, Montreal, Canada