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Call to resist Silent Emergency!.. Global protests for Binayak Sen’s Release

Call to resist Silent Emergency!.. Global protests for Binayak Sen’s Release

Free Binayak Sen Campaign

PRESS RELEASE
14th May 2008

Hundreds of activists in India and across the world today called for the
unconditional release of jailed pediatrician Dr Binayak Sen, dubbing his
incarceration a gross miscarriage of justice and a shame to Indian
democracy.

On the first anniversary of the arrest of the renowned health and human
rights activist they also demanded the scrapping of the Chhattisgarh
State Special Security Act, a draconian legislation under which Dr Sen
was detained. The protestors quoted the recent statement signed by 22
Nobel Laureates that says the internal security law does not ‘comport
with international human rights standards’.

Candlelight vigils, fasts, public meetings and rallies in support of Dr
Sen’s release were held in cities like New York, London, Paris,
Stockholm, New Delhi, Raipur, Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata and Pune.
Apart from rights activists large number medical professionals all over
the world took part in the protests.

In New Delhi in a memo to the Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Dr Raman
Singh, the Committee for the Release of Dr Binayak Sen said that the
trumped up charges of ‘treason’, and ‘abetting unlawful activities’
foisted on Dr Sen have so far not been backed up with any evidence. The
judicial process initiated against him is only meant to harass him
personally and intimidate all those working for human rights in Chattisgarh.

The memo said that the arrest of Chhattisgarh PUCL executive member and
independent filmmaker Ajay TG on 5 May 2008 on similar flimsy and vague
charges exposed the desperation of the Chhattisgarh government following
its inability to substantiate charges against Dr Sen.

The Committee for the Release of Dr Binayak Sen has made the following
demands to the Chhattisgarh government:

* Drop all charges against Dr Binayak Sen, release him
unconditionally and pay compensation for the harassment and loss of
liberty he has suffered due to his detention;
* Drop all charges against Ajay TG, who is being victimised by
your government for being an active member of PUCL and supporting the
release of Dr Sen;
* Scrap the Chattisgarh State Public Security Act that violates
the basic principles of the Indian Constitution as well as
internationally accepted norms of justice and rule of law;
* Stop encouraging all-out civil war in Chattisgarh in the name
of ‘Salwa Judum’, which even the Supreme Court has indicated is
unconstitutional and amounting to abetment of murder by the state.
* Ensure a just and honest governance that improves the lives
of millions of desperately poor people in Chattisgarh

Activists supporting Dr Sen have vowed to continue their peaceful
agitation for his release and also raise the issue of other political
prisoners around India who have been detained under various undemocratic
laws. They have called upon the people of India to resist the imposition
of a silent Emergency on the country in the name of ‘national security’
and containing terrorism.

For further information contact:

* Sreerekha Ph: 9868120339
* Satya Sivararaman Ph: 9818514952
* Kavita Srivastava Ph: 09351562965

Visit: www.binayaksen.net and www.freebinayaksen.org and www.pudr.org
for more details