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Freedom Dalit Bahujan Adivasi

End governance of fear: Collectives in support of Teesta Setalvad

From international alliances to indigenous groups, citizens stand with Teesta Setalvad and others

Sabrangindia 30 Jun 2022

support of Teesta Setalvad

Support for human rights defender and journalist Teesta Setalvad continues to grow. On June 30, 2022, a newly launched broad-based alliance Solidarity for the Prisoners of Conscience in India gave its statement in solidarity with Setalvad and other dissenters.

As many as 260 rights activists, intellectuals, journalists, and community leaders condemned the arrest of Setalvad, 2002 Gujarat riots whistle-blowers RB Sreekumar, Sanjiv Bhatt (already in prison for over 18 months) and journalist and fact checker Mohammed Zubair.

Hardly a day after the Supreme Court’s judgement on the Zakia Jafri case, the Gujarat police forcibly entered Setalvad’s house, assaulted her and took her into custody on June 25, 2022. Sreekumar was arrested soon after. Pointing out that this was the anniversary of the day Emergency was declared, members said that the action indeed showed Emergency-type ruthlessness.

Regarding the allegations of fabricated evidence, tutoring witnesses and abuse of the process of law, the alliance said the FIR seeks to deter citizens from holding the State accountable.

“What the present government is doing is “Governance by Fear” in its rawest form. On the Emergency anniversary, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah have the habit of issuing statements condemning the Emergency as a dark chapter in the history of independent India, one imposed to quell dissent and free voice. But both of them are doing much worse now, and the Setalvad case is a typical example,” said the alliance.

It argued that the arrest of Zubair is further reminiscent of the crackdown on journalists during the Emergency. As such it demanded the immediate dismissal and release of the arrested under the FIR.

Similarly, Bangla Sanskriti Manch, working with Bengali speaking migrant workers voiced solidarity with Setalvad. Her organisation Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) had delivered food to thousands of starving workers in Mumbai during Covid-19.

“It is astonishing to think that national politics is becoming so vicious that a real philanthropist and human rights activist has been trapped in a false case and taken in custody. But no Opposition political party has really opposed this ultimate state oppression,” said the Manch in a press release.

It warned that if social workers and activists are unjustly imprisoned for disagreeing with the State, there will be no voice of dissent against state oppression. It condemned the action against Zubair for apparently trying to create communal unrest by spreading false news.

Adivasi rights group All India Union of Forest Working People (AIUFWP) continued to hold demonstrations in villages demanding the release of Setalvad. On June 29, Manikpur, Chitrakoot’s tribal women handed a memorandum to the Sub-District Magistrate to this effect.

Free Teesta

Free Teesta

Visuals from Madras High Court showed the Democratic Bar Association demanding Setalvad and others release amidst a decrial of the BJP-led government for “bulldozer raj”.

Free Teesta

Free Teesta

Free Teesta

Related:

Release Teesta Setalvad: Adivasi women demand justice for their sister activist
Drop charges against Teesta Setalvad: Human Rights Watch
Nation unites to demand Teesta Setalvad’s release
Human Rights organisations issue statements of support for Teesta Setalvad
First Teesta Setalvad, now Mohammed Zubair!
Teesta Setalvad inspires art from behind bars
After activists, is GoI now targeting farmers?

End governance of fear: Collectives in support of Teesta Setalvad

From international alliances to indigenous groups, citizens stand with Teesta Setalvad and others

support of Teesta Setalvad

Support for human rights defender and journalist Teesta Setalvad continues to grow. On June 30, 2022, a newly launched broad-based alliance Solidarity for the Prisoners of Conscience in India gave its statement in solidarity with Setalvad and other dissenters.

As many as 260 rights activists, intellectuals, journalists, and community leaders condemned the arrest of Setalvad, 2002 Gujarat riots whistle-blowers RB Sreekumar, Sanjiv Bhatt (already in prison for over 18 months) and journalist and fact checker Mohammed Zubair.

Hardly a day after the Supreme Court’s judgement on the Zakia Jafri case, the Gujarat police forcibly entered Setalvad’s house, assaulted her and took her into custody on June 25, 2022. Sreekumar was arrested soon after. Pointing out that this was the anniversary of the day Emergency was declared, members said that the action indeed showed Emergency-type ruthlessness.

Regarding the allegations of fabricated evidence, tutoring witnesses and abuse of the process of law, the alliance said the FIR seeks to deter citizens from holding the State accountable.

“What the present government is doing is “Governance by Fear” in its rawest form. On the Emergency anniversary, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah have the habit of issuing statements condemning the Emergency as a dark chapter in the history of independent India, one imposed to quell dissent and free voice. But both of them are doing much worse now, and the Setalvad case is a typical example,” said the alliance.

It argued that the arrest of Zubair is further reminiscent of the crackdown on journalists during the Emergency. As such it demanded the immediate dismissal and release of the arrested under the FIR.

Similarly, Bangla Sanskriti Manch, working with Bengali speaking migrant workers voiced solidarity with Setalvad. Her organisation Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) had delivered food to thousands of starving workers in Mumbai during Covid-19.

“It is astonishing to think that national politics is becoming so vicious that a real philanthropist and human rights activist has been trapped in a false case and taken in custody. But no Opposition political party has really opposed this ultimate state oppression,” said the Manch in a press release.

It warned that if social workers and activists are unjustly imprisoned for disagreeing with the State, there will be no voice of dissent against state oppression. It condemned the action against Zubair for apparently trying to create communal unrest by spreading false news.

Adivasi rights group All India Union of Forest Working People (AIUFWP) continued to hold demonstrations in villages demanding the release of Setalvad. On June 29, Manikpur, Chitrakoot’s tribal women handed a memorandum to the Sub-District Magistrate to this effect.

Free Teesta

Free Teesta

Visuals from Madras High Court showed the Democratic Bar Association demanding Setalvad and others release amidst a decrial of the BJP-led government for “bulldozer raj”.

Free Teesta

Free Teesta

Free Teesta

Related:

Release Teesta Setalvad: Adivasi women demand justice for their sister activist
Drop charges against Teesta Setalvad: Human Rights Watch
Nation unites to demand Teesta Setalvad’s release
Human Rights organisations issue statements of support for Teesta Setalvad
First Teesta Setalvad, now Mohammed Zubair!
Teesta Setalvad inspires art from behind bars
After activists, is GoI now targeting farmers?

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