“I’m additionally not pleased with Takht-e-Dar”
I additionally agreed, inform me from the helpless
Why do you crack from the wall of the dwelling,
Mistaken to speak, Jahle to nighttime?
I do not imagine, I do not know”

(I am not afraid of the place of hanging
I notice Mansoor’s soul, inform the executioner
Then why ought to I worry the partitions of your jail,
The voice of oppression, the darkness of ignorance?
I refuse to simply accept, I refuse to simply accept it)

Iconic poem by revolutionary poet Habib JalibI do not agree’ (I refuse to simply accept) written in 1962 In opposition to the then army dictatorship in Pakistan Wherever there may be political opposition, there are echoes of repression and imprisonment.

Whereas ‘fascism’ isn’t a phrase to be taken calmly, it’s tough to flee the way in which political discontent is being quelled in several international locations. This happened by way of shows at a current symposium within the Boston space about political repression and imprisonment in India and the USA. The observations shared by the three audio system maintain true past limits.

“We’re a fascist nation now. This might not be clearer from what we’re seeing right this moment,” stated Featured Speaker Kavita Srivastava, Nationwide Secretary, Individuals’s Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL), India. That Saturday, August 6 Ko was addressing members on the Democracy Middle in Cambridge, Massachusetts from her base in Jaipur.

‘new regular’

Within the ‘new regular’ created by the COVID-19 pandemic, discussions on “political imprisonment and resistance in India and the USA” befell throughout a number of platforms. Boston South Asian Alliance that connects expatriate South Asians within the area who’ve labored with Boston Department of the Jericho Motion Which works for a hybrid occasion (on-line and offline mode mixed) for political prisoners within the US.

Two audio system from India – Kavita Srivastava and Prachi Teltumbde – Joined by way of Zoom name whereas the dialogue was streamed Stay on Fb.

in session Imprisonment rights in South Asia By South Asia Peace Motion Community (SAPAN), Srivastava started with the case of Teesta Setalvad, one in every of India’s foremost human rights activists.

Srivastava drew consideration to Setalvad’s decades-long wrestle, demanding justice for the victims and survivors of the 2002 Gujarat bloodbath in India. Srivastava stated that since his arrest in Mumbai on June 25, human rights organizations have been urging the federal government to drop the fees in opposition to him.


“Why are the 2002 incidents in Gujarat referred to as ‘genocide’? If the ‘riot’ continues for 3 days, the complicity of the state is clear,” Srivastava stated, including that “any such motion should be contained inside 48 hours”. might be performed.”

India’s Supreme Court docket on June 24 dismissed Zakia Jafri’s plea, supported by Teesta Setelvad, calling for an investigation right into a “bigger conspiracy” behind the 2002 killings and destruction of property in Gujarat, Srivastava recalled.

‘The Armament of the Legal Justice System’

Justice AM Khanwilkar presiding over a three-member bench that dismissed Zakia Jafri’s plea. Alleged that Teesta Setalvad had conspired Srivastava recalled that she was in opposition to then chief minister Narendra Modi, who’s now prime minister, and that she was utilizing Zakia Jafri “as a software”.

Jafri’s husband was former MP Ehsan Jafri. overwhelmed to dying by a mob Exterior his home in Gujarat in 2002.

“Twenty years later, Teesta is in jail,” stated Srivastava. “The prison justice system is being made a weapon in opposition to dissidents,” Srivastava stated.

he cited aa. another current instance of Supreme Court docket’s resolution to dismiss the petition For an unbiased inquiry into the alleged case by Gandhian activist Himanshu Kumar 17 extrajudicial killings of tribals Or indigenous individuals in Chhattisgarh in 2009. The courtroom moreover imposed a high quality of Rs 5,00,000 on Kumar.

Srivastava stated, “This resolution is harmful, as civilians who’ve moved courts to hunt justice for these killed by safety forces are actually being accused of being a risk to nationwide safety. They’re being implicated and the Indian state There’s a danger of falsely accusing him of being a part of a conspiracy, as is clear within the circumstances of Teesta Setalvad and Himanshu Kumar.

Srivastava additionally attracted the eye of the members Violence in opposition to Dalits befell in Bhima Koregaon, Maharashtra in January 2018. He stated these accountable for the violence are harmless.

As a substitute, he lamented that defenders of the rights of Dalits, resembling the general public mental Dr. Anand Teltumbde; Individuals’s Advocates Surendra Gadling and Sudha Bharadwaj; And cultural activists like Sagar Gorkha, Ramesh Gaychor and Jyoti Jagtap of Kabir Kala Manch are being imprisoned.

He stated jailed activists are referred to as Bhima Koregaon 16 (BK16) – after bk 15 Father Stan Swamy dies in custody India’s greatest thinkers and public intellectuals. Working with and defending the rights of the individuals by way of varied fora, he held the state accountable to the individuals.

‘State collusion’

The state complicity within the dying of Father Stan Swamy is clear in denying him well timed medical therapy after contracting COVID-19 in jail. He refused even the slightest requests, resembling offering a consuming straw, which he wanted due to Parkinson’s illness, she stated.

BK15 has been imprisoned beneath the stringent Illegal Actions Prevention Act (UAPA), which refuses to grant him bail, resulting in a long term of imprisonment. based mostly in Boston Arsenal consulting agency investigation It was clearly proven that malware was used to put in proof on the computer systems of activists resembling Rona Wilson and Surendra Gadling. But their circumstances don’t come up for listening to earlier than the Excessive Court docket, he stated.

Younger Muslim activists and ideologues like Umar Khalid and Khalid Saifi are in jail on conspiracy costs. Srivastava stated the protesting tribals and Dalits had been being labeled “Maoists” and the protesting Muslims as “terrorists”.

“On this state of affairs,” she stated, the solidarity of the worldwide group to help human rights activists and organizations in India is essential.

talking on the event Prachi Teltumbde, daughter of public mental Anand Teltumbde, one of many arrested BK16 activists stated, “My father has spent his third birthday in jail. I’ve seen him over 10 years previous in that point.”

Prachi’s mom Rama Teltumbde (66) travels for six hours each week by highway to get to Teltumbde, then stands in lengthy traces with the households of different prisoners to speak to their family members for under 10 minutes, Unable to even contact them.

Dr Anand Teltumbde. Picture: YouTube Screengrab

course of as punishment

Prachi Teltumbde Thrown gentle on Impact of incarceration on the psychological well-being of prisoners and their members of the family: “I’m dwelling it and watching it intently.”

Prachi Teltumbde and Even Ek Jeevan (Fr Stan Swamy) stated, “The absurdity of the fabricated allegations in opposition to BK16 is sort of ridiculous till you notice that these individuals have misplaced treasured moments of their lives. “ “Captive employees should not even allowed to speak with their family members over the telephone., That is particularly tough for these Gautam Navlakha, 70, whose associate finds it tough to journey weekly to see him. ,

“Process was meant to be punishment,” stated Prachi. teltumbde,

mumia abu jamali

Within the US, one of many nation’s most well-known political prisoners, Mumiya Abu-Jamal, has spent the previous 40 years in jail, of which almost 30 are on dying row. A former member of the Black Panther Celebration, Abu-Jamal labored as a author and radio journalist, and from 1978–80 as president of the Philadelphia Affiliation of Black Journalists. He supplemented his earnings by driving a taxi cab at night time.

In line with his initials, the Jedi of Jericho shared particulars of the case in his presentation on “Mumiya Abu-Jamal’s monumental wrestle in opposition to corruption and the Empire”.

On December 9, 1981, Abu-Jamal noticed a police officer stopping his youthful brother at a Philadelphia road nook. What occurred subsequent is disputed and he was imprisoned due to that. Bullets had been exchanged. The policeman died. Abu-Jamal was shot within the abdomen and overwhelmed up by the police on the spot.

“Mumiya was extra harmful with a gun than together with his microphone,” stated JD, a highschool instructor by career. Photographic and ballistic proof has referred to as into query the state’s case in opposition to Abu-Jamal, married by Racism and anti-radical prejudice,

his dying sentence was lastly reversed in December 2011 After many years of motion and attraction world wide. He’s serving a life sentence in jail with out parole. varied worldwide human rights And civil rights group Elected heads of state, together with the late Nelson Mandela, have supported his name for a recent trial.

“What is the name?” Elevating the slogan, raised the slogan of JD. “Free all of them!”

On the viewers’s query of how abnormal individuals might help these unjustly jailed, the audio system agreed that writing them provides ethical help and reminds the state that we’re nonetheless watching.


Kavita Srivastava stated, “Letters deliver numerous hope.” Prachi Teltumbde and JD share addresses the place letters and postcards might be mailed Anand Teltumbde and Mumiya Abu-Jamal.

The patterns of persecution reported by audio system from India and the US reveal how governments systematically goal and imprison residents who problem unjust legal guidelines and social injustice. Probably the most oppressed communities are bearing the brunt.

Saturday’s symposium was a small step in direction of exhibiting solidarity with political prisoners throughout worldwide borders and a united wrestle for his or her launch.

Padma B is a member of BSAC, which is an alliance associate of? Southasia Peace Motion Community This dream Bina Sarwar is a journalist and founder-curator of SAPAN.

This can be a Sapan syndicated specialty.

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