Crackdown on activists cannot become the order of the day

Crackdown on activists cannot become the order of the day

  • By
  • 28 Aug, 2018

The nationwide crackdown on activists, advocates and human rights defenders is disturbing and threatens core human rights values, Amnesty International India and Oxfam India today said jointly in response to the massive crackdown on rights activists in the country by the Maharashtra state police.

“Today’s arrests is the second of such crackdowns on rights activists, advocates and journalists who have been critical of the state. All these people have history of working to protect the rights of some of India’s most poor and marginalized people. Their arrests raise disturbing questions about whether they are being targeted for their activism,” said Aakar Patel, Executive Director, Amnesty International India.

“These arrests cannot become the order of the day. The government should protect people’s rights to freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly instead of creating an atmosphere of fear,” said Amitabh Behar, CEO, Oxfam India.

According to media reports, the Maharashtra state police have arrested Chhattisgarh-based human rights lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj, Maharashtra-based social activist Vernon Gonsalves, former secretary of People's Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR) Gautam Navlakha, Maharashtra-based activist Arun Ferreira, and Telangana journalist Varavara Rao. The premises of several other activists like Anand Tetlumbde and Father Stan Swamy were also raided.

In June this year, five activists were arrested on the suspicion of inciting caste-based violence on 1 January in Bhima Koregaon, Maharashtra. Surendra Gadling, Rona Wilson, Sudhir Dhawale, Shoma Sen and Mahesh Raut were arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and several sections of the Indian Penal Code.


Related Stories

Health

27 Mar, 2020

Odisha

Strengthening communities for improving health and nutrition

During a community monitoring exercise conducted by the Centre for Youth and Social Development (CYSD) in Nuagaon village in Koraput district of Odisha it came to light that children, and pregnant and lactating mothers were not receiving food entitlements at the Anganwadi Centres (AWC). Oxfam India organised capacity building workshops of stakeholders and ensures service delivery through community monitoring systems.
Read More

Humanitarian Response and DRR

03 Mar, 2020

Maharashtra

Taking to the Streets for Public Health Promotion

In the aftermath of floods in Maharashtra Oxfam India immediately responded with life saving support. As a part of long-term Disaster Risk Reduction programme, Oxfam India organised a Video Van campaignto raise awareness of hygiene practices and prevention of diseases.
Read More

Education

03 Mar, 2020

Uttar Pradesh

Reducing Inequality by ensuring Formal Education

Nine-year-old Zaid* is studying in a primary school in Balrampur. However, he would have missed formal education had Oxfam India not intervened. Oxfam India tracks out of school children and helps them enrol in school.
Read More

Humanitarian Response and DRR

25 Feb, 2020

Kerala

Disaster Resilience through Economic Empowerment of Women and Excluded Communities in Kerala

The 2018 floods in Kerala affected lakhs of lives. Women and girls, boy and men, differently abled person, and transgender groups were affected in different ways. Oxfam India responded with immediate life saving support and implemented long-term programmes to help families rebuild their lives and get back to normalcy.
Read More

img Become an Oxfam Supporter, Sign Up Today One of the most trusted non-profit organisations in India