Monthly Archives: August 2018

Thailand: LAWYER ACCUSED OF LESE MAJESTE NOW FREE

August 27, 2018

A lawyer accused of royal defamation and later convicted of sedition has been freed after over a year behind bars, his attorney said Monday.

Prawet Praphanukul was released Sunday, about 16 months year after he was arrested on a charge of lese majeste, according to attorney Pavinee Chumsri. Prawet was acquitted of royal defamation, but a civilian court in June sentenced him to 16 months in prison for sedition instead.

“I am happy for Prawet because he was initially indicted on 10 counts of Section 112,” Pavinee said, referring to the section of the penal code addressing royal insults punishable by up to 15 years in jail per count.

http://www.khaosodenglish.com/politics/2018/08/27/lawyer-accused-of-lese-majeste-now-free/

https://thaipoliticalprisoners.wordpress.com/tag/prawet-praphanukul/

http://www.khaosodenglish.com/featured/2018/06/07/letters-reveal-un-exchange-over-thai-royal-defamation/

Azerbaijan: Left without a defence: Azerbaijan’s purge of human rights lawyers

August 30, 2018

Changes to the leadership and rules surrounding Azerbaijan’s Bar Association have left a number of prominent human rights lawyers unable to practice their trade. Independent journalists and opposition politicians say they are being left defenceless against political prosecutions, with one prominent human rights defender claiming just six lawyers now represent 150 political prisoners.

Freelance journalist Aynur Elgunash sued Azerbaijan’s Bar Association after they expelled her lawyer, Yalchin Imanov. Elgunash was repeatedly summoned for questioning as part of an investigation into journalists from Meydan TV, and she was eventually handed a travel ban. Before being disbarred, Imanov defended her both in interviews with police and in the courts. Now, the journalist has been left without a lawyer.

‘I need my lawyer’, Elgunash told OC Media, ‘in protest against the removal of my lawyer from the Bar Association, I appealed to Baku Administrative Economic Court No 1, but my complaint was dismissed’. The case is now being heard in the Court of Appeals.

Elgunash said the Bar Association offered her another lawyer. ‘I didn’t want that’, she said, ‘because I don’t trust any other lawyers. In today’s situation, the number of attorneys in the political process is minimal’.

According to Elgunash, the vast majority of lawyers are afraid to properly represent clients in political cases, so they take part as brokers only.

‘I’m against it. I can only trust people who won’t lead me in the wrong direction’, Elgunash said.

In past years, politically motivated disbarment was a relatively rare occurrence. With notable exceptions such as rights lawyers Aslan Ismayilov, Khalid Bagirov, Elchin Namazov, and Muzaffar Bakhish, all expelled from practising law.

In recent months, however, the crackdown has intensified, with a number of lawyers defending political activists and journalists facing disciplinary action by the Bar Association.

Imanov, whose clients have also included renowned investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova among others, was disbarred in November 2017. Irada Javadova, who criticised the association for disbarring Yalchin Imanov was disbarred in June. Fakhraddin Mehdiyev, Asabali Mustafayev, and Nemat Karimli, who all defended prominent journalists and opposition figures were given year-long suspensions.

http://oc-media.org/left-without-a-defence-azerbaijans-purge-of-human-rights-lawyers/

https://www.ozy.com/acumen/what-happened-to-azerbaijans-lawyers/88538

CCBE: 2018 European Lawyers Day – 25/10/2018

About European Lawyers Day

In 2014, the CCBE introduced the idea of coordinating an annual Europe-wide event that would encourage its member bars and law societies to organise national and local activities based around a central theme to promote the rule of law, and a lawyer’s role in upholding its legal principles, to citizens. European Lawyers Day celebrates the common values of lawyers and their intrinsic role in the defence and promotion the rule of law, as well as their contribution to the justice system.

European Lawyers Day programmes and activities are organised by national and local bars, or any person or group working with a national or local bar (bar members, courts, law schools and students, youth groups, and community organisations) that would like to educate the public on the crucial role of the rule of law and the legal process in protecting citizens’ rights. Each member bar and law society is asked to encourage its members to organise events, publish educational material and/or conduct other programmes that promote citizens’ awareness of the European Lawyers Day theme.

2018 European Lawyers Day – 25/10/2018

What is European Lawyers Day? Why do lawyers matter? Watch the interview to find out!

In this interview, Antonín Mokrý, the President of the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE), talks about the 2018 European Lawyers Day.

European Lawyers Day (ELD) celebrates lawyers’ role in upholding the rule of law and expresses how these professionals defend citizens’ interests.

In the interview, the President also highlights the work of the Council of Europe concerning the profession of the lawyer and explains how lawyers are essential actors in the justice system

https://www.ccbe.eu/actions/european-lawyers-day/

https://www.ccbe.eu/fr/actions/journee-europeenne-des-avocats/ (FRANCAIS)

Colombia: Concern about systematic murder of lawyers and human rights defenders in Nariño: Carlos Jimmy Prado Gallardo

August 29, 2018

Colombia-Nariño-departamentos

The Caravana sent a letter of concern regarding the murder of Carlos Jimmy Prado Gallardo, human rights defender and social leader from the department of Nariño. Carlos had previously approached the Colombian Prosecutor’s Office in relation to death threats he had been receiving.
Nariño is one of the most affected areas in Colombia in terms of violence against human rights defenders. We urged the Colombian authorities to take action to stop this alarming pattern.

Read the letter in English and Spanish

http://www.colombiancaravana.org.uk/concern-systematic-murder-lawyers-human-rights-defenders-narino-carlos-jimmy-prado-gallardo/

http://www.advocatenvooradvocaten.nl/13459/colombia-sixth-caravana-internacional-de-jurists/

India: BREAKING : SC gives arrested activists a breather, says dissent is safety valve of democracy

August 29, 2018

The Maharashtra Police’s move to arrest five well-known activists was punctured today with the Supreme Court observing that “dissent is the safety valve of democracy” and directing that those in its custody be kept under house arrest.

The five human rights activists — Varavara Rao, Vernon Gonzalves, Arun Ferreira, Sudha Bharadwaj and Gautam Navlakha — who were arrested after the pan India crackdown yesterday will not be sent to jail but be under house arrest until September 6, the court ruled.

“Dissent is the safety valve of democracy and if you don’t allow these safety valves it will burst,” a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra and comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said.

Dealing a blow to the Maharashtra police, the apex court questioned it for arresting the activists nine months after the violence between Dalits and upper caste Peshwas in Koregaon-Bhima village near Pune following the Elgar Parishad, or conclave, on December 31 last year.

Provocative speeches were made at the Elgar Parishad, which triggered the violence, according to an FIR registered in a Pune police station.

The apex court also issued a notice to the Maharashtra government and the state police on the plea by five leading intellectuals, including historian Romila Thapar and economists Prabhat Patnaik and Devaki Jain, against the arrests in connection with the case.

https://www.devdiscourse.com/Article/140020-sc-gives-arrested-activists-a-breather-says-dissent-is-safety-valve-of-democracy

https://www.bloombergquint.com/politics/2018/08/29/supreme-court-orders-house-arrest-of-activists-till-sept-6#gs.kWb9koo

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/08/29/asia/india-activists-arrest-intl/index.html

http://tehelka.com/supreme-court-criticises-action-of-police-over-arrest-of-activists/

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/29/protests-india-rights-activists-placed-under-house-arrest

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/indias-top-court-orders-detained-activists-police-custody-134708753.html

https://www.livelaw.in/sc-says-five-activists-arrested-shall-be-kept-at-their-houses-only/#.W4aTwFopL0s.facebook

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/devendra-fadnavis-briefed-on-evidence-before-raids-on-activists-cops-1907974

https://www.hindustantimes.com/videos/india-news/protests-staged-in-kolkata-against-the-crackdown-on-activists/video-WVn1YH96qNB99Q7uSGkZQN.html

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-45339265?SThisFB

https://www.latestly.com/india/news/gautam-navlakha-sudha-bharadwaj-vernon-gonsalves-varavara-rao-and-arun-ferreira-meet-the-five-activists-put-under-house-arrest-in-connection-with-bhima-koregaon-violence-351558.html

https://www.firstpost.com/india/bhima-koregaon-raids-chhattisgarh-workers-unions-warn-of-protests-if-sudha-bharadwaj-isnt-released-soon-5073561.html

https://www.firstpost.com/india/bhima-koregaon-raids-sc-orders-house-arrest-for-activists-pune-police-says-they-planned-to-target-political-functionaries-5073151.html

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/activists-to-be-under-house-arrest-says-sc-arpinder-singh-gets-gold-in-mens-triple-jump-and-other-top-news-of-the-day/article24811377.ece

https://thewire.in/rights/activists-arrests-pune-police-hearing-kashmir

https://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/civil-rights-activists-condemn-crackdown-on-left-wing-activists-118082901089_1.html

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/activists-we-are-in-an-undeclared-emergency-imposed-by-modi/article24812751.ece

https://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-arrest-of-activists-shows-emergency-like-conditions-prevailing-in-country-yashwant-sinha-2656518

https://www.news18.com/news/india/crack-down-on-activists-is-attempt-to-shift-focus-away-from-sanatan-sanstha-prakash-ambedkar-1861171.html

https://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/in-show-of-solidarity-twitterati-say-metoourbannaxal-118082901150_1.html

https://www.livelaw.in/more-than-150-nlu-d-faculty-staff-students-alumni-issue-joint-statement-condemning-activist-lawyer-sudha-bharadwajs-arrest/

http://theleaflet.in/read-joint-statement-on-arrest-illegal-detention-of-sudha-bharadwaj-visiting-professor-national-law-university-delhi/

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/activists-arrests-prevailing-situation-worse-than-emergency-says-yechury/articleshow/65596951.cms

https://www.firstpost.com/india/bhima-koregaon-raids-a-case-of-outrage-congress-hypocrisy-and-medias-clever-peddling-of-leftist-narrative-5073161.html

https://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/mayawati-slams-arrest-of-activists-118082901276_1.html

https://www.moneycontrol.com/news/india/arrest-of-activists-shows-emergency-like-conditions-prevailing-in-country-yashwant-sinha-2895161.html

https://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ani/india-heading-towards-dictatorship-lalu-on-activists-arrest-118082901253_1.html

http://theleaflet.in/bhimakoregaonarrests-read-professor-anand-teltumbdes-statement-on-the-police-action-against-him/

https://theprint.in/opinion/arun-ferreiras-arrest-shows-govt-will-now-prop-up-fictitious-enemies-before-2019/107434/

http://theleaflet.in/bhimakoregaonarrests-maharashtra-government-sitting-on-nhrc-notice-on-illegal-detention-of-human-rights-activists/

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/five-activists-arrested-for-alleged-naxalite-links-all-you-need-to-know-about-them/articleshow/65588278.cms

http://www.euronews.com/2018/08/29/as-outrage-grows-indias-top-court-places-rights-activists-under-house-arrest

https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/ferreira-completed-law-degree-in-prison/article24813942.ece

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/upa-ii-sought-action-against-128-groups-with-maoist-links/articleshow/65599062.cms

http://www.freepressjournal.in/india/bhima-koregaon-violence-gautam-navlakha-slams-his-arrest-as-political-ploy-by-govt-to-target-dissent/1345618

https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/08/30/india-5-more-rights-activists-detained

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/patna/pucl-citizens-groups-berate-pune-police-action/articleshow/65598255.cms

https://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/activist-arrests-india-are-part-dangerous-global-trend-stifle-dissent#.W4dgnPfXPqt.facebook

https://www.newkerala.com/news/read/39740/take-note-of-harassment-of-intellectuals-activist-urges-judiciary.html

https://www.firstpost.com/india/vague-definition-of-a-terrorist-several-ad-hoc-amendments-make-unlawful-activities-prevention-act-a-draconian-law-5075031.html

https://www.thequint.com/neon/social-buzz/urban-naxal-crackdown-undeclared-emergency-twitter

http://theleaflet.in/rights-group-in-mumbai-condemn-raids-arrest-by-police-on-august-28/

https://www.globalvillagespace.com/caste-war-supreme-court-criticizes-arrest-of-activists-as-protests-engulf-india/

https://www.timesnownews.com/india/article/varavara-rao-maoists-arrests-pune-police-bhima-koregaon-sudha-bharadwaj-gautam-navlakha-vernon-gonzalves-arun-ferreira-maoist/277248

https://thewire.in/rights/activists-arrests-a-dire-warning-for-anyone-who-dares-to-question-or-resist

https://www.mumbailive.com/en/crime/bg-kolse-patil-says-urban-naxal-activists-arrest-made-to-shift-focus-from-sanatan-sanstha-27602

https://amnesty.org.in/news-update/india-5-more-rights-activists-detained/#.W4eGlQ5HIFM.facebook

https://www.hindustantimes.com/pune-news/bhima-koregaon-violence-arrested-activists-to-return-home/story-BKPzD9nqJD6q84kK8iv3xN.html

https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/three-activists-sent-back-home-from-pune-kept-under-house-arrest/645072.html

https://www.thequint.com/lifestyle/books/arun-ferreira-colours-of-the-cage-a-prison-memoir-book-excerpt

https://www.firstpost.com/india/bhima-koregaon-raids-aruna-roy-arundhati-roy-prashant-bhushan-condemn-activists-arrest-issue-statement-5080251.html

Civil society members demand action against Maharashtra Police for ‘malafide attack’ against activists

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/videos/city/hyderabad/activists-arrest-hyderabad-police-detain-women-protesters/videoshow/65608860.cms

https://www.newslaundry.com/2018/08/29/bhimakoregaonraids-a-crackdown-on-public-spirited-lawyers

https://sikhsiyasat.net/2018/08/30/rights-activists-demand-unconditional-repeal-of-draconian-uapa-law/

https://www.livelaw.in/more-than-180-advocates-issue-statement-condemning-arrest-of-lawyers-in-bhima-koregaon-violence-case/

https://www.thequint.com/news/india/protest-against-activist-arrest

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-45294286

https://www.deccanherald.com/city/bengalureans-protest-detention-690349.html

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/case/arrest-sudha-bhardwaj

https://www.dailypioneer.com/state-editions/bhubaneswar/puri-lawyers-observe-cease-work.html

https://www.inkhabar.com/national/what-is-urban-naxal-why-human-right-left-activists-are-called-maoist-sympathisers-or-urban-naxalites (HINDI)

https://aajtak.intoday.in/karyakram/video/mumbai-metro-30th-august-bhima-koregaon-supreme-court-arun-ferreira-maharashtra-top-news-1-1025433.html (HINDI)

https://www.lemonde.fr/asie-pacifique/article/2018/08/30/arrestation-en-inde-de-cinq-militants-des-droits-de-l-homme_5348060_3216.html (FRANCAIS)

http://plus.lesoir.be/175814/article/2018-08-30/inde-les-critiques-denoncent-une-chasse-aux-sorcieres (FRANCAIS)

http://www.rfi.fr/asie-pacifique/20180903-inde-arrestation-militants-journalistes-fascisme-repression-modi-hindous-app (FRANCAIS)

https://www.lavanguardia.com/politica/20180829/451532514886/arresto-domiciliario-para-activistas-indios-sospechosos-de-vinculos-maoistas.html (ESPANOL)

http://www.repubblica.it/esteri/2018/08/29/news/bultrini-205193075/ (ITALIANO)

https://www.agenzianova.com/a/5b86abeb035c84.32018812/2047120/2018-08-29/india-operazione-anti-naxaliti-corte-suprema-dispone-domiciliari-per-gli-attivisti-arrestati (ITALIANO)

http://www.jornalfloripa.com.br/mundo/noticia.php?id=59358182 (PORTUGUES)

https://oglobo.globo.com/mundo/prisao-de-ativistas-na-india-levanta-suspeitas-de-caca-as-bruxas-23025906 (PORTUGUES)

https://www.matamatapolitik.com/penangkapan-aktivis-india-perburuan-politik-besar-besaran/ (INDONESIAN)

Interim order in Arrested Activists case.

W.P. Diary 32319/2018
ITEM NO.815 COURT NO.1 SECTION
SUPREM E COURT OF INDIA RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS
WRIT PETITION(CRIMINAL) Diary No. 32319/2018
1
ROMILA THAPAR & ORS.
UNION OF INDIA & ORS.
VERSUS
Petitioner(s)
Respondent(s)
Date : 29-08-2018 This petition was called on for hearing today.
CORAM :
HON’BLE THE CHIEF JUSTICE
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE A.M. KHANWILKAR
HON’BLE DR. JUSTICE D.Y. CHANDRACHUD
For Petitioners
For Respondents
Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Sr. Adv.
Ms. Indira Jaising, Sr. Adv.
Mr. Dushyant Dave, Sr. Adv.
Mr. Huzefa Ahmadi, Sr. Adv.
Dr. Rajeev Dhavan, Sr. Adv.
Mr. Chander Uday Singh, Sr. Adv.
Mr. Raju Ramachandran, Sr. Adv.
Mr. Sanjay R. Hegde, Sr. Adv.
Mr. Amit Bhandari, Adv.
Mr. Prashant Bhushan, Adv.
Ms. Vrinda Grover, Adv.
Ms. Ratna Appnender, Adv.
Mr. Prasanna S., Adv.
Mr. Soutik Banerjee, Adv.
Ms. Cheryl D’Souza, Adv.
Mr. Tushar Mehta, ASG
Mr. Maninder Singh, ASG
Mr. R. Balasubrmanian, Adv.
Mr. Rajat Nair, Adv.
Ms. Swati Ghildiyal, Adv.
Mr. Sachin Sharma, Adv.
Mr. A.K. Sharma, Adv.
Mr. B.V. Balram Das, Adv.
Mr. Anil Grover, AAG
Mr. Satish Kumar, Adv.
Mr. Sanjay Kr. Visen, Adv.
W.P. Diary 32319/2018
2
UPON hearing the counsel the Court made the following ORDE R
Taken on Board.
Issue notice.
Mr. Tushar Mehta and Mr. Maninder Singh, learned Additional Solicitor Generals being assisted by Mr. R. Balasubramanian, learned counsel shall file the counter affidavit by 5.9.2018. Rejoinder thereto, if any, be filed within three days therefrom.
We have considered the prayer for interim relief. It is submitted by Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi, learned senior counsel appearing for the petitioners that in pursuance of the order of the High Court, Mr. Gautam Navalakha and Ms. Sudha Bharadwaj have been kept under house arrest. It is suggested by him that as an interim measure, he has no objection if this Court orders that Mr. Varavara Rao, Mr. Arun Ferreira and Mr. Vernon Gonsalves, if arrested, they are kept under house arrest at their own homes. We order accordingly. The house arrest of Mr. Gautam Navalakha and Ms. Sudha Bharadwaj may be extended in terms of our orders.
Needless to say, an interim order is an interim order and all contentions are kept open.
Let the matter be listed on 6.9.2018. Ans
(Deepak Guglani) (H.S. Parasher) Court Master Assistant Registrar

(Facebook, 29/8/18)

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Press conference From Mumbai

(Citizens For Justice and Peace Facebook, 29/8/18)

We condemn the unwarranted arrest of human rights activists, professors and lawyers in connection. The alarming arrest of Advocates, human rights activists, cultural activist and and anti-displacement activist is a clear manifestation of state terror to crush the voices of dissent in this country. The intemperate use of sections of the IPC and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) on all detainees reveals legal over-reach and exposes the desperation to foist extraordinary and excessive charges on all detainees to ensure they remain in the clutches of the Maharashtra government. All the arrested have consistently worked for the assertion of oppressed and marginalised communities against majoritarian forces, spoken out against Brahmanical patriarchy, upheld peoples’ rights to land, life and dignity, and have strived for the release of political prisoners. Today, after standing for the assertion of dalits, adivasis, Muslims, women, workers, farmers, marginalised sexualities, and oppressed communities, upholding the principles of democracy, and, consequently, being a thorn in the side of a vengeful police force, they are under the custody of impunity. In the last few years, wherever people have asserted their rights, the political establishment has clamped down on them with brutal force. The assault on the democratic fabric of this country, through the abuse of the legal and judicial process, the stage-managing of media for public trials, and deliberate efforts to build a climate of fear is blatant and pervasive. Today, more so than ever, it is crucial to reiterate unity in the face of divisive majoritarian politics that uses structural hierarchies to violently suppress different sections of people and communities. We strongly condemn the arrests of these voices of democracy, demand the immediate and unconditional release of all human rights activists, journalists, professors and lawyers and stand united in our opposition to state sponsored oppression.

In Solidarity,

Adv Imran

G J & K High Court & Circuit Courts

JOINT STATEMENT OF RIGHTS GROUPS AT PRESS CONFERENCE HELD ON 29TH AUGUST 2018 AT MUMBAI PRESS CLUB, CONDEMNING THE ARRESTS OF PROMINENT HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS FOLLOWING SIMULTANEOUS MULTI-CITY RAIDS BY POLICE ON 28TH AUGUST 2018.

On 28th August 2018, simultaneous raids were conducted by Police on the premises of prominent human rights and civil liberties activists and public intellectuals – Advocate Sudha Bharadwaj (National Secretary, PUCL) in Faridabad, Father Stan Swamy in Jharkhand, Senior Writer and Poet Varavara Rao, his two daughters – Anala and Pavana, ‘The Hindu’ journalist KV Kumaranath, English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU) Professor Satyanarayana, ‘Namaste Telangana’ journalist Kranthi Tekula – all in Hyderabad, Anand Teltumbde (General Secretary, CPDR) in Goa, Gautam Navlakha (founder member, PUDR) in Delhi, Arun Ferreira, Writer Vernon Gonsalves and Advocate Susan Abraham in Mumbai, and several of them have been arrested on false and fabricated charges under the draconian UAPA law.

WE the undersigned civil society organisations/ groups/ collectives, have jointly convened this urgent Press Conference to condemn the appalling state actions of reprisals against noted human rights activists and intellectuals, which are clearly politically motivated and an attempt to stifle voices of dissent. The unjustified raids on and arbitrary arrests of the above public spirited individuals who have tirelessly worked for the cause of the poor and marginalized sections of society, are nothing but an attack on Indian democracy and an attempt to undermine the democratic fabric of our society.

We, the undersigned organisations, strongly condemn the spate of raids and arrests on noted human rights activists and intellectuals, lawyers, academics and journalists across the country by the Pune police yesterday. Advocate Sudha Bharadwaj (National Secretary, PUCL) was detained at her residence in Faridabad, after a bizarre attempt by Pune police to disregard a clear order by the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Gautam Navlakha (founder member, PUDR) is under house arrest in Delhi, following stay granted by the Delhi High Court to the transit remand until today, when the habeas corpus petition is scheduled for hearing. Father Stan Swamy’s house was raided in Jharkhand allegedly in relation to the Bhima Koregaon case while he has not even attended the Pune event. In Hyderabad, 77-year old noted Writer and Poet Varavara Rao was arrested yesterday following raids at his residence and the residence of his two daughters – Anala and Pavana, their respective husbands – journalist KV Kumaranath and EFLU Professor Satyanarayana, and the raids on the residence of journalist Kranthi Tekula and his subsequent arrest. The residence of Anand Teltumbde (General Secretary, CPDR) in Goa was raided in his absence by the police, after procuring keys from the security guard. In Mumbai, the residences of advocates Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves and Susan Abraham were raided while the former two were arrested later in the day. Several of them have been arrested on false and fabricated charges under the draconian UAPA law. Meanwhile a petition has been filed in the Supreme Court by eminent public persons against the arrests, which is scheduled to be taken up at 3.45 p.m. today.

This appalling state action is ostensibly in connection with the outbreak of violence and attacks on dalit participants of the Elgaar Parishad, a public meeting held on December 31, 2017, in Pune, to commemorate the anniversary of Bhima Koregaon. Some news channels are alleging that the arrests are linked to claims of an alleged plot to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. However, this is clearly a politically motivated reprisal against public spirited individuals who have tirelessly and courageously worked for the cause of the poor and marginalized sections of society, and against unjust state policies and actions, and unscrupulous corporates.

The raids and arrests are a targeted crackdown on civil liberties and democratic rights activists across the country. Such a systematic and pre-meditated crackdown on human rights activists is reminiscent of the midnight knock on the eve of the Emergency in 1975 in India, and it is a matter of immense shame that the BJP government has unleashed all its powers to do exactly the same, 43 years later!

The raids and arrests, as well as statements by Pune police that more raids will follow are naked and concerted attempts to intimidate and stifle voices of dissent. These unjustified and illegal raids on and arrests of these human rights activists are nothing but an attack on Indian democracy and an attempt to undermine the democratic fabric of our society.

Certain media houses who, in collusion with the state and its law enforcing authorities, have indulged in an incredible attack on these human rights activists, defaming them and profiling them as “Urban Naxals/ Maoists” and calling them anti-national. Their nightly news bulletins have been irresponsible and inflammatory.

These arbitrary arrests of human rights activists, taken in conjunction with the absolute disregard of the same Pune police to take any serious action against the real culprits of the violence that broke out in Bhima Koregaon on Jan 1, 2018, also exposes the state’s real intent. It is incredible that both Sambhaji Bhide, founder of the Shivpratishthan Sanghatana, and Milind Ekbote, executive president of Samasta Hindu Aghadi , are charged under sections 153 (a) (Giving provocation with intent to cause riot), 120 (b) (criminal conspiracy) and Sections 117 (Abetting commission of offence by the public or by more than 10 persons), all under the Indian Penal Code, 1860 whereas the current spate of arrests of activists are under the much more draconian provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, which has been used as a tool to stifle political dissent and opposition.

Already, in the investigations of the same outbreak of violence, the police had arrested a number of dalit activists and academics – Dr Sudhir Dhawale, activist-lawyer Surendra Gadling, Nagpur University professor Shoma Sen, Gadchiroli-based activist Mahesh Raut and research scholar from Delhi, Rona Wilson – and is yet to make out any credible case against them.
The UAPA is a repressive piece of legislation that flies in the face of all democratic norms. It empowers the government to ban ‘unlawful organisations’ and ‘terrorist organisations’ and membership of such organisations, which attracts a punishment of upto life imprisonment. Those charged under it are denied bail for upto six months, and, as lawyers and free speech commentators have said, ‘Section 43D(5) of the UAPA is effectively a warrant for perpetual imprisonment without trial!’

The arrests also come in the midst of an unprecedented investigation by the Maharashtra ATS against the Sanatan Sanstha for the killings of anti-superstition activist Prof Narayan Dhabolkar, senior activist and CPI leader Govind Pansare, as well as Prof Kalburgi and journalist Gauri Lankesh. As the noose tightens on this organization, the arrests for the Bhima Koregaon violence are perhaps a cynical ploy to divert attention from this investigation.

In the light of the above, we the undersigned organisations-

1. Demand the immediate and unconditional release of human rights activists, Sudha Bharadwaj, Gautam Navalakha, Anand Teltumbde, Varavara Rao, Arun Ferreira, Kranthi Tekula and Vernon Gonsalves and the withdrawal of the false and fabricated case against all the human rights activists;
2. Reiterate our demand for the immediate and unconditional release of all other activists arrested earlier in connection with the same case, including Prof. Shoma Sen, Advocate Surendra Gadling, Rona Wilson, Mahesh Raut and Sudhir Dhawale, and all other human rights activists charged under the draconian UAPA in false cases;
3. Seek the urgent intervention of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to ensure the release of the human rights activists and to order an immediate, transparent, effective and impartial investigation into the simultaneous multi-city raids and arbitrary arrests of the human rights activists by the state and the police on false and fabricated accusations and charges;
4. Demand that the Press Council of India and the News Broadcasting Standards Authority take suo moto action to direct media houses to desist from all forms of ‘fake news’ and in particular stop this false and baseless allegations and criminalisation of human rights activists, who are working tirelessly against the state’s anti-people actions and policies, in an attempt to malign them and influence public sentiment.
5. Demand that the speedy investigation and trial of the real culprits of the violence in Bhima Koregaon including right wing leaders Sambhaji Bhide and Milind Ekbote, be effected immediately and they be taken under arrest.
6. Demand that the Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Phadnavis speak out and distance himself from his ‘mentor’, the prime accused in the Bhima Koregaon violence, Sambhaji Bhide.
7. Demand that the State and Police immediately desist from using the draconian UAPA law against human rights activists and public intellectuals, and that the same be repealed with immediate effect.

We call upon democratic minded citizens of India to condemn the unprincipled manner in which human rights activists are being targeted and oppose such insidious and collusive attempts by State agencies and media outfits to silence human rights activists against vindictive State policies and actions.

With regards,

(1) PEOPLE’S UNION FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES (PUCL) – MAHARASHTRA,
(2) COMMITTEE FOR PROTECTION OF DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS (CPDR),
(3) WOMEN AGAINST SEXUAL VIOLENCE AND STATE REPRESSION (WSS),
(4) FORUM AGAINST OPPRESSION OF WOMEN,
(5) LABIA – A QUEER FEMINIST LBT COLLECTIVE,
(6) AWAAZ-E-NISWAAN,
(7) BEBAAK COLLECTIVE,
(8) AKSHARA WOMEN’S RESOURCE CENTRE
(9) POLICE REFORMS WATCH,
(10) AMBEDKAR PERIYAR PHULE STUDY CIRCLE (APPSC) – IIT BOMBAY
(11) NEW TRADE UNION INITIATIVE (NTUI)
(12) BHARAT BACHAO ANDOLAN
(13) CITIZENS FOR JUSTICE AND PEACE (CJP)
(14) PEOPLE’S COMMISSION ON SHRINKING DEMOCRATIC SPACES (PCSDS)
(15) HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS ALERT (HRDA) – INDIA
(16) INDIAN CHRISTIAN WOMEN’S MOVEMENT
(17) SATYASHODHAK, MUMBAI
(18) JAGRUT KAMGAR MANCH (JKM)
(19) MAJLIS
(20) ADVOCATE SURENDRA GADLING DEFENCE COMMITTEE
(21) INDIAN SOCIAL ACTION FORUM (INSAF)
(22) CAUSE LAWYERS ALLIANCE
(23) NATIONAL ALLIANCE OF PEOPLE’S MOVEMENTS (NAPM)
(24) LAWYERS COLLECTIVE
(25) NIVARA HAKK SURAKSHA SAMITI
(26) ALL INDIA DEMOCRATIC WOMEN’S ASSOCIATION (AIDWA)
(27) HUMAN RIGHTS LAW NETWORK (HRLN)
(28) TRADE UNION CENTRE OF INDIA
(29) JANSANGHARSH MANCH
(30) GUJARAT TRADE UNION FRONT AHMEDABAD
(31) THE BOMBAY CATHOLIC SABHA
(32) JUSTICE AND PEACE COMMISSION, MUMBAI
(33) INDIAN MUSLIMS FOR SECULAR DEMOCRACY
(34) AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL INDIA
(35) CO-ORDINATION OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY INSTITUTE’S STUDENT ASSOCIATION (COSTISA)
(36) INNOCENCE NETWORK
(37) ASSOCIATION FOR PROTECTION OF CIVIL RIGHTS (APCR) & OTHERS

(People’s Union for Civil Liberties – PUCL Facebook, 29/8/18)

Malaysia: Sedition charges against Surendran and activist Lawrence Jayaraj withdrawn

August 27, 2018

Image result for Lawyer N. Surendran

Lawyer N. Surendran and activist Lawrence Jayaraj Edwin John, who both faced sedition charges in connection with the Federal Court’s decision in Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s second sodomy charge, were acquitted and discharged of their charges by the Sessions Court here on Monday (Aug 27).

Judge Emelia Kaswati Mohamad Khalid freed Surendran, 52, of the charge after deputy public prosecutor Zaki Asyraf Zubir informed the court that the prosecution was withdrawing the charge against him.

“As such, the court acquits and discharges the accused of the charge,” said Emelia Kaswati when the case came up for management Monday.

Surendran, represented by lawyer Latheefa Koya, was charged with making seditious remarks relating to Anwar’s second sodomy case in a YouTube video at the Palace of Justice in Precinct 3, Putrajaya, between 2pm and 4pm on Aug 8, 2014.

https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2018/08/27/sedition-charges-against-surendran-and-activist-lawrence-jayaraj-withdrawn/

https://www.malaymail.com/s/1666387/prosecution-withdraws-sedition-charge-against-surendran-activist-jayaraj

https://www.themalaysianinsight.com/s/91070

http://www.theborneopost.com/2018/08/28/prosecution-withdraws-sedition-charges/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N._Surendran

India: Residences of lawyers Arun Ferreira, Susan Abraham and Vernon Gonsalves raided

August 28, 2018

arun-main

ALERT! ALERT! State Repression ALERT!
Just received a message that the Pune cops are simultaneously raiding Arun Ferreira and Susan Abrahams-Vernon Gonsalves residences.
Arrests likely as cops extend Bhima Koregaon charade..
Please share widely. And media friends, please cover this!

Human Rights Defender Sudha Bharadwaj has been arrested from her home after it was raided and she has been taken to Surajkund police station. This is part of a larger trend of the state cracking down on activists across the country. Since 6 am today, activists across 5 states (Goa, Telengana, Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Delhi) have had their homes raided, personal belongings confiscated, they have been interrogated and some have been arrested. Along with Sudha Bharadwaj, Gautam Navlakha, Varavara Rao, Vernon Gonsalves have also been arrested.

Sudha Bharadwaj (now at Surajkand Police station) will be taken to Sector 12 CJM court shortly!
Delhi and Haryana friends, ALL of are you requested to reach Sector 12 CJM court Haryana in huge numbers!

Stand in solidarity against state repression on activists and lawyers!

(Free all 5 Bhima Koregaon arrestees Facebook, 28/8/18)

Goutham Navalkha, Adv Sudha Bharadwaj residences in Delhi,
An Activist Stan Swamy residence in Ranchi
Adv. Arun Ferreira, Adv Susan Abraham and Vernon Gonsalves residencies in Mumbai
Varavara Rao, Kranthi Tekula, Prof. k Satyanarayana (EFLU), K V Kurmanath residencies in Hyderabad are in raid by Pune police.

Arun Ferreira got arrested (Unofficially confirmed by Venkanna Mallikanti)

Democratic Students’ Union Condemns this raids. And letter claimed to be recovered from Rona Wilson is vexatious. It was written by State to suppress the dissent across India which is smouldering against Hidutva State and it’s anti people policies.

Arunank Latha
State Gen. Secretary.

(Facebook, 29/8/18)

https://thewire.in/rights/police-take-sudha-bharadwaj-into-custody-raid-homes-of-lawyers-activists-across-cities

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-45328323

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/bhima-koregaon-violence-police-conducts-searches-at-residences-of-activists-across-india/articleshow/65575460.cms

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/india/bhima-koregaon-clash-pune-police-raid-arrest-activists-across-the-country

https://scroll.in/latest/892223/bjp-governments-resort-to-repressive-methods-to-suppress-all-voices-of-dissent-ex-jharkhand-cm

https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/police-raid-homes-of-human-rights-activists-lawyers-in-several-cities/315654

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/amnesty-international-maharashtra-police-bhima-koregaon-1325387-2018-08-28

https://sabrangindia.in/article/raids-against-activists-across-india-voices-dissent-being-crushed-impunity

https://scroll.in/article/892218/bhima-koregaon-violence-why-the-pune-police-has-detained-at-least-four-human-rights-activists

https://www.livelaw.in/activist-lawyer-sudha-bharadwaj-arrested/

http://www.india.com/news/bhima-koregaon-violence-case-five-prominent-activists-arrested-in-raids-across-country-3260897/

https://barandbench.com/sudha-bharadwaj-taken-into-custody-activists-across-the-country-raided-by-police/

https://www.huffingtonpost.in/2018/08/28/police-raid-homes-of-human-rights-lawyers-activists-across-the-country_a_23510684/

https://www.deccanherald.com/national/outrage-over-multi-city-raids-689817.html

https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/left-parties-demand-immediate-release-of-rights-activists/315682

http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2018/aug/28/bhima-koregaon-violence-multi-city-raids-at-residences-of-activists-with-suspected-maoist-links-1863988.html

https://scroll.in/latest/892159/police-raids-reported-on-homes-of-human-rights-activists-in-mumbai-ranchi-and-hyderabad

http://theleaflet.in/when-human-rights-lawyers-activists-are-arrested-who-will-remain-to-defend-the-defenceless/

https://thekashmirwalla.com/2018/08/watch-gautam-navlakha-other-activists-arrested-by-police/

https://www.newsx.com/national/pm-modi-police-raids-5-states-bhima-koregaon-violence-updates

https://scroll.in/latest/892213/as-close-to-a-declaration-of-an-emergency-as-we-will-ever-get-arundhati-roy-reacts-to-raids

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/pune-police-raid-activists-homes-across-four-states/article24799729.ece

https://www.nagpurtoday.in/bhima-koregaon-violence-pune-police-raids-on-homes-of-human-rights-activists-in-mumbai-ranchi-and-hyderabad/08281127

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/police-raid-maoist-plot-narendra-modi-1325153-2018-08-28

https://www.firstpost.com/india/bhima-koregaon-probe-live-updates-wont-be-cowed-down-says-stan-swamy-after-raid-at-his-ranchi-home-5061541.html

https://www.firstpost.com/india/bhima-koregaon-probe-live-updates-human-rights-activist-sudha-bharadwaj-picked-up-from-her-delhi-residence-5061541.html

https://thewire.in/rights/police-take-sudha-bharadwaj-into-custody-raid-homes-of-lawyers-activists-across-cities

https://www.dailyo.in/politics/bhima-koregaon-probe-death-threats-to-pm-fake-political-narrative-sinister-plots-by-maoists/story/1/24769.html

https://www.mid-day.com/articles/lawyer-arun-ferreira-the-government-is-muzzling-peoples-movement-in-the-country/19505164

https://scroll.in/latest/892260/group-of-activists-release-statement-condemning-police-raids-call-it-centres-ploy-to-win-elections

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdcqYRenW6NDMXkWMTo5zCjsW45ALeWu-CVKb0JDYyFc-xvKg/viewform (SIGN THE URGENT PETITION!)

https://www.news18.com/news/india/who-are-the-five-activists-arrested-by-pune-police-over-bhima-koregaon-violence-1859839.html

https://www.deccanherald.com/national/twitterverse-react-bhima-689848.html

https://www.news18.com/news/politics/raids-a-brazen-attack-on-democratic-rights-reminiscent-of-infamous-emergency-left-parties-1859847.html

https://www.news18.com/news/india/who-are-the-five-activists-arrested-by-pune-police-over-bhima-koregaon-violence-1859839.html

https://www.news18.com/news/india/fascist-fangs-bared-coup-against-constitution-outrage-over-arrests-of-activists-1859711.html

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/activists-intellectuals-condemn-arrests-of-varavara-rao-navlakha-gonsalves-bhardwaj/article24801635.ece

https://www.deccanherald.com/national/2-letters-maoists-plans-689880.html

https://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/crackdown-disturbing-threatens-core-human-rights-amnesty-oxfam-118082801035_1.html

https://www.newsclick.in/we-stand-solidarity-all-those-who-speak-our-fellow-citizens-rights

https://www.firstpost.com/india/bhima-koregaon-probe-live-updates-sudha-bharadwajs-daughter-says-raid-team-didnt-have-search-warrant-5061541.html

https://www.timesnownews.com/india/article/rahul-gandhi-maoists-sympathisers-maoists-crackdown-pune-police-bhima-koregaon-violence-ngo-rashtriya-swayamsevak-sangh-rss-varavara-rao-arun-ferreira/276515

http://thegoaspotlight.com/gim-professor-anand-teltumbdes-house-raided-in-nation-wide-raids-and-arrest-of-activists/

https://www.thequint.com/explainers/uapa-provisions-terrorist-organisation-membership-activists

https://www.livelaw.in/sudha-bhardwaj-not-to-be-taken-out-of-her-home-till-magistrate-decides-on-transit-remand-punjab-haryana-hc/

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/thane/knock-on-ferreiras-door-came-at-6am-arrest-9-hours-later/articleshow/65585938.cms

https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/police-ploy-to-gain-more-time-gonsalves-wife/article24804356.ece

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/police-asked-for-access-to-sudha-s-email-ids-social-media-profiles-daughter-anu-bharadwaj-1325959-2018-08-29

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/08/india-outrage-activists-arrested-alleged-maoist-links-180828150524677.html

https://punemirror.indiatimes.com/pune/others/it-is-a-conspiracy-to-divert-attention/articleshow/65585479.cms

https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/south-asia/article/2161761/arrest-critics-india-shows-modi-wants-jail-all-activists-indias

http://www.asianage.com/india/all-india/290818/crackdown-threatens-core-human-rights.html

https://barandbench.com/bhima-koregaon-arrests-true-authoritarian-character-modi-government-exposed-sitaram-yechury/

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/bhima-koregaon-violence-activists-arrested/liveblog/65587048.cms

https://theprint.in/opinion/arun-ferreiras-arrest-shows-govt-will-now-prop-up-fictitious-enemies-before-2019/107434/

https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/arrests-of-5-activists-to-be-challenged-in-supreme-court-today/315688

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/raids-on-activists-gonsalves-ferreira-and-rao-to-be-produced-before-sessions-court/article24807066.ece

https://scroll.in/article/655295/after-almost-five-years-in-jail-alleged-maoist-leader-is-found-innocent

The Trial of Arun Ferreira: A political activist writes about the oppressive life in an Indian jail

https://hindi.firstpost.com/india/who-are-the-five-activists-arrested-by-pune-police-over-bhima-koregaon-violence-varavara-rao-sudha-bharadwaj-vernon-gonsalves-arun-ferreira-gautam-navlakha-ta-139708.html (HINDI)

https://www.bbc.com/tamil/india-45332900 (TAMIL)

https://teles-relay.com/violence-bhima-koregaon-les-flics-menent-des-raids-dans-plusieurs-villes-video/ (FRANCAIS)

https://www.prensa-latina.cu/index.php?o=rn&id=205827&SEO=arrestan-en-la-india-a-varios-activistas-de-derechos-humanos (ESPANOL)

N.B. Arun Ferreira represents detained lawyer Surendra Gadling who, along with Vernon Gonsalves, are members of the Indian Association of People’s Lawyers (IAPL).

UPDATE 28/8/18 re Sudha Bharadwaj

Sudha Bharadwaj is presently being held in a Toyota Innova stationed on the dark road outside the house of the CJM in sector 15A, Faridabad. The roads in the area are v dark and dimly lit. the Pune Police and Surajkund Police were called into the house of the Ld CJM. After some persuasion the counsels representing Sudha Bhardwaj were also allowed into the CJM house. Adv Vrinda Grover was first asked to make her submissions in the driveway of the house itself. After addressing the CJM briefly, she requested the CJM to permit her to make her full submissions in a proper manner as the driveway was dark and it was impossible to show any documents. The CJM then invited all the counsels to wait inside the house. Adv Vrinda Grover further informed the ld CJM that some applications need to be presented. The CJM stated that he was informed that the Hon’ble Chandigarh HIgh Court had passed an order in the case of Sudha Bharadwaj. The CJM has yet to hear the counsels on behalf of Sudha Bharadwaj both on facts and on Law. The CJM has gone to the residence of the district judge for advice on the matter. It is midnight and the counsels are waiting at the residence of the CJM while Sudha Bharadwaj is being detained in a vehicle on the road.
As per the Chandigarh HC order “ till then the detenu Sudha Bharadwaj shall be kept in the same place I.e her home at Badarpur border in the State of Haryana from where she was arrested under the supervision of police station Surajkund” however presently at 12 midnight she is being kept in a car on the drive way”

“After all the tense situation and being kept in the vehicle in a shady spot for so long, Sudha is finally brought inside and she is now sitting [at her home] with the lawyers”, according to one observer.

Join us large tomorrow i.e. 29th Aug. in protest demonstration at Ambedkar Statue, Liberty Circle Hyderabad. At 11am. Against arrest and raids on rights activists, advocates and Writers.

(Facebook)

 

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COMMITTEE FOR THE RELEASE OF POLITICAL PRISONERS

185/3, FOURTH FLOOR, ZAKIR NAGAR, NEW DELHI-110025

28 August, 2018

STRONGLY CONDEMN THE ARRESTS OF CRPP EXECUTIVE MEMBER VERNON GONSALVES, ADVOCATE SUDHA BHARADWAJ, ARUN FERREIRA, GAUTAM NAVLAKHA, VARAVARA RAO, AND KRANTI TELUKA BY THE MAHARASHTRA POLICE, AND THE RAIDS CONDUCTED AT THE HOMES OF FATHER STAN SWAMY, ANALA, KUMARANTH, ANAND TELTUMBDE AND PROF. SATYANARAYANA OTHERS.

In yet another brazen act to stifle dissent, the Maharashtra Police have arrested Vernon Gonsalves, who is an Executive Member of the CRPP, and well known activists and lawyers Advocate Sudha Bharadwaj, Gautam Navlakha, Arun Ferreira, revolutionary poet Varavara Rao, and Kranti Teluka. Raids were also conducted across Goa, Jharkhand, Delhi, and Telangana in the houses of Anand Teltumbde, Father Stan Swamy, Anala, Kumaranth, Prof. Satyanarayana and many others. Right at the time when the terror plots by the rightwing Sanatan Sanstha is emerging, the bogey of assassination plot on the Prime Minister is re-invoked and these arrests and raids are carried out. More importantly, the 90 day period of judicial custody for the five activists arrested in the month of June 2018 is just about to end and the charge sheet is yet to be filed. At this time, when the police narratives are falling apart, these arrests reveal the desperation of the Maharashtra police to shut down all criticism by arrested more activists.
Today’s action by the Pune police reeks not just of diversionary tactics, but also a ploy to extend the custody of Professor Shoma Sen, Advocate Surendra Gadling, Mahesh Raut, Sudhir Dhawale, and Rona Wilson. While those who unleashed violence on Dalits in Bhima Koregaon are roaming free, Dalit and adivasi intellectuals and Human Rights Activists who have stood by them are being targeted by the state. These arrests and raids are a blatant attempt at stifling dissenting voices revealing a sinister, premeditated and politically motivated effort to malign the arrested and discredit them through branding instead of evidence. It is crucial to note that this effort at using the full might of the law is revealed in the sections of the IPC and UAPA used against the arrested. These include IPC 153A – promoting enmity between different groups of people, 505 – statements conducing public mischief, 117 – abetting commission of offence, 120B – criminal conspiracy; under UAPA 13 – unlawful activities, 16 – terrorist acts, 17 – raising funds for terrorist acts, 18 – conspiracy, 18B – recruiting persons for terrorist act, 20 – member of terrorist gang or organisation, 38 – membership of terrorist organisation, 39 – support to terrorist organisation, 40 – raising funds for terrorist organisations. The intention of the police becomes amply clear when we note that each of the arrested persons are well regarded human rights activists who have publicly worked for the rights of dalits, adivasis, minority communities, women’s rights, workers’ rights and spoken and written extensively about the policies of the state. Moreover, all of the persons targeted by the state have been steadfast and resolute in their stands for decades. These charges, none of which stand up in front of slightest of scrutiny, is meant merely to incapacitate and silence these voices by sending them to custody for extended periods of time.
The raid at the homes of Susan Abraham and Arun Ferreira and the eventual arrests of Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves patently reveals the effort to scuttle possibility of establishing a case for the release of the five arrested in connection with Bhima Koregaon in June. Now, with the arrests of the lawyers fighting the case, the Maharashtra police are making all efforts to ensure that all those who stand with the spirit of democracy are denied all democratic rights. The efforts being made to scuttle the High Court stay on the transit remand of Gautam Navlakha and Sudha Bharadwaj is another instance where the upholders of law are willing to do anything to blatantly abuse and disregard the law. The efforts to illegally take Sudha Bharadwaj to Pune, despite the Punjab and Haryana High Court order putting a stay on the remand, clearly indicates the maliciousness of the police force. The gherao of an unprecedented number of police personnel during the arrest of Varavara Rao and the ransacking of his home is another such instance of police brutality. The search of Anand Teltumbde’s residence during his absence is patently illegal and raising concerns about the extent to which the police will go to clamp down and spread fear among people. The extended interrogation of Father Stan Swamy in Ranchi, Jharkhand, and Prof. Satyanarayana in Hyderabad while keeping them confined to their residence since early morning and denying any legal assistance is another such instance of police highhandedness.
The order for the raid and arrests, coming from Swargate Police Station in Pune, is motivated to foist false cases on democratic rights activists through fabrications and strong-arm tactics. The callous disregard for the rule of law and the fundamental rights of people by the institutions of the state reveals a stark image of a fascist Indian State. CRPP strongly condemns these raids and arrests and demands the immediate and unconditional release of all arrested in connection with the Bhima Koregaon case. Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners demands an end to all such ‘operations’ by the Maharashtra police, stands in solidarity with all such voices of democracy and is determined to fight this vicious assault on all those who dare to speak out against the violence of the state.

SAR GEELANI (President)

AMIT BHATTACHARYYA (Secretary General)

SUJATO BHADRA (Vice President)

SUKHENDU BHATTACHARJEE (Vice President)

MN RAVUNNI (Vice President)

P. KOYA (Vice President)

MALEM (Vice President)

HANYBABU MT (Media Secretary).

(Facebook, 28/8/18)

Media and all friends, in Mumbai, please note tomorrow:

28th August 2018: PRESS ANNOUNCEMENT / INVITE

JOINT PRESS CONFERENCE BY –
(1) PEOPLE’S UNION FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES (PUCL) – MAHARASHTRA,
(2) COMMITTEE FOR PROTECTION OF DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS (CPDR),
(3) WOMEN AGAINST SEXUAL VIOLENCE AND STATE REPRESSION (WSS),
(4) FORUM AGAINST OPPRESSION OF WOMEN,
(5) LABIA – A QUEER FEMINIST LBT COLLECTIVE,
(6) AWAAZ-E-NISWAAN,
(7) BEBAAK COLLECTIVE,
(8) AKSHARA WOMEN’S RESOURCE CENTRE
(9) POLICE REFORMS WATCH,
(10) AMBEDKAR PERIYAR PHULE STUDY CIRCLE (APPSC) – IIT BOMBAY
(11) NEW TRADE UNION INITIATIVE (NTUI)
(12) BHARAT BACHAO ANDOLAN
(13) CITIZENS FOR JUSTICE AND PEACE (CJP)
(14) PEOPLE’S COMMISSION ON SHRINKING DEMOCRATIC SPACES (PCSDS)
(15) HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS ALERT (HRDA) – INDIA
(16) INDIAN CHRISTIAN WOMEN’S MOVEMENT, MUMBAI CHAPTER
(17) SATYASHODHAK, MUMBAI
(18) JAGRUT KAMGAR MANCH (JKM)
(19) MAJLIS
(19) ADVOCATE SURENDRA GADLING DEFENCE COMMITTEE
(20) INDIAN SOCIAL ACTION FORUM (INSAF)
(21) CAUSE LAWYERS ALLIANCE
(22) NATIONAL ALLIANCE OF PEOPLE’S MOVEMENTS (NAPM)
(23) LAWYERS COLLECTIVE
(24) NIVARA HAKK SURAKSHA SAMITI & OTHERS
CONDEMNING THE ARRESTS OF PROMINENT HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS FOLLOWING SIMULTANEOUS MULTI-CITY RAIDS BY POLICE ON 28TH AUGUST 2018.

Dear friends,

On 28th August 2018, simultaneous raids were conducted by Police on the premises of prominent human rights and civil liberties activists and intellectuals – Advocate Sudha Bharadwaj (National Secretary, PUCL) in Faridabad, Father Stan Swamy in Jharkhand, Senior Writer and Poet Varavara Rao, his two daughters – Anala and Pavana, ‘The Hindu’ journalist KV Kumaranath, English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU) Professor Satyanarayana, ‘Namaste Telangana’ journalist Kranthi Tekula – all in Hyderabad, Anand Teltumbe (General Secretary, CPDR) in Goa, Gautam Navlakha (founder member, PUDR) in Delhi, Arun Ferreira, Writer Vernon Gonsalves and Advocate Susan Abraham in Mumbai, and several of them have been arrested on false and fabricated charges under the draconian UAPA law.

WE the aforesaid civil society organisations/ groups/ collectives, are jointly convening an urgent Press Conference to condemn the appalling state actions of reprisals against noted human rights activists and intellectuals, which are clearly politically motivated and an attempt to stifle voices of dissent. The unjustified raids on and arrests of the above public spirited individuals who have tirelessly worked for the cause of the poor and marginalized sections of society, are nothing but an attack on Indian democracy and an attempt to undermine the democratic fabric of our society.

Date : Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Time : 4 p.m. onwards

Venue : Mumbai Press Club, Mahapalika Marg, Azad Maidan, Fort, Mumbai – 400 001

We request you to attend and / or depute a reporter to cover this event.

With Regards,
All of the Joint Organisers

https://www.facebook.com/events/242349376621184/

http://www.freepressjournal.in/mumbai/mumbai-press-club-to-convene-meet/1344763

Image may contain: 5 people, including Arun Ferreira, text

Australia/Timor Leste: ‘Witness K’ lawyer Bernard Collaery got jail warning from Government over book months before being charged in Timor-Leste spy case

August 28, 2018

Bernard Collaery looks directly at the camera, with his arms crossed. He's wearing a navy blue suit and pink tie.

The lawyer who helped expose an Australian spying operation on its ally Timor-Leste was given a chilling warning by the Federal Government, just months before charges were filed against him for breaches of the Intelligence Services Act.

In a legal letter obtained by the ABC, Bernard Collaery was warned that if he disclosed secret information about the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) in his book, due to be published next year, he could face “a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment”.

 

The letter from the Australian Government Solicitor (AGS) warns he does not have approval to make “broader disclosures about ASIS staff members and ASIS activities, much less to the world at large”.

It points out Mr Collaery agreed to particular rules — including a “secrecy undertaking” — so that he could legally represent an Australian spy.

Mr Collaery and his client, the former intelligence agent known as Witness K, are due to face court next month over allegations not contained in the letter.

The pair is accused of conspiring to communicate secret information to the Government of Timor-Lestesome time between May 2008 and May 2013.

Mr Collaery is also accused of sharing information with ABC journalists about the 2004 operation which saw Australia bug Timor-Leste’s cabinet room during maritime boundary negotiations over oil and gas reserves worth an estimated $40 billion.

Those conversations allegedly occurred after the December 2013 raid on Mr Collaery’s office, where a legal brief was seized.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-08-28/australian-spys-lawyer-threatened-with-jail-over-book/10155892

http://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/am/australian-spys-lawyer-bernard-collaery-threatened-jail-book/10171990

https://lakenormanreview.com/australian-minister-visits-east-timor-to-repairs-relations/

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/aug/22/timor-leste-praises-witness-ks-actions-in-helping-resolve-maritime-border

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/sep/08/attorney-general-accused-of-breaching-senate-rules-with-witness-k-answers

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernard_Collaery

Iran: Rights lawyer Mohammad Najafi sentenced to 3 years and 74 lashes

August 27, 2018

Image may contain: 1 person, text

⁧ #محمد_نجفی ⁩ وکیل دادگستری و فعال #حقوق_بشر، در پرونده مرتبط با افشا قتل ⁧ #وحید_حیدری ⁩ در بازداشتگاه اراک، به ٣ سال زندان و ٧۴ ضربه شلاق محکوم شد.
شورای ملی ایران

(Facebook, 27/8/18)

https://iran-hrm.com/index.php/2018/07/30/detained-iranian-protesters-sentenced-to-prison-and-lashes/

https://lobelog.com/judiciarys-intensifying-crackdown-on-defense-attorneys-in-iran-must-end/

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/alarm-at-crackdown-on-lawyers-in-iran/5067268.article

https://www.ifmat.org/news/detained-iranian-protesters-sentenced-to-prison-and-lashes/

https://justice4iran.org/uncategorized/video-mohammad-najafi/

http://www.omct.org/human-rights-defenders/urgent-interventions/iran/2018/08/d25013/

China/Hong Kong: Mainland Chinese university bars two Hong Kong human rights lawyers from teaching regular course there

August 27, 2018

In response Bar Association pulls regular course at Peking University, which has been running since 2011

A mainland Chinese university blocked two Hong Kong human rights lawyers from teaching a course delivered by the city’s Bar Association earlier this year, and told the group’s chairman not to attend a course ceremony, it has emerged.

The association – the city’s top legal professional body – responded by pulling the course at Peking University, Beijing, indefinitely.

Philip Dykes, who was elected association chairman this January, revealed the news in a circular to his members on Monday, as the Post learned separately that the group’s regular Beijing meet-up with officials and judges would probably not happen this year.

A source said the two barristers Peking University objected to were human rights lawyer Hectar Pun and Cheung Yiu-leung, vice-chairman of the China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group. They were not allowed to teach the common law course and asked to be replaced, despite having done so for several years. Both have not replied to Post requests for comment.

But a few other members from the group who had also taught on the month-long programme, which ran annually at the university from 2011, were not blacklisted. The course still went ahead this year.

Dykes revealed he was not allowed to attend the closing ceremony of the course in Beijing in June, which he had intended to join to “get to the bottom of the refusal” of the two members continuing their lectures.

https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/politics/article/2161531/mainland-chinese-university-bars-two-hong-kong-human-rights

https://www.hongkongfp.com/2018/08/27/hong-kong-bar-assoc-axes-peking-university-legal-course-two-members-barred-teaching/

https://www.theepochtimes.com/persecuted-chinese-lawyer-gao-zhisheng-awarded-shahbaz-bhatti-freedom-award_2636585.html

https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/08/29/china-and-human-rights-australia-making-difference

https://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/dissidents-08302018175754.html

https://www.theepochtimes.com/interview-with-chinese-human-rights-lawyer-wang-yu-on-fighting-the-good-fight_2554757.html

http://english.pku.edu.cn/

http://www.chrlawyers.hk/en

https://www.acatfrance.fr/actualite/chine—dans-les-coulisses-des-confessions-televisees (FRANCAIS)

https://www.epochtimes.it/news/avvocato-e-madre-leterna-battaglia-per-i-diritti-umani-in-cina/ (ITALIANO)