“I haven’t seen the cartoons but I have come to support Aseem Trivedi as he is fighting against sedition, the same charges that have been levied against me.” These words were spoken by Dr Binayak Sen, activist and paediatrician who has been accused of sedition by the government of India, and has now committed himself to fighting against sedition laws in the country.|
From The Times of India: LUCKNOW: The Allahabad High Court has granted bail to journalist and civil right activist Seema Azad and her husband Vishvijay. The couple were convicted by a lower court on June 8, 2012, on charges of sedition. They were accused of having links with banned Maoist outfit and were held guilty [...]|
Seema Azad’s bail petition is scheduled to come up for hearing in the Allahabad High Court tomorrow, Monday, August 6th. Everyone is hopeful that she will be granted bail. In the meanwhile, today was a day to celebrate Seema’s birthday and demand her release. The event at Jantar Mantar in Delhi organized by PUCL, Jan [...]|
The reports of independent journalists have now prima facie established that 20 persons killed recently by the police and security forces ostensibly in an “encounter” in the Kotteguda Panchayat of district Bijapur in Bastar region were all local residents of the village. The dead include school going children and a woman and several members of one family. That this fact could be brought to light despite statements of the police authorities and even the Union Home Minister that “hard core” Naxals were killed in an encounter, underlines the repeated assertion of the PUCL that a free and independent press in conflict areas is vital to the protection of civil liberties.|
Dr Binayak Sen does not look like a man for whom the term ‘seditious’ would be applicable. Yet the 62 year old public health practitioner, activist and prisoner of conscience has been battling the charge of sedition since 2007. India’s most famous political prisoner came to Edinburgh to speak at a public meeting on Thursday the 14th hosted by the University of Edinburgh.
At the talk Dr Sen did not dwell on his legal battle but rather on the social issues affecting the most destitute in India. He spoke movingly about the cases of the minority groups being forced off their land and communal holdings that have for years managed to just about sustain them. Focusing on the problem of famine, Dr Sen challenged the audience’s preconceptions of chronic food shortage to raise the point that under technical definitions, based upon percentages of the population under BMI 18.5, large regions of India have been suffering famine for years. Shedding light on the “rising” nation of India, Dr Sen stressed the extent of social inequality in the Indian subcontinent and the dire nutritional conditions that affect large swathes of the population.|