What: Public meeting with famous Indian Doctor, activist and former political prisoner, Dr Binayak Sen, recipient of the Jonathan Mann award (2008) for Global Health and Human Rights.
Who: Dr Binayak Sen, Dr Ilina Sen (social worker and activist), Shabnum Mustapha (Director, Amnesty Scotland)
Where: Meeting Room 6, Crystal McMillan Building, 15 George Square, University of Edinburgh
When: Thursday 14 June, 4.00 – 6.00pm
As part of Dr Binayak Sen’s visit to the UK to receive the Gandhi Foundation International peace award, Dr Sen and his fellow panel members, will be discussing miscarriages of justice in India, his activism and how his attempts to speak out on behalf of the poor led to his conviction on trumped up charges.
“Attn: Ms. President, Mr. Prime Minister, Chattisgarh state, NHRC, Stop Torture of Soni Sori”
These were among the slogans from nearly 20 Karnataka based human rights organizations to the Government of India in support of Soni Sori, a 35 year old adivasi school teacher who has been incarcerated in Chattisgarh police custody since October 2011 despite medical evidence revealing their brutal custodial torture, electrocution, beating, and sexual assault on her, shoving stones into her private parts. Around 100 persons gathered at 6 pm on 24th March 2012 in front of Town Hall in Bangalore to appeal for the immediate transfer of Soni Sori out of Chhattisgarh police custody and her speedy trial. Expressing solidarity with Soni Sori, the people also demanded the arrest of Ankit Garg, Superintendent of Police, Dantewada under whose supervision Soni Sori was subject to verbal and sexual assault in jail. They join people across the country in condemning the award of the Police Gallantry medal to Garg on Republic Day, 2012.
Arun Ferreira, a young intellectual from Mumbai, was arrested in May 2007 and accused of being part of an illegal Maoist plot to blow up Deekshabhoomi in Nagpur, sacred to millions of dalit Buddhists. A total of 10 criminal cases were foisted on him and Ferreira spent more than 4 ½ years of his life fighting to prove he was innocent. He was tortured in custody by the police and made to undergo narco-analysis not once but two times. The courts however did not believe the police story and he was acquitted from all the 10 cases. Ferreira walked out from Nagpur Central Jail on 27 September 2011 expecting to be a free man. But not quite. He was abducted and rearrested from the gates of the jail, and another 2 cases were slapped on him. After another 3-month battle and following an outcry against the state’s highhandedness, Ferreira finally was set free on 4 January 2012. Of the 2 cases pressed against him, he was acquitted in one while bail was granted in the other.