UN Expert ‘Appalled’ by Treatment Meted Out to Stan Swamy and Other Rights Activists

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Stan Swamy

Even after three months, India has not responded to the letter sent to it by the international agency

Team Clarion

NEW DELHI — A United Nations human rights expert has slammed the Indian government for its treatment of human rights activists saying the country does not properly protect them.

Mary Lawlor, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders,
on Friday evening said she was appalled by the treatment of human rights defenders such as Father Stan Swamy, who embodies solidarity.

She said she had written to the Indian government “raising concerns” over the jailing of
the 83-year-old Jesuit priest but did not get any response.

Swamy has been in jail since October 8 when he was arrested by the National Investigation
Agency from his home in Jharkhand in connection with the Bhima Koregaon case.
The agency has arrested 15 others including rights defenders, academicians and
journalists in the case and charged them with having links with the
Maoists.

“The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and I had written to the Indian government
in November raising concerns over the arrest of human rights activists including Stan Swamy in connection with the Bhima Koregaon case but have not yet received any response,” Lawlor said. “Governments are given a 60-day period
during which they are expected to reply.”

On January 11, Lowler had posted a copy of the letter in a Tweet, where she
described the arrest of Swamy as “arbitrary detention”.

“It’s clear that there are severe challenges to promoting and protecting human rights
in the country.” She said the state was responsible for the protection of human
rights defenders.

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