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26 March, 2008

Dr. Binayak Sen’s trial set to begin on April 30

Rajendra K Sail, President, People’s Union for Cicil Liberties (PUCL), Chhattisgarh, writes:

The much awaited trial of Dr. Binayak Sen, General Secretary, Chhattisgarh PUCL, begins on 30th April 2008. The prosecution submitted a schedule on 14th March with a list of six witnesses who would depose before the trial court during the four days of the first session of the trial from 30th April to 3rd May. We hope that all of you would plan to be present during the hearings on all or any of these dates.This clearly indicates that the State is trying to drag the proceedings, thus subjecting Dr. Binayak Sen to a longer period of incarceration (detained since 14th May 2007). The State seems to have gained some sort of legitimacy as the Supreme Court of India dismissed the bail petition in a very strange manner, without even assigning reasons for refusing to grant bail to Dr. Sen.

Remember that in the case of illegal detention of a human rights activist, which has drawn the public attention all over resulting in a sustained protest and demand for his release, the Supreme Court of India just uttered five words:"This Special Leave Petition is dismissed".A copy of the English translation (unofficial) of the charges framed against Dr. Binayak Sen on 2nd February, 2008 by Mr. B S Saluja, Additional District and Sessions Judge (Fast Track Court), Raipur is enclosed herewith. (Kindly note that this is not posted here).

In the mean time, protest against illegal detention of Dr. Sen and others by the Chhattisgarh State is entering yet another phase with a series of public meetings and yatras being organized in different parts of Chhattisgarh beginning 13th April (Jalianwala Massacre Day) and culminating in a public protest demonstration on 14th May 2008, which would mark one year of illegal detention of Dr. Binayak Sen.We are also appealing to various people's organizations to observe theLabour Day (May 1, 2008) to protest against the growing State repression in Chhattisgarh and demand the repeal of the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act 2005, and release Dr. Binayak Sen, and all others detained under this anti-democratic law. Kindly note that the trial proceedings will be held on this particular day too!In the meantime, the Amnesty International has selected Dr. Binayak Sen as the Prisoner of the Conscience, and protest letters demanding unconditional release of Dr. Sen are being sent to the Home Minister,Government of Chhattisgarh. All concerned are requested to join this campaign.

Previous posts on Dr. Binayak Sen:
Doctor, State and Sinister Case
No end to Binayak Sen’s ordeal in sight
Dr. Binayak Sen still in prison
Binayak Sen: Redefining healthcare in an unjust society

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