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25 March, 2009

Satyagraha for Binayak Sen’s release: Send free fax to support demand



Would you like to send a FREE FAX to the Chhattisgarh government to demand? If the answer is Yes, please visit http://petitions.aidindia.org/binayaksen09/

A timeline of Binayak Sen’s case is available at
http://www.binayaksen.net/2009/01/timeline-of-events-in-the-strange-case-of-dr-binayak-sen/

The following is a message received from the Rights Support Centre
(humanrights.movement@gmail.com):

The Raipur Satyagraha, a mass
civil disobedience movement, was launched on Monday, March 16, to press the demand for immediate release of Dr. Binayak Sen.

Every Monday, batches of 50 to 100 people are courting arrest in front of the Raipur jail where Dr. Sen in incarcerated.

It is now 22 months since Dr Binayak Sen, the well-known public health and human rights activist, was imprisoned by the Chhattisgarh government on false charges of abetting activities of an
outlawed organization.

In the days and months following his incarceration, Dr. Binayak Sen has received tremendous support from within India and outside. More than 20 Nobel Laureates signed a letter in support of Dr Binayak Sen.

International and national media, through news stories and editorials, have consistently pointed to the unjustified nature of Dr. Binayak Sen's imprisonment.

Even though the state has been unable to produce any evidence against him, Dr. Binayak Sen’s pleas for bail have been repeatedly refused by courts at all levels.
We oppose the use of bail as a punitive measure to intimidate human rights defenders and demand the immediate release of Dr. Binayak Sen.

The *Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act, 2005 (CSPSA), under which Dr.Binayak Sen has been arrested, allows the state to bypass many routine forms of due process through the law's unreasonably broad definition of unlawful activity, and acceptance of vague and unreliable evidence, all in the name of national security. The unclear provisions of this law have been used unfairly by the state to silence government critics such as Dr. Binayak Sen, Ajay TG , a film maker and PUCL activist, and Sai Reddy, a journalist. We demand that draconian laws which have been used unfairly to harass human rights activists be immediately repealed.

Salwa Judum, the State-sponsored militia set up in 2005, has been responsible for killing, looting and rapes and forced transfer of more than 100,000 indigenous people from their homes to camps with inhuman conditions. Common concern for many is that the arrest and detention of Dr. Sen was directly related to his activities in defending the rights of the indigenous communities in Chhattisgarh state, and to his open criticism of the Salwa Judum. We condemn the state government for arming Salwa Judum and abetting terror against innocent civilians and tribals, and demand that it be immediately disbanded.

You can add your support to these demands by sending a free fax.

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