“We are extremely concerned and distressed to hear reports that Teesta Setalvad, Advocate MM Tirmizi and others are being victimised for their steadfast effort to take judicial proceedings against the perpetrators of the communal riots that took place in Gujarat in 2002 to their logical conclusion. We are very disturbed to hear that they fear for their lives and are anxious for their safety. It is very unfortunate that the very State that should be offering them protection and should see them as partners in ensuring justice is done, is harassing them. We urge the government in the strongest possible way to ensure that no harm through malicious intent comes their way.
The trial on the 2002 Gujarat communal riots is near its end and so this harassment has clearly been timed to intimidate the ‘Citizens for Peace and Justice’ who have been fighting for the victims. One must also take cognisance of the fact that similar to the unjustified persecution of Binayak Sen, this also seems to be an attempt to pass a message to others not to come out in support of human rights and victims of injustice. The conviction of Binayak Sen for sedition and treason, has implications well beyond the State of Chhattisgarh. That voices of dissent are being forcefully stamped out by the State through such coercive means and intimidation in different States in India shows the need for vigilance across the country to protect activists human rights defenders, and democracy itself.”
Aruna Roy, Nikhil Dey, Shankar Singh and Bhanwar Meghwanshi
For the MKSS