05, May 2021 | CJP Team
The soaring rate of coronavirus infections in India has put a lot of pressure on the existing healthcare infrastructure, especially prisons across the nation that already lacks basic amenities.
CJP, through this online petition, has humbly urged and requested the Chief Justice of India, NV Ramana, to release all political prisoners, most of them who are old and suffer from severe comorbidities on conditional bail forthwith. This will not only be a safeguard for their Right to Life (Article 21), but also de-congest India’s overcrowded prisons.
CJP stands in solidarity with the human rights defenders targeted by a vindictive state. A healthy democracy needs voices of dissent. We also need human rights defenders and social activists to work tirelessly to uphold our shared values of equality, peace and justice. Join CJP now!
The BK-16 or the 16 persons accused in the Bhima Koregaon violence case have remained in jail only because they are victims of political vendetta. Some have been behind bars since 2018, while Fr. Stan Swamy was jailed in 2020. Among those charged in the conspiracy case related to the North East Delhi violence, only Safoora Zaragar was released after much international outcry. 17 others who are awaiting trial for over a year, also deserve to be released in such trying times.
Given how vulnerable they are in overcrowded and filthy prisons, Covid-19 is a virtual death sentence for these political prisoners. Until now, Dr. Varavara Rao (the only among BK-16 out on bail), Dr. Umar Khalid, Akhil Gogoi, GN Saibaba, Siddique Kappan have contracted the virus. Khalid Saifi, accused in the Delhi communal clash of 2020, has been reportedly complaining of fever, throat infection and body pain in Mandoli Jail.
It is imperative that in this time of a health crisis, their right to life and dignity, a basic human right, is upheld. While they will continue to cooperate during the trial, they do not deserve to be lodged in a prison, away from family and susceptible to contracting the virus in prison conditions.
Join CJP’s campaign to free these political prisoners. Sign our Change.org petition here: