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India rejects criticism over Father Stan Swamy’s death

India rejects criticism over Father Stan Swamy’s death
Image Source : PTI

FILE/PTI

India on Tuesday rejected mounting worldwide criticism over the death of rights activist Father Stan Swamy, and mentioned the due means of legislation was adopted in his case and that the authorities act towards violations of legislation and don’t restrain professional train of rights. Asserting that India stays dedicated to the promotion and safety of human rights of all its residents, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) mentioned the nation’s democratic polity is complemented by an unbiased judiciary and a variety of nationwide and state-level human rights commissions.

Eighty-four-year-old Stan Swamy, who was arrested final 12 months beneath the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in reference to the Elgar Parishad case, died in a Mumbai hospital on Monday.

India’s assertion got here as UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet and human rights officers of the US and European Union (EU) expressed concern over the death of the Jesuit priest and rights activist.

Noting that Father Stan Swamy was arrested and detained by the National Investigation Agency following due course of beneath legislation, the ministry mentioned due to the precise nature of prices towards him, his bail purposes have been rejected by courts.

“Authorities in India act against violations of law and not against legitimate exercise of rights. All such actions are strictly in accordance with the law,” MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi mentioned.

His feedback got here in response to media queries regarding reactions over the demise of Stan Swamy.

In view of Father Stan Swamy’s ailing well being, the Bombay High Court had allowed his medical remedy at a personal hospital the place he was receiving all doable medical consideration since May 28, Bagchi mentioned.

The MEA spokesperson mentioned Swamy’s well being and medical remedy was being intently monitored by the courts and he handed away on July 5 following medical problems.

“India’s democratic and constitutional polity is complemented by an independent judiciary, a range of national and state-level human rights commissions that monitor violations, a free media and a vibrant and vocal civil society,” Bagchi mentioned.

“India remains committed to promotion and protection of human rights of all its citizens,” he added.

Earlier, the UN physique on human rights mentioned it was “deeply saddened and disturbed” by the death of the activist in pre-trial detention.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Bachelet and the UN’s unbiased specialists have repeatedly raised the instances of Swamy and 15 different human rights defenders with the federal government of India over the previous three years and urged their launch from detention, it mentioned.

“We are deeply saddened and disturbed by the death of 84-year-old Father Stan Swamy, a human rights defender and Jesuit priest, in Mumbai yesterday, following his arrest in October 2020 under India’s Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act,” Liz Throssell, the spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, mentioned.

“Father Stan had been held in pre-trial detention without bail since his arrest, charged with terrorism-related offences in relation to demonstrations that date back to 2018,” she mentioned in a press release.

“In light of the continued, severe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is even more urgent that States, including India, release every person detained without a sufficient legal basis, including those detained simply for expressing critical or dissenting views. This would be in line with the Indian judiciary’s calls to decongest the prisons,” she mentioned.

Throssell mentioned the High Commissioner known as on the Government of India to make sure that nobody is detained for exercising their basic rights to freedom of expression, and peaceable meeting.

Mary Lawlor, the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, termed Swamy’s death as “devastating” and claimed he was imprisoned on “false charges of terrorism”.

“The news from India today is devastating. Human Rights Defender and Jesuit priest Fr. Stan Swamy has died in custody, nine months after his arrest on false charges of terrorism. Jailing Human Rights Defenders is inexcusable,” mentioned Lawlor.

European Union Special Representative for Human Rights Eamon Gilmore too expressed issues.

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