Resolution Introduced In US Congress Seeking Inquiry Into Death Of Activist Stan Swamy, Jesuit Priest, Who Was Jailed On False Charges
A resolution has been introduced in the US Congress seeking an independent inquiry into the death of human rights defender Stan Swamy, Congressman Juan Vargas (CA) said on Tuesday.
Vargas announced that he recently introduced the resolution in Congress to commemorate Swamy, a Jesuit priest who spent his life fighting for the rights of Indian minorities, including the Adivasi people.
The resolution has been introduced in the US House of Representatives and coincides with the first anniversary of 84-year-old Swamy’s death. Swamy was detained in 2020 under India’s stringent antiterrorism laws and imprisoned in inhumane conditions, including being denied a straw to drink from despite having Parkinson’s disease. Swamy died on July 5, 2021 after contracting Covid-19.
“I am appalled by the abuse Father Stan faced while in custody. No one who fights for human rights should face such violence and neglect,” said Vargas, speaking at a webinar organized by a coalition of human rights groups including Indian American Muslim Council.
India rejected international criticism over the death of Swamy last year, saying due process of law was followed in his case.
Last year, the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights released a statement condemning Swamy’s treatment at the hands of Indian authorities, saying, “There is no excuse, ever, for a human rights defender to be smeared as a terrorist, and no reason they should ever die the way Father Swarmy died, accused and detained, and denied his rights.”
Supreme Court Declines Urgent Listing Of Plea Seeking Nupur Sharma’s Arrest, Allowing Hatemonger To Walk Free
The Supreme Court declined on July 6 to urgently hear a petition demanding that authorities arrest former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Nupur Sharma for her derogatory remarks against Prophet Muhammad during a TV debate in May.
After hearing brief submissions, the Court declined to urgently list the matter and asked counsel to mention it before the registrar instead.
The Court’s blatant unwillingness to prosecute Sharma for her crimes is reflective of the normalized climate of anti-Muslim hate speech in India, as well as the near-guaranteed impunity Hindu supremacists receive after inciting violence against minorities.
The Supreme Court declined to hold Sharma accountable despite recently condemning her for setting “the entire country on fire” with her “loose tongue” and “irresponsible” comments.
Prominent Editor Says Mohammad Zubair Targeted Because His Debunking Of Fake News Threatened BJP
Prominent news editor Siddharth Vardarajan slammed the Modi government for viewing Muslim journalist Mohammad Zubair’s news site, AltNews, as a threat to the BJP for fact-checking fake news and false statements made by Hindu extremist leaders and politicians.
Speaking at an event on June 4 at the Press Club of India following Zubair’s arrest, Vardarajan, the founding editor of Indian news portal The Wire, warned that the nation was in the middle of a “full-blown attack on media freedom.”.
Describing Zubair’s “illegal” arrest and harassment as a “resort to gross violations of legal procedure,” Vardarajan stressed that such attacks are only going to increase in the near future.
“The reason why Mohammad Zubair and Alt News have been targeted is that Alt News’ consistent debunking of false lies and malicious propaganda has become a major roadblock in the government’s attempts to manipulate public opinion,” he said.
Zubair remains in police custody for tweeting a screenshot of a Bollywood movie, which a Hindu supremacist Twitter user reported to the police as being offensive to Hindus.