Arbitrary arrest and judicial harassment of 13 Women Human Rights Defenders in Kolkata, India

June 17, 2013

On 17 June, 2013 the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders [joint programme of the World Organisation Against Torture and the International Federation for Human Rights] issued a statement on the fate of 13 women human rights defenders in India.OMCT-LOGOlogo FIDH_seul The Observatory has been informed by MASUM (Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha) about the arbitrary arrest and judicial harassment of 13 women human rights defenders, all members of Maitree, a Kolkata based women’s network, in West Bengal. According to the information received, on June 13, 2013, the members of Maitree assembled before the residence of the Chief Minister of the Government of West Bengal, Ms. Mamata Bannerjee, bearing a few placards in their hands and telling the police personnel guarding the residence of the Chief Minister that they wished to submit memoranda on recent incidents of gang rapes on two students at Barasat and Krishnaganj in West Bengal. The activists were all arrested by the posted police authority without being provided with arrest memos, and whisked to Lalbazar, the headquarters of Kolata police force Central Lock Up. They were later informed that they were arrested for violating Section 151 of the Criminal Procedure Code “arrest to prevent the commission of cognizable offences”. … At about 4.30 p.m., all 13 defenders were released on bond from Lalbazar. Charges against them remain pending and they will all have to appear before the Magistrate Court. During their detention, they did not have access to a lawyer, although lawyers were present and try to see them from 10 a.m. until their release.

via India : India: Arbitrary arrest and judicial harassment … – FIDH.

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