Posts Tagged ‘false accusation’

Chhattisgarh State must pay compensation to six human rights defenders but will it?

August 11, 2020

The National Human Rights Commission has ordered the Chhattisgarh government to compensate human rights defenders Rs 1 lakh each, for allegedly false cases filed against them. The commission had in February asked the Congress government in the state to comply within six weeks.

Human rights defenders Nandini Sundar, Archana Prasad, Manju Kawasi, Vineet Tiwari, Sanjay Parate and Mangla Ram Karma said that on November 5, 2016, the Chhattisgarh Police lodged first information reports against them under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, Arms Act and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for the alleged murder of a person in Nama village of Sukma district. The Bharatiya Janata Party was in power at that time. “The case was supposedly filed on the written complaint of Shyamnath Baghel’s widow, Vimla Baghel,” they said in a press release. “However, she is on record saying she did not name anyone.” On November 15, 2016, the Supreme Court gave the individuals protection from arrest. However, they filed a fresh plea in the Supreme Court in 2018 as the matter had not yet been investigated or closed. The Congress-led Chhattisgarh government initiated a probe in the matter and in February 2019, concluded that the defenders were innocent.

In February this year, noting that the Chhattisgarh Police’s admission that there was no case to be made out against the signatories, the NHRC said that the individuals would have “certainly suffered a great mental pain and agony as a result of registration of false FIRs against them by the police”. “Therefore we recommend and direct the Government of Chhattisgarh through its Chief Secretary to pay a sum of Rs One Lakh each as monetary compensations to the six persons namely Prof Nandini Sundar, Ms. Archana Prasad, Shri Vineet Tiwari, Shri Sanjay Parate, Ms. Manju and Shri Mangla Ram Karma, whose human rights were gravely violated by the Chhattisgarh police,” the NHRC ruled.

The commission also directed the Chhattisgarh government to provide the same compensation to a group of lawyers from Telangana who were acquitted of all charges after being put in jail in Sukma for seven months. However, the six human rights defenders indicated that they had not yet received the compensation. “We welcome the NHRC order and hope that the Chhattisgarh government will act promptly to redress the reputational loss and mental agony suffered by us,” the press release said.

The signatories also said they hoped the police officers responsible for filing false charges against them, especially SRP Kalluri who was then the Bastar inspector general of police, will be investigated and prosecuted.

The defenders added: “To date, despite NHRC recommendations in 2008 and repeated Supreme Court directions, the Government of Chhattisgarh has not compensated the thousands of villagers whose homes were burnt by Salwa Judum or prosecuted those responsible for rapes and murders. Fake encounters and false arrests continue to be a grave concern in Chhattisgarh.”

Salwa Judum was a militia organised and mobilised by the government in Chhattisgarh to break the back of Maoist violence in the region. In July 2011, the Supreme Court declared Salwa Judum an illegal organisation, and ordered it to disband. However, the organisation continues to survive in the form of various vigilante groups operating in Chhattisgarh.

The signatories thanked the People’s Union of Civil Liberties for taking up all the cases of human rights defenders in Chhattisgarh, and said it was unfortunate that PUCL Secretary Sudha Bharadwaj had been arrested and imprisoned under “false charges” in the Elgar Parishad case.



Seven persons charged in South Sudan, including Peter Biar Ajak

March 30, 2019

It clearly helps to get attention for a human rights defender in trouble if there is a connection to a western country as shown in the case of Cambridge PhD student Peter Biar Ajak who was with charged with sabotage and insurgency in South Sudan.

Jared Genser, an international human rights lawyer who took on Ajak’s case, called the recent charges “unequivocally false”, telling Newsweek that his client “was not involved in any way in the planning or execution of the protest.”

Ajak was originally detained by the NSS at Juba International Airport on 28th July 2018, and has still not been formally charged for anything relating to this initial arrest eight months ago.

Ajak had been an outspoken critic of the South Sudanese government’s response to the country’s ongoing civil war. He is a chairperson of the South Sudan Young Leaders Forum, and was arrested while on the way to an event held by the Red Army Foundation, an organisation created by former child soldiers to advocate for peace and address social issues in the country.

Shortly before his arrest Ajak had tweeted that: “We must stop thinking that the so-called leaders will bring peace #SouthSudan. We, the great people of #southsudan, must organize ourselves to bring about the peace we deserve!”

Over the past few months there has been mounting international pressure on the South Sudanese government to release Ajak and others who have been similarly detained. Detaining a person without charge for more than 24 hours is illegal under the South Sudanese constitution.

The United Nations condemned Ajak’s continued detention earlier this month, citing a “clear trend in the use of national security and counter-terrorism legislation by states to criminalize free expression and the legitimate work of human rights defenders.”

Mountain View

In September 2018, Vice-Chancellor Stephen Toope wrote a letter to the President of the Republic of South Sudan. Ajak’s cause has also been championed by international human rights organisation Amnesty International.

Human rights defender in Chechnya, Oyub Titiev, sentenced to 4 years

March 19, 2019

News headlines today: Mar. 18, 2019

Oyub Titiev, the director of the local branch of Memorial, one of Russia’s most respected human rights organizations, was convicted of marijuana possession, a charge his lawyers said was manufactured in order to punish Titiev for his work investigating and exposing human rights abuses in Chechnya, including extrajudicial killings. [see:]

The guilty verdict against Titiev was expected by his colleagues and human right organizations, which have slammed the case as a show trial, filled with inconsistencies and fabricated evidence. “The guilty verdict against Oyub Titiev is gross injustice to him, a disgrace to Russian criminal justice system, and a further sign that Ramzan Kadyrov, the governor of Chechnya, will be emboldened to silence reporting on human rights abuses,” Rachel Denber, deputy Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement.

Natalia Estemirova, Titiev’s predecessor as director of Memorial’s Chechnya office, was kidnapped in Grozny and shot dead outside the city in 2009. In 2016, masked men attacked a group of journalists trying to enter Chechnya on a tour organized by the Committee to Prevent Torture, beating the reporters and setting their bus on fire. The same month, the head of the organization, Ilya Kalyapin was attacked in Grozny.

Memorial has long been a target of strongman Kadyrov, and repeatedly suffered attacks, and. Around the time of Titiev’s arrest, the organization’s office in a neighboring region was burnt down by masked men. One of Titiev’s colleague in Dagestan was beaten outside his home last March.

Two Human Rights Defenders in Uzbekistan Sentenced to more than 8 Years

March 15, 2014

On 6 March 2014, in Tashkent the trial of two members of the Mazlum Human Rights Center took place: Fakhriddin Tillaev and Nuriddin Jumaniyazov. They were charged under Art. 135 of the Criminal Code (“trafficking in persons”). The prosecutor asked for 12 years of imprisonment. The court sentenced both the human rights advocates to 10 years and 8 months of imprisonment and applied the amnesty act passed by the Senate of Uzbekistan. The final term of punishment was thus still 8 years and 3 months of imprisonment.
Fakhriddin Tillaev