UN, EU rights bodies call Father Stan Swamy's death devastating; no rule violated, says India : The Tribune India

UN, EU rights bodies call Father Stan Swamy's death devastating; no rule violated, says India

Jailed on ‘false’ terror charges: US panel chief

UN, EU rights bodies call Father Stan Swamy's death devastating; no rule violated, says India

Father Stan Swamy

Sandeep Dikshit

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 6

Led by the UN Human Rights Council, several international human rights organisations have termed the circumstances surrounding Father Stan Swamy’s death as “disturbing”, “inexcusable” and “devastating”.

Edit: The death of Fr. Swamy

10 parties seek action

  • Leaders of 10 Opposition parties, including Sonia Gandhi, NCP's Sharad Pawar and ex-PM HD Deve Gowda, wrote to President Ram Nath Kovind, seeking action.
  • They urged him to direct the government to take action against those responsible for allegedly meting out "inhuman treatment" to the activist in jail.

The MEA, however, said all actions were strictly in accordance with the law and Father Swamy was arrested and detained by the NIA after following due process.

The most trenchant criticism came from the UNHRC whose President Michelle Bachelet had suffered torture in prison while her elderly father had died in custody due to an ailment.

“We are deeply saddened and disturbed that he died as the Bombay High Court was considering an appeal against the rejection of his bail application,” said her office in a lengthy statement.

UN’s Special Rapporteurs, she noted, had repeatedly raised the cases of Father Stan and 15 other rights defenders and urged their release from pre-trial detention.

The Jesuit priest’s incarceration also came under attack from rights bodies associated with the US and the EU. Nadine Maenza, chief of US Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), noted that Father Stan was a rights activist imprisoned on “false terrorism charges”, but denied bail as his health deteriorated.

UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders Mary Lawlor described the news about his death as “devastating”. Noting that he died nine months after his arrest, Lawlor said jailing rights defenders was “inexcusable”.

EU’s Special Representative for Human Rights Eamon Gilmore said he was “very saddened.”

The MEA said, “The authorities in India act against violations of law, and not against legitimate exercise of rights. India’s democratic and constitutional polity is complemented by independent judiciary, range of human rights bodies.”

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