Brave: Support Chandrashekhar Azad ‘Ravan’
Tell the Uttar Pradesh Government: release Chandrashekhar Azad ‘Ravan’ from administrative detention. He spent four months in jail on charges even the court reportedly said were politically motivated. He was granted bail but before he could leave jail, he was arrested again.
Chandrasekhar Azad ‘Ravan’ is a Dalit rights activist. He is the founder of the “Bhim Army”, a group of Dalit activists who campaign against caste-based discrimination and violence, and believe in empowering Dalits through education.
In April and May 2017, clashes broke out in the Saharanpur district of Uttar Pradesh between protesting Dalits and dominant caste groups, over the killing of two Dalit men and the burning of at least 50 Dalit homes. Chandrasekhar Azad was arrested on 8 June 2017 for his alleged involvement in the violence.
Four months later, he was granted bail by the Allahabad High Court on 2 November 2017. The court is reported to have observed that the charges against him were politically motivated.
Before he could even leave jail, Chandrashekar Azad was arrested again – this time under the National Security Act (NSA), an administrative detention law. This law permits authorities to detain him for up to 12 months without charge or trial. The NSA has often been used to target community leaders and human rights defenders in several states. Under this law, Chandrashekar Azad does not have the human rights protections that are part of ordinary criminal procedure and fair trial standards.
Arresting Chandrashekar Azad under the NSA immediately after he received bail, before he could even leave jail, shows that authorities in Uttar Pradesh want to target this Dalit rights activist by keeping him locked away by any means available.
Chandrasekhar Azad has shown bravery in the face of adversity. Support him by adding your voice to our appeal for his release. Sign the petition. Tell Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to end the use of administrative detention under the National Security Act and release Chandrashekhar Azad ‘Ravan’.
Support other Brave individuals and organizations by signing our petitions here. Stand up for those who stand up for us all.