Free The Bhima Koregaon 11: Government of India, Stop The Clampdown On Dissent!

In 2018, as part of a massive crackdown on human rights defenders in India, 9 prominent activists– Sudha Bharadwaj, Shoma Sen, Surendra Gadling, Mahesh Raut, Arun Ferreira, Sudhir Dhawale, Rona Wilson, Vernon Gonsalves and Varavara Rao were arrested by the Pune Police.

 

Two years later, the crackdown on human rights defenders continues with the arrests of Gautam Navlakha and Anand Teltumbde. 

 

The order for their arrests are in complete contradiction with the Supreme Court’s previous orders to release prisoners to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, and has put both Gautam and Anand, who are above 65 years old, at risk.

Across India, the 11 are hailed as brave activists, committed to the causes of the poorest and most marginalised communities (like Dalits & Adivasis) in the country. The activists have been fearless vocal critics of the Government, for the sake of the people.

For many, they are national heroes.

Despite this reputation, the police have claimed the activists were allegedly involved in the violence that erupted between Dalits and Hindu nationalists in January 2018 in Bhima Koregaon, Maharashtra. Following the arrests, a smear campaign was launched against the activists. The central government claims they are ‘anti-nationals’ working against the country.

Sign this petition if you agree that dissent is not a crime, that being a vocal critic of the Government does not warrant indefinite detention.

Tell the Indian Home Minister, Amit Shah that attacking activists who are heroes for some of the most marginalised communities in India is not in the nation’s best interest. 

Call for the immediate release of the Bhima Koregaon 11.

Let’s show Amit Shah that the world is watching.