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Jan 30: Global Call to Release Renowned Indian MD & Human Rights Activist Dr. Binayak Sen, Sentenced to Life in Sham Trial


World  (tags: India, Dr Binayak Sen, release, political prisoner, AmnestyInt, sham trial, life sentence, sedition, Raj-era law, world famous doctor, poor communities, right to healthcare, big business, mining, resources, state-sponsored militia, Ilina Sen )

LucyKalei
- 2851 days ago - democracynow.org
High court hearing arguments to release India's most famous political prisoner &suspend conviction based on archaic colonial-era sedition law. 'Flawed evidence & findings,' says The Hindu. Supporters around the world mark global day of protest



   

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LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Sunday January 30, 2011, 3:06 am
January 28, 2011 DN! - "Global Call to Release Imprisoned Indian Human Rights Activist Dr. Binayak Sen":

"An Indian high court is hearing arguments to release the nation’s most famous political prisoner on bail and suspend his conviction. Last month, a trial court sentenced renowned physician and human rights activist Dr. Binayak Sen to rigorous life imprisonment on the basis of an archaic colonial-era sedition law. Dr. Sen, along with two others, were found guilty of sedition and criminal conspiracy by a court in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh on allegations of helping a banned group of Maoists.

On Sunday, Dr. Sen’s supporters around the world will mark a global day of protest against his conviction.

Democracy Now!’s Anjali Kamat traveled to Chhattisgarh and filed this report on what lies behind the targeting and conviction of Dr. Sen. She met Binayak Sen’s wife, Ilina Sen, at their home in Raipur. She called the trial a "sham" and emphasized the lack of any credible evidence against him."

"The armed rebels (whom Dr Sen was convicted of supporting) do have an active presence in the dense southern forests of the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh. This is also where Binayak Sen and his family have lived for nearly 30 years, addressing the public health needs of the tribal or adivasi communities that live in near-famine conditions. Ilina Sen says that if the Maoists have gained a foothold in this region, it’s because of the long history of neglect and abuse by the state."

"The Chhattisgarh government accused Binayak Sen of trying to form an urban network for the Maoists. They pointed to his prison visits to an alleged Naxalite ideologue, an ailing 74-year-old man named Narayan Sanyal."
"...as the vice president of India’s oldest human rights organization, the People’s Union for Civil Liberties, or PUCL, it was well within the scope of Sen’s work to be meeting prisoners," says his lawyer.


DN! December 27, 2010 - "India’s Most Famous Political Prisoner Dr. Binayak Sen Sentenced to Life in Prison" - 3rd Anniversary of His Arrest: "Described as Indian’s most famous political prisoner, Dr. Binayak Sen is known as the "physician of the poor." He spent many years working as a doctor in the rural-tribal areas of Chhattisgarh in central India and reported on unlawful killings of indigenous people by the police and private militias.
(Democracy Now! producer Anjali Kamat had a chance to speak to Dr. Sen by telephone.)

Amnesty International, 25 December 2010 - Indian doctor Binayak Sen's conviction and life sentence mock justice: "The life sentence handed down against Dr Binayak Sen by a court in the India state of Chhattisgarh violates international fair trial standards and is likely to enflame tensions in the conflict-affected area, Amnesty International said today.

"Life in prison is an unusually harsh sentence for anyone, much less for an internationally recognized human rights defender who has never been charged with any act of violence," said Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International's Asia-Pacific director.

"State and federal authorities in India should immediately drop these politically motivated charges against Dr Sen and release him." ...
...skip...

"Dr Sen, who is considered a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International, was convicted under laws that are impermissibly vague and fall well short of international standards for criminal prosecution," Sam Zarifi said.

"Instead of persecuting Dr Sen, authorities in Chhattisgarh should be acting to protect the people of the region from the abuses committed by the Maoists, as well as state security forces and militias." "This sentence will seriously intimidate other human rights defenders who would provide a peaceful outlet for the people's grievances, especially for the indigenous Adivasi population,” Sam Zarifi said.

India's central government has acknowledged that the intensifying armed conflict with the Maoists in central India is a reflection of serious inequities and a history of human rights violations in the area. Amnesty International believes that the charges against Dr Sen are baseless and politically motivated.

Dr Binayak Sen is a pioneer of health care to marginalized and indigenous communities in Chhattisgarh, where the state police and armed Maoists have been engaged in clashes over the last seven years.

He has reported on unlawful killings of Adivasis (Indigenous People) by the police and by Salwa Judum, a private militia widely held to be sponsored by the state authorities to fight the armed Maoists."

The Hindu, January 2, 2011: "Flawed evidence and conclusions": "The sentencing of Dr. Binayak Sen involves unverified charges, and unreasonable and unconstitutional findings." (The author, Madabhushi Sridhar, is a Professor at the National Academy of Legal Studies and Research University of Law, Hyderabad.)

General Secretary of the CPI (M) party Prakash Karat in The Hindu, December 29, 2010 A grave miscarriage of justice - “The travesty of justice perpetrated by the trial needs to be corrected.”:
“The evidence presented at the trial by the prosecution was so flimsy and concocted that it is surprising that such a judicial verdict has been given,” party general secretary Prakash Karat said. He said the verdict also pointed to the dangers of having “draconian” laws like the Chhattisgarh Special Public Safety Act and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and added that CPI (M) had opposed these provisions and had warned of their misuse."

"Mr. Karat also charged the Bharatiya Janata Party government in Chhattisgarh with “trampling upon the democratic rights” of the people in the name of fighting Maoists."

The Hindu, December 28, 2010: Public outrage at the sentencing of physician and rights activist Binayak Sen continued on Tuesday, with philosopher Noam Chomsky, historian Romila Thapar and 80 others: , including leading academics, writers and journalists, signing a joint statement condemning the “unbelievable savagery” of the sentence.

Urging his immediate release as well as the early hearing of his appeal “with enlightened reason” by the higher judiciary, the statement said: “The damage done by this shocking verdict to our Constitutional order must be undone.

“Dr. Sen never resorted to violence against any other person, never incited anyone else to resort to violence, never entered into any conspiracy against the constitutional order of the country, and never entered into regular service of any organisation that was involved in any such conspiracy, for furthering its cause. On the contrary, as a doctor he served the people with devotion and helped to save many lives; as a human rights activist he stood up in defence of the rights of the downtrodden. And yet he has been handed down this sentence whose savagery is unbelievable."


Dec. 29, 2010 - Global Health Council Calls for Immediate Release of Dr. Binayak Sen, Physician and Human Rights Advocate, pediatrician who received the 2008 Jonathan Mann Award for Global Health and Human Rights (The Global Health Council is the world's largest membership alliance dedicated to saving lives by improving health throughout the world. -formerly the National Council of International Health, U.S.-based, nonprofit membership org created in 1972 to identify priority world health problems and to report on them to the U.S. public, legislators, international and domestic government agencies, academic institutions and the global health community. In 1998, the organization changed its name to the Global Health Council & makes global health a priority for everyone, rich and poor alike.)
 

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Sunday January 30, 2011, 3:18 am
Forgot these two links:

Amnesty International, 25 December 2010 - "Indian doctor Binayak Sen's conviction and life sentence mock justice": "The life sentence handed down against Dr Binayak Sen by a court in the India state of Chhattisgarh violates international fair trial standards..." "Instead of persecuting Dr Sen, authorities in Chhattisgarh should be acting to protect the people of the region from the abuses committed by the Maoists, as well as state security forces and militias." - see the rest of excerpt above.

Dec. 29, 2010 - Global Health Council Calls for Immediate Release of Dr. Binayak Sen, Physician and Human Rights Advocate, pediatrician who received the 2008 Jonathan Mann Award for Global Health and Human Rights

Award Profile:
"Dr. Binayak Sen is a pediatrician and the Vice-President of the People's Union for Civil Liberties. His work combines a passion for human rights with a devotion to improve the health care and living conditions of marginalized communities in tribal regions of central India. His current imprisonment for defending the human rights of adivasis (indigenous tribes people) in Chhattisgarh state of India interrupts decades-long efforts advocating for human rights, non-violence and justice amidst armed conflicts in Chhattisgarh and setting up and guiding pioneering health services for the poor.

Dr. Sen founded RUPANTAR, a NGO aimed at addressing health needs, civil liberties and human rights in an integrated way. RUPANTAR trained and monitored community health workers throughout twenty villages, leading to the state government's implementation of the Mitanin program, which trains women health activists. The Mitanin program in return has a strong influence on the Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) program, a key component of the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM). RUPANTAR's other activities include initiatives to counter alcohol abuse and violence against women and to promote food security. Dr. Sen was imprisoned at the time of the Awards Ceremony, and the award was accepted on his behalf by his wife, Dr. Ilina Sen."

The Case of the 2008 Jonathan Mann Award Winner
 

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Sunday January 30, 2011, 3:36 am
06 January 2011: Urgent Appeal Release Dr. Binayak Sen and Uphold the Right to Fair Trial

Action Requested || Sample Letter || Background || PDF version

Please respond BEFORE 06 February 2011

Action Requested
Please write polite letters to express your concern on the verdict on Dr. Binayak Sen and request the authorities to release Dr. Sen immediately in absence of adequate evidence.

Send letters to:

1) Shrimati Prathibha Patil, President of India -- Fax : 91-11-23017290/ 91-11-23017824
Rashtrapati Bhavan,
New Delhi – 110 004, INDIA

2) Honourable Shri Justice Rajeev Gupta -- Fax: 91-77-12221306
Chief Justice, Chhattisgarh High Court
Bilaspur, (C.G.) 495001, INDIA

3) Dr. Raman Singh ---- Fax: 91-11-2338-4863
Chief Minister Chhattisgarh
Mantralaya, Raipur- 492 001
Chhattisgarh, INDIA

4) Chairperson
National Human Rights Commission
Faridkot House, Copernicus Marg,
New Delhi-110001, INDIA


Send copies to: Diplomatic representatives of India in your countries.

Sample Letter:

We express shock at the life sentence to Dr. Binayak Sen, the well-known physician and human rights worker, by Raipur Additional District and Sessions Court on 24 December 2010, on charges of conspiring to commit sedition, under 120(B), 124(A) of the India Penal Code and 1,2,3,5 Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act 2005 and Section 39(2) of the Unlawful Activites (Prevention) Act (2004 amended), in absence of adequate evidence.

Dr. Binayak Sen has been working for backward commuities, especially tribal groups, by providing medical service in respect of their basic human rights. His work is acutally important to integrate the margianlized into the society. Although he has been outspoken and critical of the Chhattisgarh government for its human rights violations against tribal population, your government should respect everyone’s right to freedom of expression or dismiss the criticism by well-founded evidence.

More importantly, the charges, accusing Dr. Sen of aiding outlawed Maoist rebels in Chhattisgarh, have not been corroborated by any witnesses or evidence produced in the Court so far. On the contrary, there have been numerous instances of the prosecution resorting to use of fabricated documents and contradictory testimonies to press its case.

We are worried that the sentence would be detriment to the judicial system in your country and tarnish confidence of people, at both local and international level. Hence, we request your government to take serious cognizance of the abovementioned situation and direct the concerned authorities to uphold principles of law, justice and the rights enshrined in the Indian Constitution and we urge you to release Dr. Sen immediately from imprisonment and withdraw all charges unconditionally.
 

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Sunday January 30, 2011, 3:42 am
Asian Center for the Progress of Peoples - ACPP - Urgent Appeal (pdf):


Correction of Fax Info !

Send Letters to:
1. Shrimati Prathibha Patil,
President of India
Rashtrapati Bhavan,
New Delhi – 110 004, INDIA
Fax : 91-11-23017290/ 91-11-23017824

2. Honourable Shri Justice Rajeev Gupta
Chief Justice, Chhattisgarh High Court
Bilaspur, (C.G.) 495001, INDIA

3. Dr. Raman Singh
Chief Minister Chhattisgarh
Mantralaya, Raipur- 492 001
Chhattisgarh, INDIA
Fax: 91-77-12221306

4. Chairperson
National Human Rights Commission
Faridkot House, Copernicus Marg,
New Delhi-110001, INDIA
Fax: 91-11-2338-4863
 

Pamylle G (461)
Sunday January 30, 2011, 4:40 am
"Binayak Sen’s case means...if you are serious about human right violations, you are finished. I mean, you can make a little noise here and there, no problem, some demonstration. But if you are going to pursue it with facts and figures, take it to the court, take it to the people, you will be put behind like Binayak. Especially if it is affecting industrialization, especially if it is affecting people struggling, if it is in support of people struggling to save their land from industrialization process, you can be put behind bars". - A.P. Josy

All over the world, the governments which are supposed to serve their citizens & protect them from theft & abuse, instead bow to the all-consuming greed of business interests.
 

Mac R (289)
Sunday January 30, 2011, 5:11 am
"All over the world, the governments which are supposed to serve their citizens & protect them from theft & abuse, instead bow to the all-consuming greed of business interests."

That's exactly right, Pamylle. Including our own. In the coming year (and into the next), as food and fuel prices spike and situations get critical all over the world, we are going to see many peoples rising up against their governments, including here in the US. It doesn't matter whether they are democratically elected or despotic regimes, they have all sold us out to big biz and we are seeing the results of that unfettered capitalism: devastation...... not the kind that results from wars or natural disasters, but the kind of rotting carcass of freedom devastation that eats the country from the inside, usually slowly, but all the factors are telling us it is going to escalate faster and faster, just like climate change. Mark my words: Hang onto your hats, this year and the next are going to be wild rides.
 

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Sunday January 30, 2011, 5:43 am
Thank you for your great comments, friends ! Can't send you green stars, though -- allotment is depleted AGAIN !
 

SuS NoMail Plez P (244)
Sunday January 30, 2011, 10:24 am
Dear One...THANK YOU for the news. I COULDN'T AGREE MORE WITH Pamyville and Mac's comments. Unfortunately I cannot give ANY of you a star :(



Mac, UGLY *E* Ticket Rides~ "Mark my words: Hang onto your hats, this year and the next are going to be wild rides."

Sweetie, TY for EVERYTHING. Good to be back!







 

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Sunday January 30, 2011, 12:47 pm
India's corruption is pretty bad, though -- the front page article of my Guardian Weekly two weeks ago was
" Indian corruption backlash builds after 'year of the treasure hunters' "

It is an image that has become wearily familiar to Indians in recent days. On the front cover of its new year issue India Today ran pictures of four men under the headline "2010 – year of the treasure hunters".

Inside an editorial said bluntly: "One word dominated the national vocabulary [last year]: corruption." The men pictured are high-profile businessmen and politicians variously accused of graft, complicity or tax-dodging.

Written by Aroon Purie, one of India's best-known publishers, the editorial summed up what many are saying from well-heeled Delhi sitting rooms to bus stop tea shops: "In India, the sheer banality of the word evokes a sense of deja vu … [but] the size and frequency of corruption in 2010 made it the theme of the year."

India has seen many scams before, but few have been as brazen and on such a scale as those that have come to light in recent weeks.

Today officials from the ruling Congress party, aware that the issue could derail their second term in power, announced plans for a new law to fight corruption among public servants, including politicians. Manmohan Singh, India's prime minister, promised last weekend to "cleanse" the government.

Such promises, commentators say, are unlikely to mitigate the disgust felt among ordinary people. Arvind Kejriwal, a veteran social activist, said: "Every single scam undermines the faith of people in the system. There is an explosion of anger in the media. People have tried protesting but it doesn't seem to work. They are more and more disillusioned."

The four men on the cover of India Today are accused of various offences. They all deny any wrongdoing.

Suresh Kalmadi, the head of the organising committee of last year's Commonwealth Games in Delhi, is under investigation for fraud.

The former telecoms minister Andimuthu Raja is being investigated for his role in the sale of licences for 2G mobile phone technology at a fraction of their true value – an alleged scam that government accountants say may have caused a potential loss of £25bn to the Indian exchequer.

Ashok Chavan, chief minister of Maharashtra state, resigned over his role in an alleged building scam that saw flats meant for war widows diverted to his family members, top bureaucrats and generals.

Tax inspectors want to interview Lalit Modi, the man who created the £2.7bn Indian Premier League cricket tournament, who is currently living in London.

Another scandal, involving food aid in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, is thought to involve up to 7,000 officials. In the southern state of Karnataka, corruption is blamed for uncontrolled mining in vast areas of protected forest.

One of the highest profile recent scandals saw several of the country's best-known journalists accused of writing editorials according to the wishes of industrial tycoons. Leaked government wiretaps also revealed the role of lobbyists hired by businessmen in the appointment of key ministers. One tape featured Barkha Dutt, India's best-known news journalist and presenter, discussing candidates for posts with a lobbyist and promising to talk to senior government figures. Dutt denies any wrongdoing.

The wave of corruption has yet to provoke large-scale protests, but a host of anti-corruption websites have sprung up. One, Ipaidabribe.com, is run by Raghunandan Thoniparambil, a retired official from the elite Indian administrative service. The site was launched four months ago and more than 3,000 people have posted their own stories of graft.

On one day alone – 30 December – those posting on the site included a restaurateur forced to pay 25,000 rupees (£350) to clerks to have his dossier forwarded to senior officials at a Delhi licensing department, a traveller who had to give 100 rupees (£1.30) to get a berth on the otherwise full express train, a dozen or so drivers who had to pay traffic police after being accused of fictitious offences, and travellers intimidated into paying customs officials large sums to allow electrical and other goods into the country. ..."
(use above link to read the rest)

 

patricia lasek (317)
Monday January 31, 2011, 5:42 am
The wrong people are being locked up.
 

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Monday January 31, 2011, 7:32 am
You can say that again !
 

Angelika R (143)
Monday January 31, 2011, 12:23 pm
I, too am jumping on here totally agreeing with the above statements by those two, three. I found another key sentence to be the last paragraph by Anjali Kamat, that sounds familiar and very worrying. The corporate grab combined with corruption is obviously worlwide and I am shocked to see the world's largest democracy in danger. A DEEP DISAPPOINTMENT !
Thanks Jill, I forwarded but will admit that I feel unable to take that action. If there is no email provided I have to skip actions as I am in no position here to print and send out hard letters by mail. So sorry, when the case is really tragic and the injustice crying out loud.
 

Justin R (0)
Monday January 31, 2011, 12:38 pm
Herds of cowards fearing one man!
Let us help! Keep united!
 

linda b (186)
Monday January 31, 2011, 12:51 pm
Noted thank you
 

Aletta Kraan (146)
Monday January 31, 2011, 12:51 pm
Noted , terrible !!
 

Janis B (7)
Monday January 31, 2011, 1:50 pm
Amnesty International to which we belong is striving to have him released. The organisation worked magic for Suu Ki Yee in Burma perhaps we can do the same for Dr. Binayak Sen, who did what his oath demanded.So what they may have been maoists but they need medical care. Let's hope he can be released with lots of international calls for that.
 

William Y (54)
Monday January 31, 2011, 2:50 pm
More disgusting bureaucratic bullshit.
 

Agnes H (144)
Monday January 31, 2011, 9:49 pm
Noted, it's probably better to send a snail mail letter than an e-mail as they HAVE to open that one to find out what it's all about. I'll be writing a letter and forwarding this article. Thank you to Angie for forwarding.
 

Ester Hellen (213)
Tuesday February 1, 2011, 12:12 am
Thank you Agnes for the forward of this message Will take action!
 

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Tuesday February 1, 2011, 2:56 am
From Latin America to India, from Africa (Nigeria's Niger Delta) to Native American reservations (uranium in Navajo Country), it is the same story EVERYWHERE: wherever there are natural resources to exploit on the land of indigenous people throughout the world, the mining companies and/or the oil giants move in and governments support Big Business interests. Indigenous people are a negligible entity, their rights - human, political, civil - can be dismissed without batting an eye!

People defending indigenous human rights are transformed into 'terrorists' to silence them. Who would question a government's right and duty to lead a 'war on terror,' especially against Maoists? Once again, the need to fight 'terrorists' is used to silence dissent & incarcerate human rights advocates.

This comes out clearly in the DN! segment I posted here: Dr Sen "did more than EXPOSE embarrassing rights VIOLATIONS. His reports were also an OBSTACLE TO CAPITAL INVESTMENT in the state (of Chhattisgarh). He noted that the villages attacked by the Salwa Judum stand on some of India’s richest mineral deposits, suggesting that the STATE-SPONSORED MILITA was engaged in a ground-clearing operation to pave the way for BIG BUSINESS."

Longtime labor activist and advocate with the Chhattisgarh PUCL, Sudha Bharadwaj, states: " The motivation for this assault is very much also the RICH MINERAL RESOURCES of this region. And there is IRON ORE here. There’s bauxite. There’s GOLD. There is LIMESTONE, URANIUM, DIAMONDS, everything. There has been a tremendous intensification of, you know, the—I would actually call it PLAIN LOOTING of these resources. And that has been resisted very strongly by adivasis ((indigenous tribes people) .

DN!'s journalist who went to Chhattisgarh to investigate for this report, adds, "the repression is spreading to other parts of Chhattisgarh, even where there is no Maoist activity. A.P. Josy works with farmers’ groups in Janjgir-Champa, a rapidly industrializing agricultural district. The state has signed deals here to build nine polluting power plants within a six-mile radius. Farmers are stepping up their protests, but Josy is worried about the ramifications of the Binayak Sen judgment."
 

Cheree M (46)
Tuesday February 1, 2011, 3:04 am
Noted & Letters on the way. TY for all you do.
 

Stephen Hill (633)
Tuesday February 1, 2011, 7:42 am
Unfortunately corruption exists in all governments. While India is abundant in spirituality, it is a sad statement that there are "Rulers" and courts that turn their heads to human rights. What would Gandhi say if he were here today?

Let us not forget that Native Americans were the victims of the greatest genocide in world history, so ~~ we Americans do not have to look far from our front yard to see such atrocities.

I feel that we are coming to a new world government by the end of the next year as we as humans are reaching the edge of such darkness that we will finally realize that we are self destructing.

I wish for us all Love, Light and Unity! WE ARE ONE! ~~ Pray in unity for Dr. Sen!
 

Charlene Rush (2)
Tuesday February 1, 2011, 11:36 am
Thank god for the internet and global communications. To think how many people were imprisoned and tortured, before the rest of the world became aware; it makes me quiver.

Democracy is quite threathening to the powerful. Although, we don't live in a TRUE democracy, we cannot give up the fight.
 

Stelizan L (258)
Tuesday February 1, 2011, 1:26 pm
The story of my life? "You cannot currently send a star to Stephen because you have done so within the last week" - as well as to many others, Mac R included! Charlene R, we MAY NOT give up the light - and hopefully we will never resort to their filthy methods either! AMEN on a quick release for Dr Sen! WE have to rid our planet of this other corrupt 'human filth' sooner rather than later!!
 

Jeannette A (137)
Tuesday February 1, 2011, 8:18 pm
We see this over and over... the powerful being threatened by those who would call into question their morals and judgment. And the results are to threaten, discredit and imprison the voices of dissent. We have to decide who we are going to stand beside and who we are going to support...
 

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Saturday December 14, 2013, 1:30 am
Completely by accident, I've just come across this old post of mine! 'Old' is very relative, in fact- it's only been just under three years, but somehow it feels more like a hundred! So if it feels like that for me, I wonder how it does for Dr Binayak Sen, particularly if he is still imprisoned...

And that's just the point, seeing this post again, I naturally wonder what has become of Dr Sen! Is he still serving a life sentence? Did the international & Indian petitions & cries for his release succeed?

Trying to find out, I've come across this interview with him, which was published in the NYTimes just under a year after I posted this DN! video news story & which I'm linking to (below), & then I'll continue the search to find out if he's been released.

NYTimes' "India Ink" blog - December 10, 2012: "A Conversation With: Human Rights Activist Binayak Sen", By MALAVIKA VYAWAHARE

"Binayak Sen, 62, is no ordinary doctor. Few doctors, after all, spend three decades working in a region threatened by what Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called the “single biggest internal security challenge ever faced” by the country. And that was before Dr. Sen was jailed on charges of “waging a war against the state,” which prompted a group of Nobel laureates to petition for his release.

Dr. Sen was released in 2009, after spending two years in jail, but still faces charges of supporting the Maoists, also referred to as Naxalites, which he denies.

The Maoists have been leading an armed movement to capture political power in 13 states in India over four decades, and claim to be fighting for the poor, dispossessed and marginalized. Dr. Sen ran mobile clinics in the interior of Chhattisgarh, one of the states most affected by the Maoist insurgency. In 2005, he led a 15-member team that published a report criticizing the Salwa Judum, which Human Rights Watch calls “a state-supported vigilante group aimed at eliminating Naxalites.”

The Chhattisgarh state government alleged that his work, and in particular his association with the Maoist leader Narayan Sanyal, amounted to helping wage “a war against the state.” Although that charge was dismissed, he was found guilty of sedition and conspiracy, and sentenced to life imprisonment by a lower court in Chhattisgarh in 2010. He was granted bail by the Supreme Court in 2011 and an appeal against the conviction is pending in the Chhattisgarh High Court.

A group of 40 Nobel laureates described him as “an exceptional, courageous, and selfless colleague, dedicated to helping those in India who are least able to help themselves,” in a 2011 letter appealing for his life sentence to be overturned.

India Ink had several conversations with Dr. Sen, both over the phone and e-mail, to discuss how human rights activism grew from his work as a doctor."

The above is simply the introduction to the interviews (which btw contains links I'm not reproducing here), so please use my link to get onto the NYTimes for the rest of the piece, if you're interested in what Dr Sen has to say nearly a year after my initial post. I'll then go through the entries on India Ink, the NYTimes blog on India, to see if a release or any other news of him has ever been reported there since the 2012 interviews.
 
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