India: Activists Detained for Peaceful Dissent

https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/04/15/india-activists-detained-peaceful-dissent

Indian authorities on April 14, 2020 detained two rights activists who have been critics of government policies, Human Rights Watch said today. The government should immediately drop all charges under a counterterrorism law against Anand Teltumbde and Gautam Navlakha for allegedly inciting caste-based violence along with other activists during a demonstration in Maharashtra state in 2017.

“Indian authorities are using draconian counterterrorism laws against activists simply for criticizing the government or raising their voices against injustice,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director. “The authorities should immediately release Anand Teltumbde and Gautam Navlakha and the other activists wrongfully detained in the 2018 Bhima Koregaon case.”

…the charges filed by police cite flimsy evidence and raise serious concerns that the investigations were politically motivated. Two retired judges, who say they were the “main organizers and sole funders” of the rally, have said that most of the activists arrested in the case had nothing to do with the event.…

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