‘Saibaba should be treated properly’

deccanherald.com, NEW DELHI, May 24, 2014

Delhi University professor G N Saibaba – arrested on suspicion of Maoist links – is not being provided with the basic provisions that should be given to a disabled prisoner, an organisation working for the disabled said on Friday.

Saibaba, who was arrested by Maharashtra Police on May 9, is wheelchair-bound person with 90 per cent disability.

The treatment meted out to him is in violation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), according to a statement issued by the Disabled Rights Group.

Signed treaty in 2007

In 2007, India had signed the treaty in order to ensure the dignity and protection of over 70 million of its disabled citizens.

“However, in recent times, it seems that ratifying the UNCRPD was a mere act to appear significant in the eyes of the global community,” said Javed Abidi, convenor of Disabled Rights Group.

“The UNCRPD guarantees several rights and provisions to people with disabilities, including freedom from inhuman or degrading treatment (Article 15) and protection of the integrity of the person, both physical and mental (Article 17),” said Abidi.

‘Violation of rights’

Placing a prisoner with such disability in solitary confinement and denying his rights to facilities in the prison compound is also in violation of Article 21 of the Indian Constitution, which guarantees right to dignity and integrity.

“The harsh and violent manner in which the arrest took place is unacceptable and condemnable in a democracy, that claims to follow the law,” said Abidi. “The inhuman manner in which he is being kept in custody is even more intolerable,” he added.

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