[The Indian state, thoroughly repressive toward over 90% of the people in India, has often claimed, since being “granted” independence by the British Empire, that it is democratic, even “the world’s largest democracy.” This claim is belied by the brutal displacement and oppression of the majority of the people–the adivasis, dalits, the peasantry, the women of the oppressed castes and classes, Muslims, political opponents of the neo-colonial, semi-feudal state and their imperialist masters, and the Maoists (and all other opponents loosely, and falsely, labelled “Maoists”). As the opposition continues to grow against the oppressive police state, the contradiction with the democratic myth has grown sharply, infecting even the ranks of the repressive judiary. The rebellious people will carefully study how these “democratic dissidents in high places” will be dealt with by the repressive “powers-that-be”. — Frontlines ed.]
Person can’t be taken into custody just because he is a Maoist, Kerala HC rules
Justice AM Muhammed Mushtaq said that a Maoist can be arrested and put behind the bars only if he or she indulges in unlawful or anti-national activities.
KOCHI: In a significant development, the Kerala high court made it clear that a Maoist cannot be taken into police custody just because of his political leanings. Justice A M Muhammed Mushtaq, in his order on Friday, said that a Maoist can be arrested and put behind bars only if he or she indulges in unlawful or anti-national activities. “Being a Maoist is no crime, though the political ideology of Maoists would not synchronise with our constitutional polity. It is a basic human right to think in terms of human aspirations,” Justice Mushtaq said in his order.The court was hearing a petition filed by Shyam Balakrishnan of Wayanad stating that he was arrested and harassed by the Thunderbolt team — a special police unit – for alleged Maoist links. The court ordered a compensation of Rs one lakh for the petitioner and also asked to state to pay litigation costs of Rs 10, 000. Continue reading →
NY Times highlights possible plan to shut down critical media
Demonstrators wave Turkish flags as they gather outside the İstanbul Courthouse to protest the detention of a number of people including the editor-in-chief of Zaman daily and an executive of Samanyolu television on Dec. 19, 2014. (Photo: Reuters)
May 23, 2015, Saturday
MAHIR ZEYNALOV / WASHINGTON (todayszaman.com)
The New York Times has urged the US and other NATO allies to ask Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to turn away from “destructive path,” highlighting the prevailing fear among journalists that he might be preparing to shut down critical media outlets, including this newspaper.
In an editorial titled “Dark clouds over Turkey,” the newspaper pointed to fear of critics that a new crackdown is starting to ensure that the ruling party he founded wins in upcoming parliamentary elections slated for June 7. Erdoğan didn’t make it secret that he wants to see the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) to win necessary number of seats to expand his presidential powers. Continue reading →
One year passed since the abduction-arrest of GN Saibaba by Indian state. With a 90 per cent disability Saibaba is lecturer of English at Ramlal Anand College, Delhi University and he is being deprived of proper medication and care that is needed for his safety and life. In the year he’s been in prison, his physical condition has deteriorated alarmingly. He is in constant, excruciating pain.
But he is denied of bail like many other in India and his ‘crime’ is to speak for the oppressed masses, Adivaisi, Dalits and Muslims.
To know more about him and his case (and many others), read Arundhati Roy’s article at:
For immediate assistance and relief, VOW Media has set up a fund that we are managing independently. All financial records will be published online and it will be completely transparent. With the funds we collect, we will buy essential items, support older and form new citizen volunteer groups to assist and provide relief to survivors of the Nepal Earthquake. These groups will organise themselves and go out to neighbourhoods and various districts to distribute immediate relief.
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The theatrical trailer of COURT, a winner of 17 International awards An Indian reviewer said the film is a “remarkably assured, engrossing study of the power of the law and order machinery to crush protest through delays, deferred hearings and demands for further evidence.” Forbes magazine in India said Chaitanya Tamhane, the director, is “Indian cinema’s new voice of subversion.”
Synopsis:A sewerage worker’s dead body is found inside a manhole in Mumbai. An ageing folk singer is tried in court on charges of abetment of suicide. He is accused of performing an inflammatory song which might have incited the worker to commit the act. As the trial unfolds, the personal lives of the lawyers and the judge involved in the case are observed outside the court.
. . . . . .
A Law Less Majestic
Sanctioned by an archaic law and other draconian legislation, “sedition against the state” is a handy tool to fell voices of dissent
SEDITION — Section 124A, Indian Penal Code, 1860: “Whoever, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the government established by law in India.” Punishment: Fine, or imprisonment of three years to life. Shall be punished with 104 (imprisonment for life), to which fine may be added, or with imprisonment which may extend to three years, to which fine may be added, or with fine. Exception: Criticism, to be determined by the judiciary
UAPA —Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967:Following a constitutional amendment, UAPA was enacted to “impose, by law, reasonable restrictions in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, on the (i) freedom of speech and expression (ii) right to assemble peaceably and without arms and (iii) right to form associations or unions”
Punishment: Penalties ranging from five years to life imprisonment along with fines. If the offence leads to loss of life, a death sentence can be awarded. Unlawful associations: Secessionist and terrorist associations; to be determined and notified by ministry of home affairs
Behind every man who has been labelled ‘seditious’ by the State is a law that goes back 155 years. Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code dates to 1860, three years after the British were rattled by what came to be known as the Sepoy Mutiny. There is also the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, a handy tool to silence ‘dangerous’ people with ‘dangerous’ ideas. Why, a week before it was held unconstitutional, Samajwadi Party leader and UP cabinet minister Azam Khan used Section 66A of the Information Technology Act to penalise a Class 11 student in Rampur, Uttar Pradesh.
The police are arbitrary and indiscriminate in the use of the sedition law, arresting people even for activities like singing, acting in street plays, reciting poems, painting graffiti on walls, not standing up during the national anthem or for cheering the Pakistani cricket team. These have, of course, usually accompanied the more serious charges of sympathising, funding or acting with Maoists or suspected terror organisations.
It will be one year on 9th May 2015 of continued incarceration of our colleague Dr. G.N. Saibaba. He languishes in jail without trial and without bail while his health is deteriorating fast. Please come and participate in the day-long hunger strike to save life of Dr. GN Saibaba and secure his early release from the solitary confinement in Nagpur Central Jail. Please circulate this message among your friends and encourage them to come and participate. Teachers and representatives of Teachers’ Associations from JNU, IP University, JMI, and Ambedkar University are joining the hunger strike.