“Resist the McCarthy-ian tactics of branding and false framing of intellectuals, students and democratic rights activists!”

Statement by the Democratic Student Union, Delhi — June 3, 2014
DSU: “Condemn the abduction and arrest of Dr. G.N. Saibaba by the notorious Maharasthra Police!”

“In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act” George Orwell

 It is precisely for this ‘crime’ of speaking the truth in the face of the lies and deceit that seek to hide the untold injustice and oppression perpetuated by the Indian state, that Dr. GN Saibaba has been arrested. Dr. GN Saibaba, a faculty member in DU and a widely known political activist, was clandestinely abducted on 9th May by plain-clothed policemen of the Maharashtra police just steps away from his residence as he was on his way back from examination duty. Saibaba, who suffers from 90% disability and is wheelchair bound, was blindfolded and pushed into a vehicle that swiftly took him to the airport from whence he was flown to Nagpur. The surreptitious manner in which a public figure like him was literally abducted by the police itself testifies that they were wary of the fact that they do not have any substantive evidence to back their hoax of “nabbing” him for alleged “Maoist links”. It has been obvious for quite a while now that the Indian state has been desperate to brand him and frame him under certain cooked up charges. The sole purpose being, to gag a voice of dissent that dares to speak the truth despite repeated threats and intimidations.

A large number of activists, intellectuals, students and teachers turned up in front of Maharasthra Bhawan on 10th May to protest against the dastardly abduction and arrest of Dr. GN Saibaba

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Philippines: Iron cyber-fist in faux democratic velvet glove

Media groups, Filipinos protest tough cyber law

By HRVOJE HRANJSKI | Associated PressFilipino journalists and some media group leaders hold their petitions against the Cybercrime Prevention Act as they submitted them to the Supreme Court in Manila, Philippines, Wednesday Oct. 3, 2012. Media groups and Filipinos stepped up calls Wednesday for repealing a tough new law that targets cybercrime but activists fear will be used to suppress online freedoms in the Southeast Asian nation. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Media groups and Filipinos stepped up calls for repealing a tough new law that targets cybercrime but activists fear will be used to suppress online freedoms in the Southeast Asian nation.

The Cybercrime Prevention Act took effect Wednesday despite last-minute petitions to the Supreme Court to stop it. The justices said they will take up the issue next week.

The law is envisioned as a measure against hacking, identity theft, spamming, cybersex and online child pornography. But citizens and groups who protested on social networking sites, blogs and out in the streets fear politicians will use it to silence critics.

The law contains a provision that says libel — which is already punishable by up to six years in prison — is also a cybercrime. It doubles cumulative penalties for online offenses and allows government agencies to search, seize and destroy computer data deemed libelous.

Associated Press/Aaron Favila – Filipino journalists and some media group leaders hold their petitions against the Cybercrime Prevention Act as they submitted them to the Supreme Court in Manila, Philippines Continue reading

Puerto Rico: Police suppressing dissent at University of Puerto Rico

William Ramirez Executive Director
American Civil Liberties Union Puerto Rico National Chapter   12-10-10

SUMMARY OF CURRENT STATE OF 1ST AMENDMENT RIGHTS IN PUERTO RICO
AND ROLE SECURITY FORCES PLAY IN SUPPRESSING SPEECH

The Governor of Puerto Rico, Luis Fortuño, has taken down University of Puerto Rico gates and has ordered armed police officers onto the UPR’s Rio Piedras campus (main campus) to assure that from now on there will no longer be any “leftist political activism” on campus and to stop any attempts to call for a student walk out. UPR students called a two day walk out, which ended Wednesday, December 8, 2010, to protest an arbitrary hike in student fees and other related administrative matters. The walk out was a continuation of an earlier UPR general strike. Last week, Marcos Rodriguez Ema, Secretary of the Governorship (Governors Mansion), in a live television interview said he would forcefully remove anyone who dared protest at UPR; that he would “kick their asses (los sacaría a patadas)” off campus.

Just days before, Puerto Rico’s police commissioner announced that he will be dismantling the controversial riot squad of the Tactical Police Unit, in response to US DOJ concerns that may be leading to a patterns and practice case by the United States. The ACLU has been filing complaints with the US DOJ for the past three years and has met with the DOJ in Puerto Rico and DC regarding the ongoing police violence and profiling.

This past Tuesday, December 7, 2010, the first day of the two day walk out, University officials brought on to campus a private security force “Capital Security” comprised of unlicensed and untrained young men recruited off the streets to control student protestors. Immediately, a violent situation emerged; many of these so called “security employees” came in with 2×4’s, wielding open knives and blackjacks, acting more like a goon squad. When interviewed by the press, some “security guards” admitted that they have no experience or training, that their only experience was kicking ass “free of charge” in the streets of their communities and that “here I will get paid for it”. This private security force was to replace the controversial tactical police unit, but has proven to be just as violent. http://www.elnuevodia.com/videos– megustadarcantazos-191847.html Continue reading

CRPP slams the designs of the Indian government to silence voices of dissent

COMMITTEE FOR THE RELEASE OF POLITICAL PRISONERS

185/3, FOURTH FLOOR, ZAKIR NAGAR, NEW DELHI-25

Date: 26/10/10

Condemn strongly fascist designs of the Indian government to silence voices of dissent!

Condemn strongly the move to put Arundhati Roy and Syed Ali Shah Geelani under charges of sedition!

Ever since the historic convention in Delhi titled “Azadi: The Only Way” organised by the CRPP, the media is abuzz with reports of possible cases of ‘sedition’ against some of the main speakers in the convention. The names that are being cited keeps changing with the imagination of the concerned media houses.

The hype has become so high that now rather than discussing the serious issues pertaining to the political aspirations of the people of Jammu & Kashmir that was deliberated by one and all in the convention the issue has got subverted into a conflated, convenient binary of that what is euphemistically called as ‘seditious’ or ‘non-seditious’.

The word ‘sedition’ itself is of colonial descent conveniently used by the British colonisers to prevail upon and browbeat the freedom loving people of the subcontinent into submission. Today the Indian government along with an obliging media and a jingoist communal Sangh Parivar led by BJP on tow is deploying the same words to force through a pigeon hole sense of national chauvinism in the name of the vast sections of the people of this subcontinent. Continue reading

In India, Constricting Democratic Space through Terror

Gladson Dungdung

In the midst of the hide-and-seek between the sun and the cloud, the environment at the Jaipal Singh Stadium in Ranchi, the capital city of Jharkhand, was very tense on June 25, 2010. The reason was that the “Operation Green Hunt Virodhi Nagrik Manch” (Citizens Forum against Operation Green Hunt) had called a rally and mass meeting against the cold blooded murder, rape and torture of innocent villagers by the security forces in the ongoing so-called anti-Naxal operation codified as “Operation Green Hunt”. The Forum has been intervening on issues of police atrocity since the inception of the OGH. As a result, the police has declared it a Maoist organisation which is, of course, the outcome of Chidambaram’s theory of democracy that describes the struggle as one between ‘this side and that side’. Therefore, whoever questions Operation Green Hunt is considered a Maoist, a Maoist supporter or at least a sympathiser of the Maoists.

When the Senior Superintendent of Police (Ranchi), Pravin Kumar, came to know about the Forum’s rally and mass meeting, he started a special operation against the Forum. On June 18, the police caught Jitendra Singh Munda of Nuridih village of Tamar block, while he was returning from Ranchi to his village by bus carrying pamphlets of the Forum for distribution. The bus was also seized and the driver, assistant driver and conductor were taken into police custody. In the evening, the SSP held a press conference in the city with a smiling face, telling the media about how the police succeeded in arresting some Maoists. Jitendra Munda was asked to hold the pamphlets of the Forum for the media show. The SSP declared the Forum a Maoist organisation, its pamphlet as Maoist literature and also announced that he would not let the rally and mass meeting to take place on June 25 in Ranchi since it was an event of the Maoists. Continue reading

Civil Rights Attorney Lynne Stewart Resentenced to 10-Year Term—Nearly Five Times Her Original Sentence

DEMOCRACY NOW, July 16, 2010

The civil rights attorney Lynne Stewart’s sentence was increased Thursday after an appeals court ruled that two years and four months of prison time was too light. Stewart was found guilty in 2005 of distributing press releases on behalf of her jailed client Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, also known as the “Blind Sheikh.” We play excerpts of Lynne Stewart’s last broadcast interview before she was jailed in November and speak to independent journalist Petra Bartosiewicz.

View the program at:  http://www.democracynow.org/2010/7/16/civil_rights_attorney_lynne_stewart_re

Coalition wants G20 political prisoners released

The Canadian Press, July 5, 2010

Civil rights groups say mass detentions during the G20 summit were an abuse of power. (CBC)

TORONTO — The mass detention of people and widespread use of police force over the G20 summit weekend was a gross abuse of state power that demands an independent inquiry and the immediate release of “political prisoners,” a civil-rights coalition said Monday.

In addition, they said, those responsible for “one of the most grotesque public expressions of police brutality, intimidation and mass violation of civil liberties” need to be held to account.

Mark Calzavara, of the Council of Canadians, said police detained more than 1,000 people after some protesters broke windows and burned a few police cruisers.

“When the police are the ones that are breaking the law, that’s when all of society has to really start to pay attention,” Calzavara said.

“That is a far greater crime.”

While the vast majority of those detained were released without charge within 24 hours, about 250 people still face charges and more than a dozen remained in custody Monday, according to the Movement Defence Committee.

The groups called for the release of those still incarcerated, saying the mass arrests amounted to criminalizing dissent. Continue reading