Stand With Stan

Solidarity with Fr. Stan Swamy and Human Rights Defenders

JCSA calls for National Solidarity Day, Delhi Post

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Who is Stan Swamy?

Fr.Stan Swamy has been arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in connection with the probe into the 2018 violence in Maharashtra's Koregaon-Bhima village. He is the seventh person arrested in the Elgar Parishad- Bhima Koregaon case on Thursday, 8 th October 2020.

Father Stan Swamy is a Jesuit priest and a tribal rights activist based in Jharkhand. He has worked in the state for over five decades on various issues of the adivasi communities on land, forest and labour rights. This includes questioning the non-implementation of the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution, which stipulated setting up of a Tribes Advisory Council with members solely of the adivasi community for their protection, well-being and development in the state.

In a statement given two days before the NIA took him into custody, Swamy said that he had challenged the “indiscriminate” arrest of thousands of young adivasis and moolvasis with investigating agencies labeling them as “Naxals”.

Swamy had filed a public interest petition in the High Court against the state, asking for all such undertrial prisoners to be released on a personal bond, and the conduct of a speedy trial. He had also sought the appointment of a judicial commission to investigate the reasons for delays in the trial process.

Swamy’s work also involves opposition to the setting up of “land banks”, which he argues would free up land belonging to the community to set up small and big industries. Swamy’s statement says that his work involved expressing dissent with several policies of the government, and laws enacted in violation of the Constitution.

Swamy was questioned multiple times by the NIA including in the last two months at the Jesuit residence in Bagaicha. Searches were also conducted at his residence with the NIA claiming his links to Maoist forces. He has said that the NIA placed several extracts before him claiming they were taken from his computer implicating his connection to Maoists. “I told them all these were fabrications stealthily put into my computer and I disowned them,”Stan Swamy, who has several health issues, is the oldest person to be in custody in the Koregaon-Bhima case. Originally from Kerala, Stan Swamy has been working for tribals in Jharkhand for over five decades.

Civil Society Organisations and Jesuit Partners in India and across the world express solidarity with Fr.Stan Swamy and for the cause he has dedicated his life. We request all the supporters of Fr.Stan Swamy, well-wishers of JCSA and the public to extend your support to release Fr.Stan Swamy.

  • Close to 2,000 activists, journalists, former bureaucrats and members of civil society appealed to Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren to intervene for his immediate release.

  • Human rights body People’s Union for Civil Liberties said the agency was crushing dissent and that Swamy has consistently questioned the abuse of power by state and the police through years of commitment in working for Adivasis.

  • Activist Harsh Mander said the arrest and charging of octogenenarian Swamy with Maoist conspiracy was “absurd”.

Support Stan Swamy

#StandwithStan

Arrest and imprisonment of the 83-year-old Jesuit priest, Fr. Stan Swamy SJ by the National Investigation Authority, on 8 Oct 2020 has shaken the conscience of academicians, social activists, human rights defender, teachers, students, NGOs, CSOs, political parties, dalit, adivasi and minority leaders and every civilized citizen of India and all over the world. Solidarity support for Stand with Stan, Save Democracy, Demand Justice and Free Stan Swamy and other Human Rights Defenders is gaining momentum.

  1. I have questioned the non-implementation of the 5th Schedule of the Constitution.
  2. I have asked why the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act 1996 has been neatly ignored.
  3. I have expressed disappointment at the silence of the govt on Samatha Judgment, 1997 of the Supreme Court.
  4. I have cried aloud at the half-hearted action of govt on Forest Rights Act, 2006.
  5. I have queried why the govt is unwilling to carry out the Supreme Court order that Owner of the land is also the owner of sub-soil minerals.
  6. I have expressed my apprehension at the recently enacted Amendment to ‘Land Acquisition Act 2013’ by Jharkhand govt which sounds a death-knell for Adivasi Community.
  7. I have strongly disagreed with the setting up of ‘Land Bank’ which I see as the most recent plot to annihilate the Adivasi people.
  8. I have challenged the indiscriminate arrest of thousands of young Adivasis and Moolvasis under the label of ‘Naxals’ just because they question and resist unjust land-alienation and displacement.

“If these are criminal and anti-national actions, I am ready to pay the price”, Stan Swamy.

Would you like to join the campaign in defending personal liberty of the human rights defenders as well as save the Constitution? Do you want to join us and demand that Stan must be immediately released from the prison? Sign this petition.

Let us all join hands together to show our support to Father Stan Swamy.Fill the form below to show your support.