People’s Union for Civil Liberties terms raids on activists as 'unofficial Emergency'

Activist Gautam Navlakha being arrested by the Pune police in Delhi on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: Hemani Bhandari

The People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) on Tuesday said the arrest of human rights activists and raids at their homes was a targeted crackdown on dissenters and an attack by the police and the government on civil liberties and democratic rights.

The PUCL said the raids and arrests were a concerted attempt to crush human rights interventions and silence voices of dissent.

It called the “systematic and pre-meditated crackdown” on human rights activists “unprecedented and unheard of in a democracy”.

The PUCL said that it believes that the intention of the government and the police in targeting the activists, by foisting false and fabricated cases against them, is clear and apparent from their profiles of work.

“All the aforesaid human rights activists targeted in this multi-city operation by the police have been tirelessly involved in advocating the cause, and fighting for the rights, of the most poor and marginalised sections of society against serious State violations and unscrupulous corporates,” PUCL said in a statement.

The PUCL said that the crackdown signals the imposition of an “unofficial Emergency and is a direct attack on democracy”.

‘Act of reprisal’

“This is a deliberate strategy of the State to target human rights activists in a clear act of reprisals against them for calling out the human rights violations by the State and the police, and to intimidate those who are fighting for justice,” it added.

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Printable version | Mar 6, 2021 12:23:06 AM |

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