Father Stan Swamy (1937-2021)

Fr. Stan Swamy was jailed on false charges, says top U.N. official

 Mary Lawlor.

Mary Lawlor.

Fr. Stan Swamy who passed away on Monday was imprisoned on “false charges of terrorism”, a top official of the United Nations has said.

The concerns of Mary Lawlor, U.N. Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, were shared by Eamon Gilmore, EU Special Representative for Human Rights, who said the European Union had been raising the case of Fr. Stan Swamy “repeatedly” with the Indian authorities.

“The news from India today is devastating. Human Rights Defender and Jesuit priest Fr. Stan Swamy has did in custody, nine months after his arrest on false charges of terrorism. Jailing Human Rights Defenders is inexcusable,” said Ms. Lawlor. The U.N. official had on Sunday expressed concern about the deteriorating health condition of Fr. Stan Swamy. She had described the charges against the Jesuit priest as “unfounded”.

 

The Ministry of External Affairs is yet to respond to the allegation from Mary Lawlor. The comment from the top U.N. and EU officials on Fr Stan Swamy's demise comes in the backdrop of multiple international appeals to release him as well as others who are part of the Bhima Koregaon case. A group of Nobel laureates, European Union parliamentarians and human rights activists had demanded the release of Fr Stan Swamy and the rest of the prisoners.

Eamon Gilmore, EU Special Representative for Human Rights, said, “I am very saddened to hear that Fr. Stan Swamy has passed away. A defender of indigenous peoples’ rights, he was held in detention for the past 9 months. The EU had been raising his case repeatedly with the authorities”.

 

India and the EU have been engaged in a dialogue to defend human rights. Officials from both sides met for the 9th India-EU Human Rights Dialogue on April 12, 2021. “As the world's two largest democracies, India and the EU reiterated their commitment to human rights. In this context, they emphasised the universality, indivisibility, interdependence and interrelatedness of all human rights,” a Joint Statement issued following the meeting had declared.


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Printable version | Aug 3, 2022 8:30:41 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/fr-stan-swamy-was-jailed-on-false-charges-says-top-un-official/article61445716.ece