An official of the United Nations has expressed "deep concern" over the arrest of activist Teesta Setalvad by the Gujarat Police and called for her release.
"Deeply concerned by reports of Teesta Setalvad being detained by the Anti Terrorism Squad of Gujarat Police. Teesta is a strong voice against hatred and discrimination. Defending human rights is not a crime. I call for her release and an end to persecution by the Indian state," said Mary Lawlor, U.N. Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders.
Ms. Lawlor’s views were echoed by Front Line Defenders, a global organisation that she founded in support of human rights activists. Front Line Defenders said, “Alarmed by attempts to arrest Teesta Setalvad in India. Gujarat Anti Terror police forcibly entered her home and detained her without basis. We call for her immediate release and an end to her legal persecution for her peaceful human rights work.”
Amnesty India, in a social media message, has described the arrest as a "direct reprisal" by the Indian authorities and said: "It sends a chilling message to the civil society and further shrinks the space for dissent in the country. Targeting human rights activists for their legitimate human rights work is unacceptable."