Target: Vaibhav Kamble, Superintendent of Nagpur Central Jail
Goal: Ensure that handicapped prisoner is provided with adequate medical care and accessible facilities
Professor and activist Gokarakonda Naga Saibaba was recently arrested for speaking out against human rights abuses in India. However, Saibaba is wheelchair-bound, paralyzed from the waist down. His lawyers report that the jail is not allowing him to access the facilities he requires and that he has been denied necessary medical care.
Saibaba was arrested for “being involved in unlawful activities, being a member of and supporting a terrorist organization, and conspiring to commit terrorist acts,” Amnesty International reports. In addition to his paralysis, he requires regular medication for hypertension and a cardiac issue. When his family tried to bring medications to him, prison authorities blocked them. His lawyers also claim that Saibaba is not being allowed access to appropriate sanitary facilities.
Saibaba’s charges come under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), which is a broadly-written and widely-abused anti-terrorism law. According to Amnesty, the law is in violation of some international human rights ordinances. International human rights organizations have logged a number of activist arrests in India, and human rights groups within the country have also recorded a number of instances in which the UAPA has been used to harass and wrongfully detain activists. Under the UAPA, certain restrictions against torture are ignored, and when it comes to innocence the burden of proof is placed on the accused, not the prosecutor.
Gokarakonda Naga Saibaba’s arrest is highly suspicious. His treatment in prison has been deplorable. Sign the petition and demand that Gokarakonda Naga Saibaba be treated fairly by both prison authorities and prosecutors.
I am writing to advocate on behalf of Gokarakonda Naga Saibaba, who has been a prisoner at Nagpur Central Prison since May 9, 2014. Saibaba’s charges fall under the widely-abused Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), and his treatment in prison has been deplorable. I demand that his most basic human rights be respected, and I urge you to ensure that he is safe from torture and ill-treatment, has access to medical care, and is allowed to use proper sanitary facilities.
Saibaba, who is wheelchair-bound due to post-polio paralysis, has reportedly not been allowed to use adequate sanitary facilities at Nagpur Central Prison. If the prison has such facilities, it must make their use available to any and all inmates who require them; if it does not, it must find another situation for inmates that require special facilities.
In addition to his paralysis, Saibaba suffers from cardiac issues and hypertension, both of which require medical treatment. However, relatives who attempted to bring Saibaba’s medication to the prison were blocked by prison officials in a clear violation of Saibaba’s most basic human rights.
This treatment is unacceptable. I demand that Gokarakonda Naga Saibaba be treated with respect, dignity, and fairness. I demand that he have access to his medications, proper sanitary facilities, and any other treatment he may require.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Barnellbe via Wikimedia Commons