Target: Raman Singh, Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh
Goal: Release a journalist allegedly subjected to torture for posting about police brutality and drop all charges against him.
A journalist who has frequently covered “police inaction and excesses” has been arrested and reportedly tortured as the result of a post he shared on social media. Sign the petition and demand that Prabhat Singh be freed and that the charges against him be dropped immediately.
Singh was arrested after he shared a post on WhatsApp that was critical of the police. He was charged with “publishing and transmitting obscene material in electronic form” and “extortion and obstructing the police from duty,” after he allegedly resisted arrest–an accusation he denies.
His lawyer reports that he was held for one day without a First Information Report (FIR), and when Singh appeared before a judge, he told him he had been tortured while in police custody. Singh’s lawyer confirmed that he had marks consistent with torture on his hand and chest, Amnesty International reports.
Journalists in Chhattisgarh have been outspoken about police harassment and interference with their work, and a number of laws are used in an effort to silence reporters. The situation continues to deteriorate. Freedom of expression is not a crime. Demand that Prabhat Singh be released immediately.
Dear Minister Singh,
I am writing to convey my concern for Prabhat Singh, a journalist who has been arrested and charged with “publishing and transmitting obscene material in electronic form.” He is being held solely on the basis of his peaceful political beliefs, and he must be released immediately.
Singh was arrested after sharing a post critical of the state police on WhatsApp. In addition to the charge of publishing and transmitting obscene material electronically, Singhh was also charged with obstructing the police after he allegedly resisted arrest. He denies this charge.
Furthermore, Singh has accused the police who detained him of torturing him. When he appeared before the judge, he displayed marks on his hand and chest consistent with torture, his lawyer reports. So far, it appears the no investigation has been made into Singh’s allegations.
India is bound by its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which prohibits torture and ill-treatment of prisoners. India’s own constitution also establishes the illegality of torture, making Prabhat Singhh’s allegations very serious. I urge you to fully investigate his accusations of torture and to release him from custody immediately.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: arivera