Target: G.S. Rath, Director General of Police.
Goal: To attain the release of activist Aparna Marandi from jail in Jharkhand.
Indian human rights activist Aparna Marandi was arrested recently after a long period of surveillance by the state government. At the time of her arrest she was with her son and three other activists. Plain-clothes security officers took all into custody. They were held in a train station prison without seeing a judicial magistrate for over 24 hours, well over the legally allowed time in India. The three activists and Marandi’s son were all released after being forced to sign a statement that they were taken into custody a day after they actually were arrested. Security forces in the province of Jharkhand, India are currently holding Aparna Marandi in detention and it is feared by human rights organizations that she is at risk of torture.
The charges that have been levied against Aparna Marandi relate to her involvement in two protests. One of the protests took place six years ago. The government has also targeted her for her involvement in the attempt to free her activist husband from jail. He has been imprisoned for four years for his role in protests around India. Aparna Marandi has been held without contact with family members, friends or a lawyer. She has been held in Dumka jail since the 10th of December but there has been no confirmation or denial of this by the government. Authorities have also declined requests for a clarification of the charges brought against Marandi.
The detention of activists in Jharkand is a common event. The government in the state has used intimidation and detention as means to silence critics and activists for the equal treatment of minority and indigenous groups. One tactic used by the government to oppress the local indigenous people is the seizure of land. It is this kind of abuse that Aparna Marandi was protesting when she was arrested. Sign this petition to demand the immediate and unconditional release of this prisoner of conscience.
Dear Mr. Rath,
The detention of activist Aparna Marandi is an affront to her human rights and a demonstration of the state of human rights in the Jharkhand region of India. Marandi and her peers and colleagues must be allowed to peacefully protest against the injustices that are evident in Indian society. Denying the freedom of expression and protest of these activists is a shameful mark on the human rights record of India. Not only was her arrest against Indian law, her detention also violates numerous international human rights accords that India has agreed to follow.
Aparna Marandi and those who share similar views should be immediately and unconditionally released from Indian jails if they are not to be charged with internationally recognized offenses.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Sigma via Cydonian