ARTISTS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS and all human rights defenders and justice-lovers,

We deeply share your concerns regarding wrongful imprisonment of Dr Binayak Sen, well-known paediatrician and human rights defender, on false charges of abetting Maoist activity in Chhattisgarh, sedition, and waging war against the State.

The Narmada Bachao Andolan and the National Alliance for Peoples Movement have been a part of the campaign to challenge the injustice meted out to Dr Sen & press for the unconditional release of this committed advocate of civil liberties, who has spent over three decades in the service of some of the poorest and neglected people in this country, and raised his voice relentlessly against atrocities in the State of Chhattisgarh including Salwa Judum, in an attempt to uphold the original values of Indian democracy.

NBA team was part of the Satyagraha in Raipur recently on May 4th when we also met Dr Binayak Sen in jail. NAPM teams and representatives from West Bengal, Maharashtra etc., have also participated & courted arrest; raised issues & planned actions. It’s indeed revealing that in spite of the support extended from across the country & the world, our comrade is still behind the bars. It is a failure of our strategies & strength or a defeat of the democratic judicial system we happen to inherit & carry forward.

Meeting Dr Binayak thrice in jail, we could see & hear him raising these questions with anxiety & anguish which we share. He was not worried of his release but of the state of the country and the biradari of activists in peoples movement.

We would have felt honoured to be part of the protest day being observed on 14th May 2009, to commemorate 2 years of unjustifiable custody. However due to prior commitments it may not be possible to reach New Delhi on this day. Nevertheless we express our full solidarity & hope of a widest possible alliance of activists to artists which this struggle has rekindled, and extend our best wishes for the success of the event.

Yours in solidarity,

Medha Patkar Ashish Mandloi Kamla Yadav Anand Mazgaonkar

Yogini Khanolkar Pinjari Bai Udayan Roy Suniti S.R.

Leelabai Shrikanth

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