Massive hunger strike protests mark 14-yr of Sharmila's fasting
Source: Hueiyen News Service
Imphal, November 05 2014:
The stir of fast launched by Irom Sharmila demanding repeal of the draconian Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), 1958 has entered 15 years today.
Extending solidarity to the cause of Sharmila who was given the titled 'Iron Lady' and as part of Asian Solidarity & Manipur People's Struggle for Democracy programme, Just Peace Foundation in collaboration with Forum Asia (Thailand); May 18 Memorial Foundation (Korea) and Human Rights Alert (Manipur) organized a one-day hunger strike at ten different places.
The places where the strike was held are CC Higher Secondary School; Ibotonsana Higher Secondary School; Johnostone Higher Secondary School; Lamyanba Shanglen; Manipur Film Forum; Manipur University; Ram Lal Paul; Sharmila Kanba Lup; TG Higher Secondary School and Ananda Singh Higher Secondary School.
Members of Save Sharmila Campaign; civil society organizations; students and human rights defenders from different Asian countries took part in the protests.
Four Gwangju Awardees namely Binayak Sen of Peoples' Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) and Public Health Physician (India); Lenin Raghuvanshi, Secretary General and Executive Director of PVCHR (India); Sushil Raj Pyakurel, founder of Chairperson of INSEC (India) and Wardah Hafidz, Coordinator of Urban Poor Consortium (Indonesia) participated in the hunger strike held at Lamyanba Shanglen.
Speaking to media persons on sidelines of the protest, the four Gwangju Awardees said that they along with representatives of May 18 Memorial Foundation; Forum Asia; Just Peace Foundation and civil society organizations as well as individuals from India and foreign countries participated in the hunger strike protests to express solidarity to Sharmila who has now reached 15 years of her fasting demanding repeal of AFSPA which obstructs progression of justice and undermines essence of democracy.
Dr Binayak Sen pointed out that Manipur has been under AFSPA for more than half a century with two of its generations have grown up not knowing the meaning of freedom and demanded findings of the Jeevan Reddy Committee be furnished publicly and implemented accordingly.
He also demanded the Supreme Court of India to expedite adjudication and investigation of the 1, 528 fake encounters taking into account of the findings of the Santosh Hedge Commission.