Amnesty, SSSC slam re-arrest of Irom Sharmila
Source: Hueiyen News Service
Imphal, August 22 2014 :
Amnesty International India and Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign (SSSC) have strongly condemned the the forcible re-arrest of Irom Chanu Sharmila by the State on Friday.
Amnesty International India, which is a part of the Amnesty International global human rights movement, has denounced the re-arrest of 'Prisoner of Conscience' Irom Sharmila for "attempted suicide" two days after a court rejected the same charge as a farcical exercise and a setback for human rights in India.
Kadambari Gladding, Campaigner with Amnesty International India, who is in Imphal to follow the events, said, "For the past two days, Irom Sharmila had been visited by well-wishers and activists to share her joy in being released and expressing solidarity with her struggle against the AFSPA.
Today, when the police arrived to take her away, a group of Manipuri mothers surrounded her to show their solidarity.
But Sharmila was dragged away by the police in her frail state" .
"Instead of engaging with the important issues Irom Sharmila is raising, the Manipur government has disappointingly returned to its old ways of muffling dissent.
The absurd move to re-arrest Irom Sharmila for 'attempted suicide' shows utter disdain for her constitutional rights," said Shailesh Rai, Programmes Director at Amnesty International India.
Condemning the re-arrest, Ravi Nitesh, core member Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign (SSSC), which is a nation-wide campaign in support of Irom Sharmila and for the repeal of the draconian law of AFSPA, SSSC remarked, "The re-arrest of Irom Sharmila is shameful and undemocratic.
Instead of focusing on her demand, her issue, the Government is only responding by arresting her.
It is shameful that in these 14 years, the "concerned" Govt.
of both state and centre have not made a single attempt to open talks with her." "The Govt.
must also know that by arresting her, they cannot suppress her thoughts, her ideology," he added.
Pankaj Pathak, another core member of SSSC stated, "She is being arrested on the claim of attempting suicide while she has always refuted this claim.
She has re-iterated several times that she loves her life and is only demanding rights, equality and justice for everyone.
Why doesn't the Govt focus on the reason, on her statement?" .
Devika Mittal, also a core member of SSSC, said, "It is shameful that that they can only see her as a law offender but not as a victim.
It is shameful that in this democracy, the victim is imprisoned instead of the culprit.