Dr Sen’s petition to recieve the Gawngju Human Rights Award

Dr. Binayak Sen had petitioned the sessions court in Raipur on May 2nd, requesting permission to travel to South Korea to receive the Gwangju Human Rights Award on May 18. One of the conditions for the release of Sen on bail on April 18 was the surrender of his passport. The court decided to seek the views of the state on this petiton and posted it for a hearing on May 4th eventhough the urgency was pointed out as also the whether the state indeed had  a right to be heard on the issue of conditions of bail which was at the discretion of the court. When the case was taken up this afternoon, the state asked for further postponement so as to arrange for the presentation of their case by a Special Prosecutor.

The court was pleased to accept the plea and has posted the petition for a decision on May 9th. If the decision on the 9th is against Sen, it may be too late for him  to seek a remedy at higher levels in time for the award ceremony. The ceremony always occurs on the anniverary of the popular uprising for democratic rights on May 18, 1980 in Gwangju when about 150 civilians lost their lives to secure their democratic rghts.

P. Zachariah