Friday, March 27: Washington DC, New York, San Francisco

It is now 22 months since Dr Binayak Sen, the well-known public health and human rights activist was imprisoned by the Chhattisgarh government on false charges of abetting activities of an outlawed organization. International and national groups and individuals, including Twenty Two Nobel Laureates, have consistently demanded the release of Dr. Binayak Sen.

On Monday, March 16th, the Raipur Satyagraha, a mass civil disobedience movement, that follows the tradition of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.,was successfully launched to demand the immediate release of Dr. Binayak Sen. Every Monday, batches of 50-100 people will court arrest in front of the Raipur Jail, Chhatisgarh where Dr. Sen is incarcerated.
Groups in the United States are organizing a solidarity action in front the Indian Consulates at New York City, San Francisco Consulates and the DC Embassy on MARCH 27, Friday.COME ON MARCH 27 AND SUPPORT THE RAIPUR SATYAGRAHA

Send a FREE FAX to the Chhattisgarh Government to support our demands.

Our Demands:

23rd March
Sudha Bharadwaj & Kavita Srivastava

“Mere Desh ko ye janane hak re, kyun jailon me rahe desh premi, desh drohi ki pechaan nahi….” sang the Satyagrahis and courted arrest in Raipur

More than 83 persons courted arrest today, 23rd of March, 2009, demanding the release of Dr. Binayak Sen. The arrests were led by Rashida Bi, Hazra Bi and Sati nath Sarangi of Bhopal Gas survivor organisations. More than 65 people came. They came from three orgnaisations of the Gas affected people. The others who courted arrest included Narottam Sharma CPI(ML) Liberation, noted film maker Amar Kanwar from Delhi, people’s musician Vinay Mahajan from Ahmedabad, Kavita Srivastava from the PUCL and. Lakhan Sahu and others from CMM, Mazdoor Karyakarta Samiti, They were more than 59 women and 25 men who were arrested. The march began with a two minute silence remembering Dr. Smitu Kothari a friend of People’s movements in the country, who passed away today morning in Delhi.

The March from Budha Talab in Raipur was led by 82 year old Anasuya Sen mother of Dr. Binayak Sen from Kolkata, others who participated in solidarity include Sh. Saura Yadav, Bharat Bhushan Pandey and nine others from the CPI ML. Speaking to the rallyists Ms. Anasuya Sen said that the world knew that Dr. Sen was innocent and he was not in good health, however, it was also clear that since he had exposed the excesses of the State that he was behind bars and was being denied freedom. She also sang Tagore’s “aami bhoy korbo na” meaning “I will not be afraid” which added to the power of the satyagrah.

The Bhopal Gas Survivors through a powerful rendering of slogans demanded the release of Dr. Sen. They also demanded the repealing of the Chhattisgarh Jan Suraksha Adhiniyam and the end of Salwa Judum from the Chhattisgarh Government. They also pledged that would bring down corrupt administration of Chhattisgarh if the incarceration of Dr. Sen would continue. Speaking on the occasions Rashida Bi expressed shock that while Varun Gandhi publicly made hate speeches was granted anticipatory bail in no time by a Delhi Court but Dr. Sen who had committed no crime was even being denied bail even after twenty months. They said that since Dr. Sen was the hope of the poor adivasis and workers he was being incarcerated. She ended her speech that till Warren Anderson of Union Carbide the killer of more than 25, 000 Bhopal Gas victims wouldnot be arrested they would not stop their quest for justice.

Vinay Mahajan from Loknaad Ahmedabad sang songs demanding the release of Dr. Sen. The most popular lines which were rendered by all were Mere Desh ko ye janane hak re, kyun jailon me rahe desh premi, deshi drohi ki pechaan nahi. He also sang Shravan Kumar’s song dhola baje, Ghunghroo Baje, Madal Baje celebrating the struggles and the lives the great heroes, BirsaMunda, Tilka Manji and Sidhu. The lines were ….Tilika nachey, Sidhu Nachey, Birsa Nachey He also demanded of the authorities that our Dr. Sen, the people’s doctor be handed back to us, his was not the place in Jail.

Noted Film Maker Amar Kanwar also marched with the satyagrahis and courted arrest. He had earlier inaugurated the Bhilai Film Archive and the Chhattisgarh Jan Film Utsav which was to dedicated towards Dr. Sen’s release and against the injustice being meted out to the people of Chhattisgarh.

The Satyagrahis will be back next Monday 30th of March in Raipur to continue the protest against Dr. Sen’s arrest and demand his release.

The songs and photographs will be posted later today

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send a FREE FAX to the Chhattisgarh government to demand:

1. Immediate release of the doctor to the workers DR. BINAYAK SEN
2. End to the state repression of democratic dissent, revocation of the CSPSA
3. Disbanding of SALWA JUDUM, full compensation to all victims

VISIT http://petitions.aidindia.org/binayaksen09/

The Raipur Satyagraha, a mass civil disobedience movement, was successfully launched on Monday, March 16th, to urge for the immediate release of Dr. Binayak Sen.  Every Monday, batches of 50-100 people will court arrest in front of the Raipur Jail where Dr. Sen in incarcerated, to prevail upon the government to reverse its illegitimate action. It is now 22 months since Dr Binayak Sen, the well-known public health and human rights activist was imprisoned by the Chhattisgarh government on false charges of abetting activities of an outlawed organization. In the days and months following his incarceration, Dr. Binayak Sen has received tremendous support from within India and outside. Twenty two Nobel Laureates have signed a letter in support of Dr Binayak Sen. International and national media, through news stories and editorials, have consistently pointed to the unjustified nature of Dr. Binayak Sen’s imprisonment.

Even though the state has been unable to produce any evidence against him, Dr. Binayak Sen’s pleas for bail have been repeatedly refused by judicial institutions at all levels in the country.  We oppose the use of bail as punitive measure to intimidate human rights defenders and demand and demand the immediate release of Dr. Binayak Sen.

The Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act, 2005 (CSPSA), under which  Dr.Binayak Sen has been arrested, allows the state to bypass many routine forms of due process through the law’s unreasonably broad definition of unlawful activity, and acceptance of vague and unreliable evidence, all in the name of national security.  The unclear provisions of this law have been used unfairly by the State to silence government critics such as Dr. Binayak Sen, Ajay TG , a film maker and PUCL activist, and Journalist Sai Reddy  (and many others). We demand that draconian laws which have been used unfairly to harass human rights activists be immediately repealed.

Salwa Judum, the State-sponsored militia set up in 2005, has been responsible for killing, looting, rapes and forced eviction from their homes of more than 100,000 indigenous people to camps with inhuman conditions. Common concern for many is that the arrest and detention of Dr. Sen was directly related to his activities in defending the rights of the indigenous communities in Chhattisgarh state, and to his open criticism of the Salwa Judum. We condemn the state government for arming Salwa Judum and abetting terror against innocent civilians and tribals, and demand that it be immediately disbanded.

Add your support to these demands by sending a free fax NOW! VISIT http://petitions.aidindia.org/binayaksen09/For more information, see the following:
  • Information on the Raipur Satyagraha for the Release of Dr. Binayak Sen

· More information on Dr. Binayak Sen and his case: