UN concerned over Indian activist’s death

DM Monitoring

The office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on Tuesday said that it was “deeply saddened and disturbed” over the death of Indian rights human activist Stan Swamy while under imprisonment.
Liz Throssell, the spokesperson for the office, said in a statement that in the light of the events and the coronavirus pandemic, the Indian government should release persons detained without a sufficient legal basis, including those held simply for expressing dissenting views.
“We stress, once again, the call of High Commissioner (of Human Rights) on the Government of India to ensure that no one is detained for exercising their fundamental rights to freedom of expression, of peaceful assembly and of association,” the statement said. Swamy, 84, who suffered from Parkinson’s disease, was moved to a private hospital from a Mumbai jail in May after he tested positive for Covid. Arrested in October 2020 under a draconian anti-terror law, he died in the hospital on Monday.
Critics have denounced the law, accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government of using it to mute dissent. Swamy had repeatedly denied the charges of terrorism, saying he was being targeted for his work related to the caste and land struggles of tribespeople in Jharkhand state.