South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR) strongly condemns the arrest of Anna Hazare and other activists before their proposed fast for an effective Jan Lokpal Bill. In a democracy, all have a right to protest peacefully and the government must uphold the fundamental right of the citizen of speech and expression. This act of the government is ultra vires of the Constitution of India. Given the gravity of the issue of corruption it is essential that all views on the Jan Lokpal Bill are debated including the proposals of NCPRI.
Shehla Masood, a Madhya Pradesh based civil rights and environmental rights activist was shot dead by an unidentified person in front of her residence in Koh-e-Fiza locality in Bhopal around 11 AM on 16th August, 2011.
SAHR also notes with concern that the dimension of suppression of civil rights by the government has enormously widened and now even peaceful protests are being crushed. This is a worrying trend for the Indian democracy.
SAHR calls upon various human rights organisations, movements and citizens to defend our right to dissent.
On Behalf of South Asians for Human Rights,