South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

Published in on Sep. 17 ::

In a blog posted on the website of the Green Peace, the non-profit organization working on issues of environment has asked if defending human rights has become a crime in the country. The public rant was on the stoppage of anti-nuclear activist Dr. Udaykumar at the Delhi airport.

Dr. Udaykumar was on his way to Kathmandu, Nepal, for a meeting organised by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights defenders, when he was stopped at the Delhi Airport by the Immigration authorities.

The immigration authority said that Dr. Udaykumar had many pending cases against him and that is why he was stopped at the immigration.

The Blog by Hozefa Merchant, Nuclear Campaigner with Greenpeace India, is titled “Is defending human rights a crime?” It says, “It is important to note that the Supreme Court had directed the State Government to withdraw false charges filed against Dr. Udaykumar and others during the anti-nuclear protest against Kudankulam Nuclear Plant,” adding, “Despite the Supreme Court verdict, the false charges against Dr. Udaykumar and others have not been withdrawn.”

Consequently he was not allowed to travel to Kathmandu for a United Nation’s meeting on human right defenders. “Isn’t this a human right violation in itself?” the blogger, who is herself associated with the organization, asks.

Greenpeace is a non-profit organisation, with a presence in 40 countries across Europe, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific. The organization has been in news in the country for sometimes, after an Intelligence Bureau report was leaked in the media in June that had said that NGOs funded by donors based in the Western countries like UK, USA, the Netherlands, Germany and Scandinavian countries are using “people-centric issues to create an environment which lends itself to stalling development projects” to adversely affect India’s GDP.

Green Peace and several other NGOs and their activists have since been facing several hurdles.