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15 Okt 2021

HRD Alert - India

India: Rights group denounces intimidation and detention of human rights defenders opposing Hindalco's bauxite mining in Odisha

"HRD Alert - India - Urgent Appeal for Action- Odisha: Threats, intimidation, and illegal arrest of HRDs Mr. Bijaya Khila, Mr. Dasi Nandibali and other HRDs under fabricated charges as reprisal for opposing bauxite mining in Mali Parbat, Koraput, Odisha.", 15 October 2021

HRD Alert - India ... express ... concern regarding the threats, intimidation, and arrest of Mr. Bijaya Khila, Mr. Dasi Nandibali and other HRDs under fabricated charges and in violation of due procedure in reprisal for opposing bauxite mining by Hindalco in Odisha’s Mali Parbat, Koraput. About the Human Rights Defenders: Mr. Bijaya Khila, Mr. Dasi Nandibali, Mr. G Hemant Kumar (42), Mr. Rabi Khora (43), Mr. Mahanta Khosla (35), Mr. Samba Pangi (45), Mr. Bhikari Guntha (43), Mr. Dambaru Guntha (38), Mr. Ratan Kadia (28) and others are members of Mali Parbat Surakhya Samiti, an organisation formed in 2003 to oppose plans to set up a bauxite mine in Mali Parbat in Koraput district.

The HRDs have organized and participated in numerous peaceful protests and demonstrations against the mine over the past two decades. They have also met high-ranking administrative officials and government representatives during this period to press on their demands...

None of the arrested HRDs were shown any arrest memo, or allowed access to a lawyer, in flagrant violation of DK Basu guidelines. They were all produced in court and are currently lodged in jail... We believe that the HRDs were implicated in false cases and arrested as part of a larger attempt to muzzle opposition against the mine and curtail the freedom of expression and assembly...