India: Human Rights and Business India network condemns recent attacks on human rights defenders

Author: Human Rights and Business India network (India), Published on: 31 August 2018

We..condemn the arrests of Arun Ferreira, Gautam Navlakha, Sudha Bharadwaj, Varavara Rao, Vernon Gonsalves, and raids made at the houses of others. The arrested have been advocating and protecting the rights of the most marginalized communities and indigenous peoples in the country. They have unimpeachable credentials and a strong body of human rights work spanned over decades... We believe that they have been targeted to divert attention from the Sanatan Sanstha conspiracy, as well as discourage...defenders protecting land and forest rights of indigenous communities from the corporate cronies of the ruling government. An effort is being made to malign people's movements by clubbing all genuine protests as orchestrated by naxals and maoists particularly those in the recent past such as anti-sterlite and villagers protesting land grab by multinational companies, such as POSCO struggle...Ramachandra Guha also blamed it on the "corporate cronies of the ruling government," who, he said, were bent on grabbing tribal land, forest and mineral resources... The arrests of these human rights activists are part of a pattern of harassment and repression of human rights work in India committed by the police forces/government...We demand immediate release of the arrested individuals and dropping of all the charges...

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Related companies: Posco Sterlite Industries (part of Vedanta Resources) Vedanta Resources