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Fr Stan Swamy’s custodial death a ‘stain forever’: UN Group

The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention asked govt of India to conduct an effective investigation into the circumstances that led to Fr Swamy’s death

Sabrangindia 19 Mar 2022

Stan swamy

 

The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has called it the “failure of the Government” to heed these prescient warnings on conditions that led to Father Stan Swamy’s “avoidable death in custody.” According to the groups, whose findings were made public recently “while in Taloja central jail in Navi Mumbai, Father Swamy’s health deteriorated and he contracted COVID-19. Father Swamy suffered from Parkinson’s disease and various other ailments… However, his repeated applications for bail were rejected, despite his deteriorating health. Father Swamy died as the Bombay High Court was considering an appeal against the rejection of his bail application.” 

 

The Working Group stated it was  “deeply disturbed” by the allegations that even Father Swamy’s “request to access medical treatment once he had contracted COVID-19 was also initially denied. When the request was eventually granted, it was too late.” The Working Group has referred the case to the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health and the Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons.

 

Fr Stan Swamy (84) was a Jharkhand-based tribal rights defender was arrested on October 8, 2020, by the anti-terror National Investigation Agency in connection with the Bhima Koregaon Maoist conspiracy case and died  at a Mumbai hospital while in judicial custody in July 5 2021, the day year while awaiting bail.Reports have suggested he was ill-treated in jail.
 

The Working Group also noted “with grave concern the source’s submissions about Father Swamy’s treatment in Taloja central jail” when on November 6 2020, he had filed a request for a straw, a sipper bottle and winter clothes, which had been allegedly confiscated by the National Investigation Agency at the time of his arrest. The Working Group stated it was  shocked that the National Investigation Agency court in Mumbai rejected Father Swamy’s request on November 26 2020. The group has made these observations on submissions made to it by a source who has detailed how it was only the public outcry over the way the aged priest and activist was treated in the Taloja jail, that his request for a sipper bottle was granted on November 29 2020 calling it disappointing that “that public outrage was required for Father Swamy to be treated with humanity.” It stated that “it is the duty of all Governments to treat their detainees with humanity and respect for their inherent dignity as a human being, as stipulated in rule 1 of the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners. 
 

The Working Group concluded that “Father Swamy’s arrest and detention lacked a legal basis” and even the Indian government has not refute these allegations against its treatment of Fr Swamy who “had fully cooperated all along in the investigation and was not viewed as a flight risk or as a person who would interfere with the legal process.” His custodial death, it said , was a “failure” on the part of India’s government and will “forever remain a stain” on India’s human rights record. The working group has urged the Government of India to urgently conduct “a thorough, effective and independent investigation into the circumstances that led to the death of Father Swamy while in custody”. And added that this investigation also included a “detailed report by an independent expert on the medical care and other kinds of care provided to Father Swamy after his arrest.” The opinions adopted by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention at its ninety-second session, may be read here.

Related

Fr Stan Swamy, Khurram Parvez, Siddique Kappan on USCIRF’s Freedom of Religion or Belief victims list

The institutional murder of Father Stan Swamy

Thank you, dear Fr. Stan, you will live forever!

Stand with Father Stan Swamy

Stan Swamy: The oldest activist to be targeted by the government

Fr Stan Swamy’s custodial death a ‘stain forever’: UN Group

The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention asked govt of India to conduct an effective investigation into the circumstances that led to Fr Swamy’s death

Stan swamy

 

The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has called it the “failure of the Government” to heed these prescient warnings on conditions that led to Father Stan Swamy’s “avoidable death in custody.” According to the groups, whose findings were made public recently “while in Taloja central jail in Navi Mumbai, Father Swamy’s health deteriorated and he contracted COVID-19. Father Swamy suffered from Parkinson’s disease and various other ailments… However, his repeated applications for bail were rejected, despite his deteriorating health. Father Swamy died as the Bombay High Court was considering an appeal against the rejection of his bail application.” 

 

The Working Group stated it was  “deeply disturbed” by the allegations that even Father Swamy’s “request to access medical treatment once he had contracted COVID-19 was also initially denied. When the request was eventually granted, it was too late.” The Working Group has referred the case to the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health and the Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons.

 

Fr Stan Swamy (84) was a Jharkhand-based tribal rights defender was arrested on October 8, 2020, by the anti-terror National Investigation Agency in connection with the Bhima Koregaon Maoist conspiracy case and died  at a Mumbai hospital while in judicial custody in July 5 2021, the day year while awaiting bail.Reports have suggested he was ill-treated in jail.
 

The Working Group also noted “with grave concern the source’s submissions about Father Swamy’s treatment in Taloja central jail” when on November 6 2020, he had filed a request for a straw, a sipper bottle and winter clothes, which had been allegedly confiscated by the National Investigation Agency at the time of his arrest. The Working Group stated it was  shocked that the National Investigation Agency court in Mumbai rejected Father Swamy’s request on November 26 2020. The group has made these observations on submissions made to it by a source who has detailed how it was only the public outcry over the way the aged priest and activist was treated in the Taloja jail, that his request for a sipper bottle was granted on November 29 2020 calling it disappointing that “that public outrage was required for Father Swamy to be treated with humanity.” It stated that “it is the duty of all Governments to treat their detainees with humanity and respect for their inherent dignity as a human being, as stipulated in rule 1 of the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners. 
 

The Working Group concluded that “Father Swamy’s arrest and detention lacked a legal basis” and even the Indian government has not refute these allegations against its treatment of Fr Swamy who “had fully cooperated all along in the investigation and was not viewed as a flight risk or as a person who would interfere with the legal process.” His custodial death, it said , was a “failure” on the part of India’s government and will “forever remain a stain” on India’s human rights record. The working group has urged the Government of India to urgently conduct “a thorough, effective and independent investigation into the circumstances that led to the death of Father Swamy while in custody”. And added that this investigation also included a “detailed report by an independent expert on the medical care and other kinds of care provided to Father Swamy after his arrest.” The opinions adopted by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention at its ninety-second session, may be read here.

Related

Fr Stan Swamy, Khurram Parvez, Siddique Kappan on USCIRF’s Freedom of Religion or Belief victims list

The institutional murder of Father Stan Swamy

Thank you, dear Fr. Stan, you will live forever!

Stand with Father Stan Swamy

Stan Swamy: The oldest activist to be targeted by the government

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