Special Correspondent, The Sentinel
SILCHAR, Feb 2: Barak Human Rights Protection Committee (BHRPC) has demanded immediate release of Dr Binayak Sen, an eminent physician, health worker and human rights defender who was convicted on December 24 last along with two others and incarcerated, being sentenced to imprisonment for life. Dr Sen was charged with sedition under 120 B of the Indian Penal Code of 1860. He was also charged with working for Maoists under various criminal acts. The Committee in a letter addressed to the Prime Minister of India with copies to the Chief Justice and other authorities has described the arrest and imprisonment of Binayak Sen as a travesty of all canons of justice and fair trial.
The Committee in its letter quotes reports to show that the trial was unfair and failed to meet the standard of criminal jurisprudence and human rights norms. It further points out that the guilt of Sen has not been proved beyond reasonable doubt, an essential requirement for conviction. BHRPC believes that he has been targeted for his peaceful and legitimate human rights works and criticism of the government policy that contravenes international human rights norms. He has been made an example by the state as a warning to other human rights defenders not to expose human rights violation.
Dr Sen, the letter further adds to say, giving up career opportunities dedicated his life in providing health care to the poorest people in the remotest villages of Chattisgarh. He founded a hospital and trained women to provide basic health care. He was the president of Chattisgarh unit of People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL). The fault of Dr Sen lay in documenting various cases of gross human rights violation by the security forces. His incarceration, BHRPC believes, is to strangulate the voice of protest and sanity.
The letter recalling the sacrifices and contributions of Dr Sen praised his greater role in upholding the constitutional mandates and offering legal advise and intervention and constructive criticism of wrong state policies.
The Committee maintains that the UNO, the Indian Parliament and the National Human Rights Commission have all been to support and protect human rights defenders. But sadly enough, human rights defenders like Dr Binayak Sen has been persecuted and prosecuted. It pleads for upholding the rule of law, fundamental constitutional rights and human rights. It also notes with pain how various acts and legislative measures are being misused against human right defenders. If a person like Sen remains incarcerated, it will be a blot on the democratic and constitutional tradition of India. It is therefore urged that Dr Sen be released immediately and his appeal disposed of honourably. The letter was signed by Neharul Ahmed Mazumdar, general secretary of Barak Human Rights Protection Committee.
Courtesy The Sentinel dated 3 February, 2011 and be viewed at