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INDIA – Two years pass with no trial

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binayak_sen.pngMany human
rights organisations expressed concerns over detention of Binayak Sen, a
well-known human rights defender and paediatrician, on 14 May 2009.

Arrested on the
same day in 2007, his application for bail has been denied repeatedly. His trial has been delayed and
his health is deteriorating due to the lack of appropriate medical care in

organisations called on the State of Chhattisgarh to immediately release Sen and take urgent steps to end
the harassment of the other human rights defenders in the state.

Sen devoted himself to the service of the poorest and neglected in Chhattisgarh
State of India. He promoted human rights, and criticised the state for waging
the war against the Adivasis (indigenous
tribal people),
in the name of "Salwa Judum (peace march)".

He was
arrested under the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act (2005) (CSPSA) and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (2004) (UAPA). The CSPSA and UAPA allow for detention without any right
of appeal. He is accused of abetting Maoist
rebels, known as Naxalites.

Sen helped people organise several fact
finding missions, which drew attention to severe human rights violations
including murder of unarmed innocent civilians by Salwa Judum. He tried to draw
attention of the international community to the unlawful killings of several
Adivasis in Chattisgarh on 31 March 2007. Bodies of these victims were exhumed
from a mass grave in the week immediately preceding his arrest.

won the Jonathan Mann Award for Global Health and Human Rights in 2008. Twenty-two Nobel laureates worldwide wrote to India's
President and Prime Minister and Chhattisgarh state authorities that Binayak
Sen should be allowed to travel to the US to receive the Jonathan Mann Award.

(Photo courtesy of Release Binayak Campaign )