India: the arrest of G. N. Saibaba is an inhuman and senseless act

Featured: picture of the professor and activist G. N. Saibaba. Source: Hindustan Times.

On Monday 21st of August, an UN expert declared through an official press release that the arrest of Indian professor G. N. Saibaba was “an inhuman and senseless act.” The UN expert quoted, Mary Lawlor, a special rapporteur about the situation of human rights defenders, said that “G. N. Saibaba is a long-standing defender of the rights of minorities in India, including the Dalit and Adivasi people”. He also pointed out that the conditions of the detention are “incompatible with his status as a wheelchair user”. It is not the first time that international organizations declare that the old Indian State is breaking the rules of the bourgeoisie itself. In 2021 the UN declared that Saibaba’s arrest was a violation of international law.

G. N. Saibaba is an intellectual and activist for the democratic rights of the people, recognized worldwide for his work. He was an English professor at the University of Delhi. In his youth he suffered polio and problems in the dorsal spine, which left him in a wheelchair. Additionally, he suffers other health problems that are becoming worst because of the terrible conditions of his detention and the need and lack of continuous and daily medical attention. He was arrested in 2014 and convicted in 2017 after a trial, being sentenced to life imprisonment for alleged links with the Communist Party of India (Maoist). This was never proven and the accusation was based only on his activism against the reactionary government of the old Indian State, and on alleged ideas that Professor Saibaba could have.

All of this has been denounced by activists and Indian journalists, who states that the Indian government is using a repressive law, the UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act), to silence all the voices that denounce the injustices that occur in India. Indian State is labeling activists as terrorists, subversives, saboteurs of the nation, etc. Additionally, the Indian State is denying the presumption of innocence, democratic rights are denied and the use of torture by repressive forces is facilitated.

In October 2022, the High Court of Bombay declared that the process against Professor Saibaba was “bad in law and not valid.” Therefore, the conviction and the procedure against Professor Saibaba were canceled and his release was ordered. Only a few hours later, the Supreme Court of India canceled this liberation arguing that it affects “the sovereignty and integrity of India”, and Professor Saibaba had to remain in prison. This court also rejected the requests of granting house arrest and medical care. In April 2023, the same thing happened again, with the same Bombay Court wanting to free Professor Saibaba, and the Indian Supreme Court denying the petition. This was widely denounced by multiple organizations in defense of democratic rights.

The old Indian State has repeatedly shown it’s function as a repressive tool of the Indian ruling classes, which are even willing to skip the rules of the bourgeois system to repress any discordant voice or protest against reactionary measures in the semi-colonial and semi-feudal country. This is even more obvious in the case of Professor Saibaba, a renowned activist for the democratic rights of the people. He is being absurdly accused of actions that have nothing to do with him, and his most basic rights are being denied, such as access to medical care he needs for survival. Numerous activists know perfectly how rotten is the old Indian State and are raising their voices in India and also throughout the world to support the democratic rights of the people and of those who defend these rights, as is the case of Professor G. N. Saibaba.

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