Indian authorities must release all imprisoned activists in the BK16 case

Since 2018, Indian authorities have arrested 16 activists under a draconian anti-terror law Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) in connection with the Bhima Koregaon-Elgar Parishad case. 11 of them continue to languish in prison without trial. The repression of activists must end. 

The BK16 activists include poets, journalists, lawyers, professors, artists, and a Jesuit priest, who have been charged under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code and draconian UAPA, which has been abused to detain people for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression, assembly, and association.   

One of the 16 activists, Fr. Stan Swamy died in detention due to denial of timely media treatment. While three others, Anand Teltumbde, Sudha Bhardwaj and Varavara Rao have been granted bail and activist Gautam Navlakha has been shifted to house arrest, 11 activists continue to languish in jail without a trial.  

These HRDs have long worked to defend the rights of some of India’s poorest and most marginalized communities, including Dalits and Adivasis – India’s indigenous peoples. They are India’s heroes. Authorities have repeatedly denied basic necessities and access to healthcare in prison on multiple occasions.   

Act now to urge the Union Home Minister of India, Amit Shah to:  

  • Drop all charges against the 16 activists and immediately release the 12 who remain in detention   
  • Pending their release, ensure that they are granted prompt, regular, and unrestricted access to medical care and other basic necessities   
  • Repeal or substantially amend the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.