All India Lawyers Association For Justice Condemns The Registration Of FIR Against Human Rights Activists By The Andhra Pradesh Police

Source: Deccan Chronicle

The All India Lawyers Association for Justice condemns the registration of FIRs against human rights activists including activists from Human Rights Forum (HRF), Civil Liberties Committee (CLC), Revolutionary Writers Association (RWA), Patriotic Democratic Movement (PDM), Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners (CRPP), Kula Nirmoolana Porata Samiti (KNPS) by the Munchingput police station in Visakhapatnam district and Piduguralla in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh.

In the Munchingput FIR, VS Krishna of the Human Rights Forum (HRF) has been accused of influencing the Vakapalli rape survivors to depose falsely against the policemen. On August 20, 2007 personnel of the Greyhounds police force came to Vakapalli, ostensibly looking for Maoists. According to the residents of the hamlet, the next two hours were a nightmare, where 11 women were raped and 7 of the 11 women were allegedly gang-raped. Various organizations including the Human Rights Forum from have been seeking justice for the 11 Vakapalli women who were raped by personnel of the Special Forces.

The registration of such FIR’s against human rights activists, who have for several years now dedicated their lives to uphold the human rights of the most vulnerable, is nothing but an attempt of the Government to target activists who have been questioning the excesses of the State and who have stood with the survivors of

extreme atrocities committed by State Personnel. The invoking of the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) against human rights defenders points to the continuing tendency of the State to brand as terrorist any person who is critical of the State, once again bringing to the forefront the immediate need to repeal the UAPA itself, which stands in anathema to democracy. The State, instead of performing its duty to protect such survivors, is attacking the very people who have stood by them. This is not only a blatant abuse of the law and State power, but is an assault on democracy itself.

We demand that such FIRs be immediately withdrawn, and that the Andhra Pradesh Government immediately stop the harassment of human right defenders.

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