In just 24 hours, human rights activist Arun Ferreira will appear in court at Nagpur to face more baseless charges. When that happens, focus on Arun's case will surge across the country, and politicians will gauge the public mood before making their next move. That means we’ve got 24 hours to show that we the people will not let Arun Ferreira disappear into prison once again.
Last month, community leader Fr. Cedric Prakash started a petition on Change.org, calling on the Maharashtra Chief Minister to use his authority to drop the trumped up charges and release Arun Ferreira. We know that public pressure is already working -- just two weeks ago the Maharashtra Home Minister agreed to personally investigate Arun's case. But that's not enough. This innocent activist has already spent 4 years in prison without ever being convicted of any crime. Every day he remains behind bars is one more too many.
Tomorrow's court hearing is a can't-miss opportunity to show the Chief Minister and the press that the Indian people demand nothing less than Arun's full and immediate release. Let's double the signatures on Fr. Prakash's petition in the next 24 hours, so our message is loud and clear.
Outrageous. Arun Ferreira, a human rights defender, was forcibly arrested without warrant last Tuesday moments after his release from being illegally jailed and tortured in 2007.
Hundreds of people have jumped to Arun’s defence by signing the petition telling Chief Minister of Maharashtra to free the innocent human rights advocate. But to make sure the Chief Minister takes notice we need to double our signatures this week.
Arun, who has been defending the rights of slum dwellers, tribals and poor farmers since college was subjected to brutal torture and forensic tests deemed unconstitutional by the high court when he was first jailed in 2007. The police put ice blocks on his genitals and would beat him with a thick wooden stick.
To make matters worse, when he was re-arrested last week, Arun’s lawyers who protested against the abduction were manhandled by the police.
It is pathetic to see police harassing courageous people who work on behalf of the poor and victims of injustice. To accept such injustice is not an option.
We must stand up for individuals who dedicate their lives to serving others. We must activate to free Arun Ferreira.