IMPHAL, Oct 1 NNN : The detention of Irom Sharmila Chanu, , for close to thirteen years for her prolonged hunger strike is a continuing reminder of India’s intolerance to dissent, Amnesty International India said today.
Raghu Menon, Networks and Advocacy Coordinator of Amnesty International in India said, “Irom Sharmila is a Prisoner of Conscience, who is being held solely for her peaceful expression of her beliefs,” said Shashikumar Velath, Programmes Director of Amnesty International India. “Authorities must drop all charges against her, and release her immediately and unconditionally.”
Irom Sharmila has been on an indefinite fast since 2 November 2000, demanding the lifting of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (AFSPA).
She was arrested by the Manipur police shortly after she began her hunger strike and charged with attempting to commit suicide – a criminal offence under Indian law. In March 2013, a Delhi court also charged Sharmila with attempting to commit suicide in October 2006, when she staged a protest in Delhi for two days.
Irom Sharmila has never been convicted of attempting to commit suicide. However, as the offence is punishable with imprisonment for up to one year only, she has been regularly released after completing a year in judicial custody, only to be re-arrested shortly after as she continues her fast, the Amnesty International said.
Read more / Original news source: http://manipur-mail.com/india-intolerant-to-dissent-ai/