Petition: Arrest of Sunil Mandiwal – an attempt to suppress dissent

To: President of India

On 4th April 2010, the Delhi Police and the Special Intelligence Branch of Andhra Pradesh, arrested and detained Dr Sunil Mandiwal, an assistant professor of Hindi at Delhi University. Dr Mandiwal is a popular social and cultural activist besides being a committed teacher. The police’s excuse for picking up Dr Mandiwal and detaining him till late at night was that they wanted to interrogate him in connection with the Kobad Ghandy case. Dr Mandiwal has been informed by the police that he will continue to be interrogated indefinitely from the morning of 5th April. This arrest is in continuation with ongoing and sustained attempts by the state since the charge-sheet against Kobad Ghandy was filed, to criminalise and stigmatise intellectuals and activists. This arrest raises very profound and disturbing questions about the state of democracy in the country. We appear to be fast returning to an unstated Emergency and its reign of terror.

The University community strongly condemns such attempts to harass, victimise and criminalise members of its community. It strongly condemns the impunity with which the state is violating civil and democratic rights. We demand that the police stop abusing its powers and victimising members of the university community forthwith. We also demand that the Indian state immediately cease its vilification and persecution of its citizens and refrain from creating an Emergency-like situation.


Please Sign

Petition: Assault on Democracy

To: The President of India
The President of India,
Rashtrapati Bhavan,
New Delhi – 110 004.

Dear Madam Visitor,
Subject: Assault on Democracy

On 18 February 2010, the Delhi Police presented a charge-sheet against Mr. Kobad Ghandy. This document also alleges criminal activities, and support for criminal activities, against several individuals and organisations that have been active in safeguarding and promoting civil and democratic rights, for several decades now. These organisations and individuals have been actively protesting the violation of civil and democratic rights of large numbers of people in the context of ‘Operation Green Hunt’ – the government’s military offensive against ‘Maoists’. Several of those affected by the allegations in the charge-sheet are members of the academic community of Universities in Delhi, who also happen to share in the work and activities of the organisations identified in it.

The allegations against these individuals and organisations are utterly baseless and unsubstantiated; they consequently appear to be motivated solely by the government’s intention to silence all such protests, and to criminalise all such legitimate and democratic activities. This is in continuation with intensifying attempts by the state to curtail spaces for democratic dissent and protest, within and outside the university, and indeed, to erode the very principles of democracy.

Worldwide, universities have traditionally been a crucial space for freedom of expression, the exploration of ideas and critical debate. They have always been, and should always be, sites where even the strongest critique of the state can be – in fact, must and should be – made possible. This is an essential character, not just of the university as an institution, but of the democratic principles of the society it exists in. The attempt to silence these individuals and organisations, therefore constitutes an assault on this very fundamental essence of the university, as well as on the character of democratic society.

We would like to unequivocally affirm that, for the university to remain a space in which democratic principles and practices are sacrosanct and inviolable, the voices that emerge from it must be allowed to do so freely. We consequently also strongly condemn attempts like the baseless allegations in the charge-sheet, to violate precisely this quality of the university and its community.

We request you, in your capacity as Visitor of Delhi University and Jawaharlal Nehru University, to intervene and protect the universities and their communities from such assaults. We also request you to ensure that the individuals and organisations targeted in the charge-sheet are not victimised by the baselessly punitive and retributive actions of the state, and that their civil and democratic rights are upheld.



Petition: Withdraw Sedition Charges against Dr. Rati Rao

Shri B S Yeddyurappa,
Chief Minister,


We the undersigned are writing to you in the backdrop of the fact that Dr E Rati Rao, a senior scientist, long-standing activist of the women’s rights movement, Vice-President of PUCL-Karnataka and Vice President of the All India Progressive Women’s Association (AIPWA) has recently been charged with sedition by the police of the state that you govern – Karnataka.

Dr. Rati Rao was Editor of an in-house PUCL-Karnataka Kannada language bulletin (called PUCL Varthapatra) for private circulation among PUCL members – and it is this bulletin (last published in 2007) that is the supposed basis for the charges of ‘sedition’.

The FIR against Dr. Rati Rao accuses her of publishing the PUCL bulletin that is “favoring naxals and Muslims and is propagating that the police are killing innocent people in the name of encounter”; that “calls upon dalits, women, minorities, farmers and adivasis to build organizations in order to fight for their rights”; that “accuses the Sangh Parivar in Karavali (coastal Karnataka) of indulging in false propaganda and fueling communal disharmony” and “calls upon the secular forces to raise their voice against such spread of communal hate”; and “by raising such issues incite and spread intolerance, disbelief, discontent amongst the public”; that “in the name of doing good to the dalits, women, minorities, & adivasis the said bulletin is spreading false information against the casteist & communal Government…It is propagating intolerance, disbelief, and discontent amongst the Government officials.”

The sections under which Dr. Rati Rao has been booked are Section 124 A (Sedition), Section 505 (False statement, rumour, etc., circulated with intent to cause mutiny or cause communal discord) and sections of the Press Act that relate to knowingly spreading false information. The PUCL Bulletin in question had discussed the attacks on the Christian community in Karnataka and had indicted the Government for failing to do enough to protect the minority community from attack.

Going by the FIR against Dr. Rati Rao, are we, the citizens of India, to believe that in the eyes of the BJP-ruled Karnataka today, it is ‘sedition’ to avail the basic democratic right (and duty) of resisting communal hate campaigns and extra-judicial killings by the police; of asserting secularism; of encouraging dalits, women, minorities, farmers and adivasis to organize for their rights; and of asking why the Government is failing to prevent attacks on minorities and dalits?! Is it because the Karnataka Government itself is colluding in the attacks on women, dalits, minorities and human rights that it feels so threatened by democratic activists who take up such issues? Is the Government of Karnataka out to muzzle every voice of democracy and dissent?

We find it ironic that while the Karnataka police does not book the Sangh outfits for spreading rumours galore of ‘love jehad’ and ‘forced conversion’ etc to target Muslims and Christians, nor for violating the Constitution by indulging in communal violence – people like Dr. Rati Rao who have devoted their lives to defending constitutional liberties are accused of sedition and activists seeking to bring facts to light are booked for ‘spreading rumour’!

Dr Rati Rao is a scientist and researcher specializing in food microbiology, and retired as the Deputy Director of the CFTRI (Central Food Technological Research Institute). She has a history of several decades of democratic activism – first in the student movement, then in the women’s movement with the Samata Progressive Women’s Forum, Mysore since 1978 and as a prominent figure in the autonomous women’s movement right since the 1980s; and long associated with the Left and progressive movement and the human rights movement, especially the PUCL.

Why was a bulletin last published in 2007 dug out now, three years later, for punitive action by the Karnataka Government? We believe it is merely a pretext to intimidate Dr. Rati Rao, who has in recent times, as National Vice President of the All India Progressive Women’s Association (AIPWA) been visiting Karnataka villages to organize rural poor women to fight for their rights, who was recently part of a fact-finding to expose the atrocities against Dalits in Chitradurga district of Karnataka, and who recently participated in a National Convention against Sexual violence and State Repression in Raipur, Chhattisgarh.

To us it is clear that the charge against Dr. Rati Rao is part of a calculated campaign of harassment of civil liberties and democratic activists and crackdown on dissent that has marked the BJP regime in Karnataka and the ‘Operation Greenhunt’ of the central government.

We the undersigned condemn the trumped up charges against a respected member of the democratic rights and women’s movement and demand your immediate intervention to ensure that the charges be immediately withdrawn.


Petition against “The Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill 2009”

Dr. Manmohan Singh
The Prime Minister of India
New Delhi 110 001

Dear Dr. Singh,

We, the undersigned, hereby express our grave concern over the recent press reports that ‘The Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill 2009’ is planned to be tabled in the ongoing Budget Session of Parliament and the UPA government is apparently bent upon rushing it through without holding fair and transparent public consultations, regardless of its profound consequences.

A quantum leap in installed capacity for nuclear power generation, from the current level of 4,120 MW to 63,000 MW by 2032, which you have committed yourself to, is but an invitation to disaster given the intrinsically hazardous and potentially catastrophic nature of the industry. It is necessary to further bear in mind that the health burden, clean-up and recovery costs for damages arising out of any nuclear accident are irreversible in consequence and generational in effect, poisoning not just human beings in the vicinity of a nuclear plant but the web of life itself through air, water and soil contamination.

Yet, pretty much shockingly, the nuclear liability bill, approved by the Union Cabinet in last November, understandably overriding strong objections even from two nodal ministries, viz. Finance and Environment, appears to pave the path for the entry of private enterprises, known to cut corners to maximize profits, not just as equipment suppliers but also as operators of nuclear power plants.

The nuclear liability bill, as per the reports leaked in the media, proposes to cap the total liability amount to 3 hundred million Special Drawing Rights. This works out to just about a paltry US$ 450 million or Rs 2100 crore per accident. We find it inconceivable and outrageous that any cap, let alone such a meagre one, be placed on the total liability, regardless of the scale of disaster.

Ironically, the total liability cap amount now being proposed, $450 million, is marginally less than the amount awarded in the Bhopal Gas case way back in 1989, which was a gross under-assessment of liability even at that time. Today, more than two decades since, and given that a major nuclear disaster could very much dwarf the Bhopal disaster, the proposed nuclear liability cap appears to be truly a slap in the face of the people of this country. Further, while the supplier of nuclear equipment would enjoy standard indemnity, the maximum liability of the operator reportedly would not exceed the ridiculously low amount of Rs 300 crore or thereabout. In fact, it may even be as low as Rs 100 crore. This cannot but be considered as a brazen move towards helping profiteering corporations while penalizing the unsuspecting Indian people, who have elected you to the office you hold.

We further draw your attention to the public statement of former Attorney General of India, Soli Sorabjee, that putting a cap on nuclear liability violates the very Right to Life as enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution.

It is shocking that a bill that compromises the Right to Life is being pushed through without soliciting the opinion of the people of the country, whose health and well-being, safety and human rights, and life, are being put directly in danger.

This is just unacceptable. We strongly condemn any attempt to introduce any caps whatsoever on nuclear liability and that too without widespread public debate on the issues involved.

Hence we demand that the contents of the proposed nuclear liability cap bill be disclosed forthwith to the public.

We further demand that widespread public consultations be held before any attempt is made to introduce such profound changes in the nuclear liability regime.



Stop war against an alternative model of development

Stop War Against the People
What the State Wants to Destroy is the Alternate Development Model
An Appeal to Thinkers, Intellectuals, Artistes, and Writers

Satnam & Buta Singh
Forum Against War on People (Punjab)

Dear Friends,

The Indian state has amassed troops in central India on an unprecedented scale, to swoop down on the people. It is the latest of the wars launched by the Indian State against the people living in this country. The government says that it has to move against these areas as Maoists hold sway over it and it is not under the control of central or state authority.

In fact the natives of these jungles have been living there for thousands of years and have protected these forests as they ensure life to them and is their only source of livelihood for survival. These tribals are the most poor and wretched in our land. Popularly called adivasis, they are the oldest inhabitants of our country, still living in an ancient age. For thousands of years they have lived an archaic life. In all these years, no one has been able to subjugate them. The British Empire tried to do this in 1910 but their marauding armies were repulsed and forced to beat a retreat. The resistance of the tribal people against the British forces was led by the great warrior Gundadhur. This is popularly known as the Bhoomkal Baghawat. Earlier, they had fought the British under the leadership of Birsa Munda in the famous Munda Rebellion in the nineteenth century.

Since then, no regime has dared to attack and attempt to subjugate them, whether they were the British or the post-British rulers sitting at Delhi. They have remained a free people all along, with their own culture, customs and a unique way of life. The central and state governments have been exploiting their forests and mineral and metal resources at an unbridled pace but have never done anything to provide them with basic requirements like drinking water, education, medical facilities etc. The loot of their resources has been enormous, to the tune of billions of rupees every year, with all the money going to the industrialists, bureaucrats, politicians, contractors and the police. All this was going on smoothly, till the the tribals awakened to their rampant exploitation and inhuman oppression and took to the path of resistance. This resistance has been characteristic of their traditions and in accordance with their nature as an independent people. Their struggle is to put an end to this onslaught which has made their life, hell like. That is why they identified with the ideology of revolutionary Marxism which promises a world free of loot, exploitation and oppression. That is why they found common cause with the revolutionary Maoist rebels, who want to put a stop to every kind of exploitation and tyranny and build an egalitarian, humane society, free of any kind of discrimination.

Of course, as is well known by now, they are living on lands which are blessed with the richest minerals, metals and other natural resources like iron, coal, bauxite, manganese, gold, diamonds, uranium etc. The Indian state has never considered that tribals have a right to their land and jungles, and have constantly tried to usurp them in various ways. The State wants to further intensify this exploitation now, and has invited the foreign imperialist companies and Indian big industrial houses and their collaborations, to set up new projects on these lands. The Indian government has signed Memorandums of Understanding to the tune of lakhs of crores of rupees with the foreign and Indian industrial houses for this purpose. The contents of these MOU’s are secret and confidential and people have no access to them! The current offensive of the Indian state is to wrest back these areas from the control of these people and hand it over to these Companies. All this is being done in the name of development. But this development in fact is in no way the development of the material conditions of the life of the tribals and the people living around these areas. This is amply demonstrated in the earlier projects like Bailladilla, Balco, Bokaro, Bhilai, Jaduguda and numerous others.

Quite recently we have seen the people of Nandigram, Singur, Kashipur, Kalinga Nagar, Lalgarh, Pullavaram, Tehri and Narmada Project areas resisting the setting up of car factories, dams, huge mining pit centers, SEZ’s and other projects which have nothing to do with the development and well-being of the masses of ordinary toiling and poor in these areas or in the country elsewhere. It is meant to enrich the already handful of rich, who live a parasitic life, or to fill the coffers of foreign imperialist capitalists whose only religion is to loot, plunder and exploit. The people here have struggled and fought against the state for their rights over their lands and against the capitalist sharks on whose bidding the government acts.

The government has deployed lakhs of armed forces to destroy the resistance of the people, especially at places where it is strong and formidable and hampers the capitalists from acquiring resource rich lands. When government says it wants to take back the areas controlled by Maoists, in fact, it wants to smash the resistance of the people and snatch their lands to offer these to the mining giants, industrialists and super rich businessmen. Maoism is nothing but the rebellion of the people against injustice, notwithstanding whether the government calls them terrorists or whatever. Millions of people in these regions identify themselves with the cause of the Maoists and when millions become a movement for a just cause, they can’t be called terrorists.

The state admits that there are 223 districts out of a total of 600 where Maoists are active. This means that there are 223 districts where the people espouse this ideology and want an end to exploitation. That lakhs are support this resistance or are up in arms. That it has become a people’s movement. And what of the people in the remaining districts? Are there not workers, peasants, students, employees, petty shopkeepers and toiling masses who have no stake in this system, want a change for the better, and have the same dreams? If the 223 are up against injustice and the rest have the same aspirations then the state loses the right to use the invective of terrorism.

What the Indian state wants to destroy is not just the Maoists, but the aspirations of millions upon millions in this country, the dreams of every oppressed Indian.

It is using the media and all the propaganda machinery available, to denigrate and destroy this. To destroy the resistance of the down-trodden, their movement for change, which is the only thing that can bring them real happiness, in this wretched land of ours called Hindustan. This land, of the hungry. Of the exploited. Of the peasant who commits suicide. Of the youth facing a bleak future. Of the worker who is being laid off and kicked out of the factories. Of the employees of the organized sector who are losing all the rights gained over the years when their jobs are being contractualised. Of the government employees who have been booted out with a few crumbs in the name of VRS or Golden Handshake. Of the petty shop keepers and traders, whose enterprises are being gobbled up by the malls and the SEZs. This is the land crying for justice.

If Maoists are branded by the Prime Minister as the biggest internal threat to the country, then the rulers must think about what they have given to the people in the last 62 years of independence. Why have things come to such a pass? They have been ruling and organizing society and have utterly failed in the six long decades that they have been at the helm. The present state of affairs is their doing. Not that of the Maoists. Their development strategies have backfired and that can’t be blamed on the resisting people and the Maoists. The Maoists have come into the picture only recently, but what has the state been doing about the promises it made to the people at the time of independence? Where has the promise of a Tryst with Destiny vanished? The promise sworn by Jawaharlal Nehru from the ramparts of Lal Quila on the midnight of 14-15 August 1947? People are not to be blamed for that promise not being kept, nor are the Maoists.

So now, Operation Green Hunt is not being executed just because the government wants to wipe out the Maoists in an all out war, in the name of fighting terrorism. It is their attempt to annihilate the yearning of the people, their struggles, their resistance, their resolve for a better life, whether they are led by the Maoists or not. And when the tribal heartland refuses to cow down before such an attack, it deserves admiration. The state intends to bring in the might of the Air Force against its own people. This is the result of the 60 years of misrule and the anti-people policies, they have been imposing. The people have never given them a mandate to carry out these policies. Over these years they have only opposed these policies through petitions, protests, strikes, sit-ins, struggles, resistance and also through hunger strikes and work to rule agitations. And god knows how many times the so-called people’s democratic state has fired on the protesters. How many times they have killed people. How many millions they have cane-charged and how many millions they have put into jails, not to speak of the thousands of custodial deaths and mass scale encounter killings. They never stopped the repression. All these decades, rather than listen to the grievances of the people, this state, which swears by the non-violence of MK Gandhi, has been resorting to never-ending violence. Like a mafia. Yet, the resistance continued and revolts grew.

And now it has created the borders within, against its own countrymen.

The current attack on the poor in central India is nothing but an enhanced and more deadly version of the same state violence that has continued since 1947. It is meant to break the fight back of the people there, the fight of the poorest of the poor, of the tribal peasants, and workers working in the mines. It is meant to tell others everywhere in the country, not to stand up for their rights, not to oppose the policies of the state though they go against the interests of the people and the country.

The centre of resistance is being encircled not just to break it, but also to destroy the new things which the people have created during the course of their struggles and which they have toiled hard to build. The government has started a vilification campaign against those who refuse to budge, who refuse to kowtow and who refuse to be further misled by the never ending empty promises of development and progress. They know that this development is not for them. For a government which has discarded the ideal of a welfare state can’t genuinely embark on a thing which it has abandoned at the behest of imperialist capital, the World Bank and the WTO.

The people under attack have built their own local government, the Jantana Sarkar, at various levels, taking their future into their own hands, for a real tryst with destiny.

Let us have a look in brief, at what the people have built through their Development Committees in the villages in Dandakarnya, and what the State wants to destroy. It will give us a glimpse of what the Maoists hold as a vision for the progress and development of our country – development which is indigenously and self reliantly built, one which is people oriented and is constructed in the course of the people’s democratic participation, and one which cares for this land and its resources. Such development which will free us from the stranglehold of imperialist capital and its dictates. A course of action which can only be executed by the truly patriotic.

* The biggest reform undertaken is that of land. They have distributed lakhs of acres of land among every peasant household. And no one is allowed to keep more land than one can till. Thus doing away with unnecessary hiring of labour in agriculture. Even the Patels who used to oppress people and fleece them through unpaid labour have been allowed to retain land they can manage with their family’s labour. No non-tribals are allowed to own land there.

* Women are also given property rights over land.

* They have developed agriculture from the primitive form of shifting every one or two years, to systematic settled farming. They were taught to sow, weed and harvest the crops. They cultivate both their own private lands as well as co-operative fields for community use. The development of agriculture is being done without using chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

* They have introduced a wide range of vegetables like carrot, radish, brinjal, bitter gourd, okra, tomato etc., which the tribals of remote areas had never seen or tasted.

* They have planted orchards of bananas, citrus fruits, mangoes, guavas etc.

* They have built dams, ponds, and water channels for breeding fish and for the purpose of irrigation. All this has been done through collective labour and the produce is distributed free to every household.

* They have dug wells for safe drinking water.

The industrial projects have destroyed underground water resources, and streams have been polluted to such an extent, that the fish and water life have died as also the vegetation around it. Many fruit trees have stopped flowering around these water resources.

* They have set up rice mills in a number of villages. These mills have freed women from the daily pounding of paddy for extracting grain. Many of these mills have been destroyed by Salwa Judum which was launched by the government, which talks so much about development in these areas.

* They have built a health care system which reaches every tribal peasant in every village. Each village has a Medicine Unit which has been trained to identify diseases and distribute medicines to the villagers. The health of the tribals rates only second in priority to the fight against exploitation and oppression.

* The women participate equally in these developmental activities. Special attention is paid to the issue of patriarchy and that is why they come forward equally to defend their rights and lands.

* They run schools.

The schools built by the government are completely non-functional and are usually used by the police and paramilitary forces when they raid villages. That is one reason the people pull down these pucca structures which have become symbols of repression.

* They have published books and magazines in the Gondi language. As a result, it is for the first time that this language has found a place in the written world. Songs, articles and anecdotes written by the Gond people are published in the magazines brought out by the movement. These are the initial steps to develop this ancient language which has been neglected, just as the people have been. Though there is no existing script in Gondi, they use devnagri script.

* The remunerative prices for Tendu leaf collection and wages for the cutting of bamboo and timber is fixed by the Maoist movement taking into consideration the interests of the tribals.

* Trade in the movement area goes on without hindrance. The traders are not allowed to cheat the tribals in haat bazaars. The movement announces remunerative prices for the jungle produce and paddy which the traders agree to. The presence of guerrillas ensures fair trade practices. On the other hand, the traders feel happy that there is no danger of theft or robberies in the movement controlled areas and they can move about there, freely.

* They have their own justice system. People’s Courts are held to settle various disputes among the people, as well as with the oppressors.

* Theft, robbery, cheatings, murders for property and personal gains have vanished.

* Sexual harassment and rape by the forest department, the contractors and the police has become a thing of the past. Now the women walk freely in the jungle whether it is day or night.

* Democratic functioning has been introduced at the village level onwards. The Gram Rajya Committees (now called Revolutionary Peoples Committees) function at the head of various committees like Development Committees which look after agriculture, fish farming, education, village development, Medicine Units etc.

* The women and children have their own organizations in almost every village. The tribal peasants have their separate organization, with units in every village.

* Almost every village has units of People’s Militia which take up the responsibility of defense of the village.

* Cultural organizations thrive in these jungles as the tribals have great affinity for cultural activities. These organizations propagate through songs, dances, plays and other art forms, on all the issues whether local, national or international.

* The movement has been able to prevent starvation deaths in its areas.

Salwa Judum – the Privatization of State Violence

Salwa Judum was a terror campaign launched by the government, where the police recruited tribal youth at Rs.1500 per month as Special Police Officers (SPOs). The SPOs were given arms and let loose on the villagers in the movement areas. They burned, killed, raped and forced people to flee their homes, with the help of paramilitary forces and specially trained Naga Battalions standing guard.

Salwa Judum restricted and destroyed trade in these areas by closing down the haat bazaars and trying to demolish their economy to force the tribals into submission. From 2005-07, this went on for two years They destroyed standing and harvested crops, burned or poisoned the grain and other jungle produce kept by the tribals for exchange in the haat bazaars to procure other essentials of life. Even all this could not force the tribals to submit. Rather than surrender, they lived on bamboo seeds.

The bloody campaign of Salwa Judum killed hundreds of tribals, burned hundreds of villages, raped hundreds of women, forcing about 50,000 tribals to live in enclosures called relief camps, set up by the police, which the tribals ultimately fled. This campaign forced about 30,000 people to flee their villages for other provinces. Lakhs of people were forced to leave their homes and to roam in the interiors of the jungles. In fact the government tried to destroy their whole economy and sources of livelihood even threatening to poison open water sources in the forests.

But the resistance continued. It could not be broken.

And Now

Bitter with its failure to make the people yield to them, the government has now embarked upon Operation Green Hunt, a military campaign with nearly one lakh personnel. Under various pretexts, the Indian Air Force is weighing its wings to swoop down on the forests, in spite of promises to the contrary by the Prime Minister.

We have been told that Maoists are the biggest internal threat to the country. Who are these Maoists? They are just the people themselves who have taken to the path of resistance, to struggle against the various Indian governments, who one after the other, do not allow them a life of dignity or one of peace. The state is attacking its own people threatening to wipe them out, if they don’t vacate the lands they have lived on for centuries. And we know about the term collateral damage – the killing of the civilian population in a war. Salwa Judum killed the people without a declared war, now they intend to kill on a much huger scale. They want to break the back of resistance by killing people. They want to hand over the resource rich lands of the tribals to the greedy foreign capitalist lords. They want to destroy the alternate development what the people have created with their enormous toil and persistent struggles.

Let us think. Let us awake. Let us spread the word. Let us awaken the people everywhere else. Let us raise our voice against injustice. Let us tell the government that it must stop this war against its own people and instead listen to them, respect their aspirations and attend to their demands.

This is an unjust war which the government has declared on its own people. It must stop.

Signed (up to November 24th) by:
1. Gursharan Singh, Dramatist-Activist, Punjab
2. Prof. Bawa Singh, Guru Sar Sudhar College, Sudhar, Ludhiana
3. Jaswant Kailvi, Ghazalgo, Writer, Ferozepur
4. Baru Satwarg, Novelist-Activist, Rampuraphul, Bathinda
5. Dr. Baldev Singh, Deptt. of Economics, Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Khalsa College, Delhi
6. Jaspal Singh Sidhu, Veteran Journalist (Presently Media Consultant with Punjabi University, Patiala)
7. Samual John, Director Peoples’ Theatre, Lehra Gaga, Sangrur
8. Jatinder Mauhar, Film Director, Mohali
9. Megh Raj Mitter (Shiromani Lekhak), Barnala, Punjab
10. Dr. Mohan Tyagi, Poet, B.N. Khalsa Senior Sec. School, Patiala
11. Master Des Raj Chhajli, Lok Kala Manch Chhajli, Lehra Gaga, Sangrur
12. Jagdish Papra, Writer, Lehra Gaga, Sangrur
13. Narinder Nath Sharma, Advocate, Patiala
14. Dr. Tejwant Mann, Literary Critic, Sangrur
15. Prof, Harbhajan Singh, Writer, USA
16. Yadwinder Kurfew, TV Journalist, Delhi
17. Harbans Heon, Writer, Banga, Nawanshahr
18. Ajmer Sidhu, Writer, Nawanshahr
19. Gurmit Juj, Poet, Singer, Krantikari Sabhayachar Kendar, Punjab
20. Balbir Chohla, Activist-Journalist, Taran Taran
21. Prof. Bhupinder Singh (retd), Sociology, Punjabi University, Patiala
22. Satnam, Writer-Freelance Journalist, Patiala
23. Buta Singh, Publisher, Baba Bujha Singh Prakashan, Banga, Nawanshahr
24. Jasdeep, Software Engineer, Delhi
25. Harpreet Rathore, TV Journalist, Delhi
26. Veer Singh, Research Scholar, JNU
27. Narbhinder, Activist-Writer, Sirsa
28. Karam Barsat, Columnist, Sangrur
29. Sukirat, Journalist-Writer, Jalandhar
30. Makhan Singh Namol, Advocate, Sangrur
31. Davinderpal, TV Journalist, Delhi
32. Partap Virk, TV Journalist, Delhi
33. Dr. Bhim Inder Singh, Lecturer, Punjabi University, Patiala
34. Jasvir Deep, Journalist and Social Activist, Nawanshahr
35. Paramjit Dehal, Poet & Literary Activist, Nawanshehar
36. Prof. Jagmohan Singh, Democratic Rights Activist, Ludhiana
37. Dr. Gurjant Singh, Punjabi University, Patiala.
38. Iqbal Kaur Udaasi, Progressive Singer-Activist, Barnala
39. Balvir Parwana, Editor Sunday Magazine, Nawa Zamana, Jalandhar
40. Jugraj Dhaula, Poet-Singer, Barnala
41. Dr. Ajit Pal, Writer-Activist, Bathinda
42. Rajinder Rahi, Writer, Barnala
43. Bhupinder Waraich, State President, Democratic Teachers’ Front, Punjab
44. Didar Shetra, Poet, Nawanshahr
45. Baldev Balli, Poet, Nawanshahr
46. Jagsir Jeeda, Lyricist-Singer, Giderbaha, Bathinda
47. Hakem Singh Noor, Poet-Activist, Barnala
48. Charanjeet Singh Teja, Freelance Journalist, Amritsar
49. Attarjit, Short Story Writer, Bathinda
50. Rajeev Lohatbaddi, Advocate, Patiala
51. Harvinder Deewana, Chetna Kala Kender, Barnala
52. Balwinder Kotbhara, Writer-Journalist, Bathinda
53. B.R.P. Bhaskar, Journalist, Thiruvananthapuram
54. S.S. Azaad, Writer, Mansa
55. Sadhu Binning, Writer, Vancouver, BC, Canada
56. Hiren Gandhi, Ahmedabad
57. Vijay Bombeli, Feature writer, Hoshiarpur
58. Paramjeet Singh Khatra, Advocate, Nawan Shehar
59. Daljeet Singh, Advocate, Nawan Shehar
60. Baldev Singh, Advocate, District Courts Patiala
61. Paramjit Kahma, Doaba Sahit Ate Sabhiachar Sabha, Jejon (Hoshiarpur)
62. Dr. Ramesh Bali, Nawanshehar, Activist
63. Puneet Sehgal, programme executive, DoorDarshan, Jalandhar
64. Harkesh Chaudhry & Other Artists, Lok Kala Manch, Mandi MulanPur, (Ldh)
65. Prof. Ajmer Singh Aulakh. Dramatist, Mansa
66. Dr. Maninder Kang, Writer, Jalandhar
67. Charanjit Bhullar, Journalist, Bathinda
68. Dr. Anand Teltumbde, Human Rights Activist and wirter, Mumbai
69. Dr. Puneet, Patiala
70. Taskeen, Critic, Kapurthala
71. Chanda Asani, social researcher and activist, Mumbai
72. Sanjay Joshi, convener, THE GROUP, film group of Jan Sanskriti Manch
73. Alok Kaushik, Photographer, Delhi
74. Nisha Biswas, Kolkata
75. Ravinder Goel, Associate Professor, Delhi University
76. Saroop Dhruv, Poet, Ahmedabad
77. Shamsul Islam & Neelima Sharma (Nishant Natya Manch), Delhi
78. Manu Kant, Journalist, Online Media, Chandigarh
79. Dr. Pyare Mohan Sharma, Retd. Professor, Medical College, Patiala
80. N K Jeet, Advocate, Bathinda
81. Mejar Singh, Senior Journalist, Jalandhar
82. Ram Sarup Ankhi, Punjabi Novelist, Barnala
83. Manmohan Bawa, Sharomani Punjabi writer, New Delhi
84. Dr. Krantipal, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh
85. Balwinder Singh Barnala, Tarksheel Society Punjab, Barnala
86. Jasvir Singh Rana, Punjabi Writer, Amargarh (Distt. Sangrur)
87. Neel Kamal, Journalist, Barnala
88. Narain Dutt, President, Inqulabi Kender Punjab, Barnala

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Buta Singh: 94634-74342,

Tetley’s Tata Tea Starving Indian Tea Workers into Submission

Tata, the transnational Indian conglomerate whose Tetley Group makes the world famous Tetley teas, has taken 6,500 people hostage through hunger. The hostages are nearly 1,000 tea plantation workers and their families on the Nowera Nuddy Tea Estate in West Bengal, India. Permanently living on the edge of hunger, the workers and their dependants are being pushed to the edge of starvation through an extended lock out which has deprived them of wages for all but two days since the beginning of August. The goal of this collective punishment is to starve the workers into renouncing their elementary human rights, including the right to protest extreme abuse and exploitation.

The hostage-taking began with a first lockout on August 10, when workers protested the abusive treatment of a 22 year-old tea garden worker who was denied maternity leave and forced to continue work as a tea plucker despite being 8 months pregnant. On August 9, Mrs Arti Oraon collapsed in the field and was brought to the hospital, on a tractor normally used for garbage, after the medical officer refused to make an ambulance available (he had proposed she be brought by bicycle). She was initially refused treatment, and only after her co-workers protested did she receive minimal care. Her treatment was inadequate and she had to be taken, in the same garbage tractor, to the local government hospital one hour away.

As news of her treatment spread, some 500 mostly female estate workers gathered in protest at the medical facility, demanding sanctions against the medical officer. Local management promised to meet with the workers, but on August 11 the management, along with the medical officer, left the estate and declared a lockout.

On August 27 an agreement was signed with three trade unions, representing some workers on the estate but not a majority, on reopening the garden. In the agreement, all workers’ wages for the lockout period were withheld. The agreement included a clause that a “domestic inquiry” (an internal, company-controlled investigation) would be conducted. The agreement was written in English, a language few if any of the workers understand.

The garden was reopened the following day, although workers were not informed of the conditions of the reopening. On September 8, management issued letters of suspension and ordered a domestic inquiry against eight workers.

None of the eight workers received a letter of notification. None of the eight had committed any act of violence or were involved in any illegal practice. These eight workers have been targeted because they are active in the garden campaigning for workers’ rights.

At a September 10 meeting, management told the workers that suspension letters had been issued in accordance with the August 27 agreement and that opening the garden depended on compliance with that agreement. In other words: agree to the suspensions or you’ll be locked-out again. Workers requested six days to respond to this ultimatum.

The ultimatum was a powerful one: tea garden wages are just 62.50 Indian rupees per day – the equivalent of USD 1.35 daily. One kilogram of the cheapest, poorest quality rice in the local market costs 20% of a worker’s daily wage. Tea workers permanently live on the edge of hunger. The loss of wages for even a few weeks can tip them into starvation.

Although wielding the weapon of hunger – with workers’ lives in the balance and the deadline to respond not yet expired – management on September 14 again left the plantation and implemented a lockout. This was the day workers were meant to receive their annual festival bonus, amounting to roughly two months wages. No bonus payments were made. Prior to the lockout, since the beginning of August workers have only received a wage payment amounting to two days work.

Following the closure, workers have sought to communicate with the management, requesting it to reopen the garden. The company has insisted that the garden will not be reopened and wages paid unless all workers accept the September 10 ultimatum to effectively sign off their right to protest abuses.

Tata Tea is a powerful global company; it’s wholly owned Tetley Tea is one of the world’s biggest-selling tea brands. Nowera Nuddy Tea Estate is owned by Amalgamated Plantations Private Limited, a company 49.98% owned by Tata Tea. Tata and Amalgamated share the same office in Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal. According to the Tata Tea 2009 annual report, Tata Tea Managing Director Percy T. Siganporia earns in a single day roughly 1,000 times the daily wage of a Nowera Nuddy worker – assuming that worker is paid .

Tea from Amalgamated Plantations’ tea estates goes into the famous Tetley Tea bags.

Tetley Tea is a member of the Ethical Tea Partnership (ETP), whose standard commits member companies to, among other requirements, ensure that there is no “harsh or inhumane treatment” of plantation workers and that “Workers should be paid at least monthly and should receive their pay on time.” The actual conditions on the Nowera Nuddy estate, where workers are being subjected to brutal collective punishment, could not be more remote from this CSR wish list.

Workers at the Nowera Nuddy Tea Estate have formed an Action Committee which has called for the immediate reopening of the garden, the withdrawal of the suspension letters and no recriminations against workers, back payment of wages and rations since 14 September, immediate payment of the annual festival bonus and a management apology to Mrs Arti Oraon.

You can support their struggle – CLICK HERE to tell Tata and Tetley Tea to stop starving workers now! You can also use the features provided on the Tetley Tea website to send the company a message, or use the freephone number provided to give them a call!

Courtesy: IUF-Uniting Food, Farm and Hotel Workers World-Wide

Petition against New Uranium Mining and Nuclear Power Plants in India

Smt. Pratibha Patil,
The President of India,
Rashtrapati Bhavan,
New Delhi – 110 001.

Copy to:

Sri Manmohan Singh,
The Prime Minister of India,
New Delhi – 110 001.

Sri Jairam Ramesh,
The Minister of Environment & Forests,
New Delhi – 110 001.


We are writing to you on behalf of the National Alliance of Anti-nuclear Movements.

It is to protest against the reported decision of the government of India to take a quantum leap in installed capacity for nuclear power generation, from the current level of 4,120 MW to 63,000 MW by 2032. This decision is but an invitation to disaster.

In this context, we will like to submit the following.

Nuclear power, contrary to orchestrated hypes, is actually costlier than power from conventional sources like coal, gas and hydro. And once all the hidden costs are factored in, it would be costlier than even from renewable sources, like wind, in particular.

More importantly, it is also intrinsically hazardous, as large amount of radiation is routinely released at every stage of the nuclear fuel cycle. An even more intractable problem is that of safe storage of nuclear waste and safe disposal of outlived power plants, given the fact that the half-lives of some of the radioactive substances involved are over even millions of years.

Even more disconcerting is, considering the complexity of the technology of a nuclear reactor; there is no way to ensure that a major accident at a nuclear power plant will never take place. And a major accident, given the nature of things, will just turn catastrophic affecting a very large number of people, over a large territory, over a very long period. The disastrous accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, in the Ukraine province of the then USSR, on April 26 1986 is a chilling illustration.

The promise of nil greenhouse gas (GHG) emission is also nothing more than a myth if the entire fuel cycle – including mining, milling, transportation and construction of the power plant – is considered.

Moreover, nuclear energy with its highly centralized power production model would only further aggravate the problem by accentuating the current development paradigm reliant on mega-industries and actively blocking any possibility towards ecologically benign decentralized development.

The strong linkage between nuclear power and weapons – in terms of large overlaps in technology, in turn triggering strong political push – of which India itself is a graphic illustration can also be overlooked only at our own peril given the genocidal, and suicidal, character of the nuclear weapon.

As nuclear power is economically unattractive and socially unacceptable, on account of radiation hazards and risks of catastrophic accidents, no order for new nuclear reactors was placed in the USA and most of West Europe during the last 30 years, since the Three Mile Island accident in the US in 1979.

The US and European companies in nuclear power plant equipment and nuclear fuel business are thus looking to Asia for markets – India, China and Japan spearheading the current expansion programme.

It is unfortunate that the Indian government is becoming their willing collaborator in this in pursuit of its megalomaniac hunt for nuclear power and weapon. It has thus, over a period of just one year, rushed to enter into agreements with as many as seven countries, viz. the US, France, Russia, Kazakhstan, Namibia, Mongolia and Argentina.

So far, nuclear power production capacity in India is very small, only about 3 percent of the total electricity generation capacity; and the veil of secrecy surrounding the existing nuclear power plants in the country, and absence of any truly independent monitoring agency, has seriously hindered dissemination of information on accidents – large and small – at these plants and their public scrutiny. That explains the current low level of popular awareness as regards the grave threats posed by the nuclear industry.

Taking advantage of this, the government of India is now set to steamroll its massive expansion program.

The contention that nuclear power is indispensable to meet future energy needs is false; for energy demand, and “need”, is obviously a function of the development paradigm chosen and pursued. And “energy security” is not an autonomous entity or objective, but must be in alignment with other chosen objectives which must include equitable growth and concerns for ecology.

Viewed thus, “energy security” may be achieved by: (I) Increasing efficiency of electricity generation, transmission and distribution. (II) Doing away with extravagant and wasteful use of energy. (III) Pursuing a path of low-energy intensity and decentralised development. (IV) Making optimum use of alternative energy options. (IV) Radically raising investment in development of sustainable and renewable energy sources and technologies, especially wind and solar energy.

As a part of its expansion program, the government of India has announced plans to expand the nuclear power plant coming up at Koodankulam (Tamil Nadu). Additional four reactors from Russia of 1,200 MWe each, in the immediate or near future, are to come up over and above the two of 950 MWe each, presently under construction. The process for setting up a nuclear plant at Jaitapur (Ratnagiri district, Maharashtra) has also reached an advanced stage. The French company Areva is set to supply two new generation reactors of 1650 MWe each, to be followed by another two. Land acquisition notices have been served on the local people to acquire 981 hectare of land.

The government has reportedly already approved 15 new plants at eight sites. These sites are Kumharia in Haryana – meant for indigenous reactors; Kakrapar (indigenous reactors) and Chhayamithi Virdi (reactor from US) in Gujarat; Kovvada (reactor from US) in Andhra Pradesh; Haripur (reactor from Russia) in West Bengal; Koodankulam (reactor from Russia) in Tamil Nadu; and Jaitapur (reactor from France) in Maharashtra.

Similarly, the mad rush for more and more power plants is matched by an accelerated drive for uranium mining in newer areas: Andhra and Meghalaya, in particular. And this, despite the horrible experience of uranium mines in different parts of the world, as also in our own Jadugoda – where appalling conditions continue despite strong popular protests, spanning decades.

In view of all these facts enumerated above, we the undersigned demand that the government of India put a complete stop to the construction of all new uranium mines and nuclear power plants, and radically jack up investments in renewable and environmentally sustainable sources of energy.

We also earnestly urge you to intervene immediately.


Please Sign

Petition: Release Chhatradhar Mahato and resume talks

The Chief Minister
West Bengal
Writers’ Building


CHHATRADHAR MAHATO, spokesperson of the PULISHI SANTRAS BIRODHI JANASADHARANER COMMITTEE, has been arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. This is in direct contravention of the previous stand of the West Bengal state government that the Act will apply only to members of the CPI(Maoist). While even this is a debatable policy, Chhatradhar Mahato can in no way fall within its ambit. Moreover, the modus operandi of his arrest was in complete disregard of law and proper procedure. There is no doubt that Chhatradhar Mahato should be released immediately.

In any case, he is the spokesperson of an organization with which the state government was in active dialogue before the government withdrew unilaterally and the joint armed forces were sent in. In this petition we urge you and your government to withdraw the joint armed forces, help create a climate conducive to dialogue, resume talks and sit across the table with Chhatradhar Mahato as a free man.

Please Sign

Mahasweta Devi, the petition sponsor, is a writer, activist and social critic. In this effort aimed at social and political justice for the struggling adivasi people of Lalgarh and adjoining areas in Pashchim Medinipur, West Bengal, she is joined by a large number of citizens deeply worried over the tragic events unfolding in the region.

Petition: Stop Crackdown on Dalit Workers’ Struggle for Housing in Punjab

Please sign the following petition

Shri Manmohan Singh,
Hon’ble Prime Minister,

Sub: Intervention sought in the mass arrest of rural poor and dalit workers in Punjab

Dear Sir,

We are writing to seek your urgent intervention in the mass arrests of dalit agricultural labourers in Mansa, Sangrur and Bathinda districts of Punjab. Since 21 May, over 1300 agricultural labourers and labour leaders, including 511 women and 42 children, have been locked up in different jails of Punjab. Almost all the activists and leaders of the Mazdoor Muktio Morcha and the CPI(ML) (Liberation) in Punjab have been jailed, and even the most peaceful protests and ordinary political activities by these groups is facing a crackdown. Some of the senior activists have been isolated from the others and confined along with hardened criminals and are being harassed within the jail. This includes Jasbir Kaur Nat, a National Council Member of the AIPWA, who is held in Naba jail , in violation of her rights as a political prisoner.

The arrests have happened in the course of a struggle for NREGA job cards and homestead plots promised by the SAD-BJP State Government. The SAD-BJP Government launched this offensive immediately following the Lok Sabha elections, where the results reflected the disenchantment of the rural poor with the government.

In Punjab, where agriculture is highly mechanised, rural poor often get very few days of employment a month – whereby the rural poor had pinned their hopes for survival on the extension of NREGA to all rural districts in the country. Consequently, the failure of the administration to provide NREGA job cards, and the fact that the Punjab Govt. returned 350 crores of NREGA funds unused to the Centre, became a major issue.

The Akali-BJP Government had moreover reneged on its promise to provide homestead plots (5 marla plots for every rural poor family). It was in protest against this denial of basic rights of livelihood and housing, that agricultural labourers of Mansa district, led by the Mazdoor Mukti Morcha and CPI(ML), occupied a portion of panchayat/commons land allotted to be leased to workers. Under the Land Consolidation Act 1961, one-third of panchayat land is meant for agricultural workers on lease for cultivation – and it was this land that the agricultural workers used to build their hutments, until such a time that the Government would keep its promise to allot house plots.

Naturally, for women from dalit labouring background, the issue of both NREGA job cards and land is a very important one, and so they participated in very large numbers in the agitation.

This movement for land and work began prior to the elections and continued even during the elections. The Akali-BJP Government, it seems, has waited till the elections were over, to begin an all-out crackdown. The agricultural workers had begun a peaceful dharna on 17 May and held a massive Rally on 19 May, which put enough pressure on local officials to effect an agreement to ensure job cards within one month and house plots to all within three months. The very next day, local upper caste land owners began a road-roko protest demanding eviction of the poor from the panchayat land, and, one cue, on 21 May, labour leaders, including even the General Secretary of the All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU), Comrade Swapan Mukherjee, were arrested. On 22 May, over 1000 workers including a very large number of women and children were arrested and jailed – from the dharna site, from their homes, and from the office of the Mazdoor Mukti Morcha and CPI(ML). Young children have been separated from their jailed mothers and sent to junvenile and delinquent homes without informing the parents on where their children have been confined.

The ostensible excuse for the arrests was the need to vacate the so-called “illegal occupation” of the panchayat land – but the arrests have continued even after the forcible eviction of the poor from that land, and the demolition of their makeshift homes.

In Punjab, when rich farmers habitually occupy common land, land allotted for waste disposal, etc. the government never lifts a finger against them. It is a shame that the same government, having blatantly broken its promises of housing and livelihood, has unleashed severe repression when poor rural workers are demanding fulfilment of the government’s own promise.

Even today, activists of the AIPWA, Mazdoor Mukti Morcha and CPI(ML) outside jails are being threatened with arrest at the slightest sign of any peaceful protest or ordinary political activity like party meetings. Activists who have not been jailed are being held under virtual house arrest, without any warrant and in complete violation of their fundamental rights, as the offices and homes are being encircled by the police and ordinary movement hampered. This unspoken emergency has a dimension of class and caste bias – since it is the organisations of the rural workers and dalits which are being targeted and prevented from functioning.

We demand your Government’s urgent intervention to ensure an end to the repression, harassment and witch-hunt being unleashed on the rural poor by the Punjab Government, immediate and unconditional release of all arrested activists and leaders of the AIPWA, Mazdoor Mukti Morcha and CPI(ML), and fulfilment of the basic and inalienable demands of agricultural labourers for land, housing and jobs.


The Undersigned

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Sign the online petition and send emails to Dutch, Filipino, U.N. and U.S. officials and members of the media!

Joma Sison Questions & Answers Fact Sheet

What you can do to demand the release of beloved Philippine leader falsely arrested and in detention

On August 28, 2007 Professor Jose Maria Sison, a Filipino political refugee living in exile for 20 years in Utrecht, Netherlands, was lured by Dutch police under false pretenses, arrested and unjustly detained. As the chief political consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), Professor Sison has been an instrumental force in pursuing peace talks between the Government of the Philippines and the Philippine underground movement. Sison was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship and has since been exiled and suffers continuous harassment and persecution by the Philippine Government.

At the age of 68, Professor Sison is one of the most influential figures in Philippine politics, highly regarded by millions of Filipino workers, peasants, women, students, national minorities, and other segments of Philippine society seeking national sovereignty and genuine democracy for their homeland.

Internationally, he is a renowned writer and poet and a highly respected anti-imperialist intellectual providing incisive analysis on the crisis of the world capitalist system. He is currently the chairperson of the International League of Peoples Struggle (ILPS), an alliance of over 100 peoples organizations from over 20 countries in the world advancing national independence, democracy and social liberation.

At the same time as his arrest, the Dutch police, in Gestapo-like fashion, raided the homes and seized the property of 7 other NDF personnel, This bolsters our belief that Prof. Sison is not the only target of the attacks. The entire NDFP Peace Panel based in the Netherlands are also being subjected to harassment and repression.

According to Netherlands authorities, Sison is being charged with incitement to murder in the Philippines. Dutch prosecutors allege that he ordered the killings of Filipinos Romulo Kintanar and Arturo Tabara. This is only the latest in the long list of politically-motivated false charges being levied against Sison. Recently, the Philippine Supreme Court dismissed the rebellion charges against Sison and 50 other personalities including progressive members of the Philippine Congress and leaders of the mass movement. The court ruled that the pieces of alleged evidence used in the rebellion cases, including the Kintanar and Tabara deaths, can no longer be used in other legal proceedings against Sison and his co-accused.

The attacks on Sison are part of the continuing political repression being implemented by the US-backed Arroyo regime. In the past, this has included extrajudicial kilings, abductions and the filing of false charges against activists and critics of the Arroyo regime.

As Sison is one of the sharpest critics of US imperialism and Philippine President Arroyo’s puppetry to the Bush regime, the Bush-Arroyo clique have worked hand and hand to criminalize him, even going as far as placing him on the U.S. list of Foreign Terrorists. Just last month, the Court of First Instance of the European Court of Justice nullified the Council of the European Union’s inclusion of Sison on their “Terrorist List” and they found no basis or due process for the original listing.

The solitary confinement and treatment of Sison, not allowing visitors such as his wife, children, or his doctor to see him, while in detention violates provisions of the United Nations High Comission on the Rights of Refugees. Sison is a recognized political refugee in the Netherlands.

We again call on all truth and freedom seeking people to help defend Professor Sison’s rights and demand that the Netherlands authorities release him at once.

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(Phone numbers, fax numbers, emails and addresses of officials are listed at along with the text of the petition, which can also be used as a script for call-ups or visits to officials. The text can also be printed as a petition and names gathered in support.)

Solidarity Center – 5C
55 West 17th St
New York, NY 10011
For further information call: (212) 633-6646