Saturday, May 30, 2009
Dr. Lenin met with Mr. Otto Tausig at Vienna on 28 June 2009.Mr. Tausig came seven years before in eastern UP and visited PVCHR office also.
See the link:
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Indian rights champion condemns gov’t over silence
New Delhi – An Indian human rights advocacy group on Wednesday condemned Burma’s military rulers for conducting a trial against Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Lenin Raghuvanshi, director of the People’s Vigilance Committee on Human Rights, a grassroots human rights advocacy group based in India’s Uttar Pradesh, said the charge against Aung San Suu Kyi over the visit of an uninvited guest is discriminating and inhumane.
He also condemned India, Burma’s giant neighbor, for remaining silent over the Insein Prison trial against the recipient of India’s prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding.
Raghuvanshi said that instead of seeking to build a good relationship with the military junta at all costs, the Indian government should pressure the regime to release Aung San Suu Kyi.
“India should support Aung San Suu Kyi,” said Raghuvanshi, a human rights champion who himself received the 2007 Gwangju Prize for Human Rights from South Korea.
But, he added that India may be preoccupied with its own internal affairs, including the forming of a new coalition government after the month-long parliamentary elections.
“India itself has internal problems such as Kashmir and problems in the Northeast. So they [probably] don’t want to comment,” he said.
Raghuvanshi said that as one of the regional economic powers in Asia, India’s interest in Burma is based on economics, one factor making the Indian government reluctant in condemning the Burmese junta and urging the release of Aung San Suu Kyi.
“They only want to exploit the resources from the country and the military junta is benefiting from them,” he explained.
“For governments in an international relationship Burma might not be a big issue, but in financial relationships they [India] get a lot of benefit from the junta,” he added.
In recent years India and Burma have increased bilateral trade and agreed on development projects, including Sittwe port and the Kaladan multi-modal project.
According to the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, bilateral trade between India and Burma for fiscal year 2007-08 stood at USD 901.3 million – with Burmese exports to India accounting for USD 727.85 million.
Though the international community has voiced its outrage over the trial of Aung San Suu Kyi, India, the world’s largest democracy, has remained silent.
Burma’s military regime charged the Nobel Peace Laureate for breaching her terms of detention by harboring a U.S. citizen, John William Yettaw, who allegedly swam to her lakeside home on May 3 and stayed there for two nights.
The charge has sparked international criticism. The United Nations, United States, Canada, Australia, Israel, European Union and Asian countries such as Japan, Pakistan and ASEAN members have all issued press statements expressing their concern over Aung San Suu Kyi’s trial and calling for her unconditional and immediate release.
But India, which supported the U.N.’s critical position in the wake of 2007’s Saffron Revolution, has made no noise over the ongoing trial against the Burmese democracy icon.
Dr. Tint Swe, Information Minister of the Burmese government in exile – National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma (NCGUB) – said India, which is focused on economic interests, could be using the recently concluded national elections as a good excuse for keeping quiet.
“We also don’t expect too much criticism from India on Burma, since India has a foreign policy that doesn’t care which government rules Burma. It will try to establish good relations with any government for its own national interest,” he added.
On Monday, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs told Mizzima in a telephone interview that the foreign ministry has issued no statement or press release so far on Aung San Suu Kyi’s case. And there was no elaboration on whether there would be any such comment at any time in the future.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
The Supreme Court sets up a commission to verify the responsibility of Narendra Modi in the violence against the Islamic minority in 2002. A polemical reaction from the Bharatiya Janata Party, which considers the governor of Gujarat a candidate for Indian prime minister. The Chief Minister, a leading figure of the new party, accuses: "it is a conspiracy of the Congress party to put me behind bars."
Mumbai (AsiaNews) - A special commission of investigation to verify the responsibility of Narendra Modi (in the photo), Chief Minister of Gujarat, in the massacres that rocked the state in 2002, causing the death of more than a thousand people, most of them Muslim.
On April 27, the Supreme Court made public the names of the members of the commission, which will be headed by R.K. Raghavan, former head of the Central Bureau of Investigation, who will be assisted by the lawyers Arijit Pasayat and Asok Kumar Ganguly. Their task is that of clarifying the involvement of Modi and 50 other people, local politicians and government officials, in the clashes seven years ago.
In 2002, a conflict of an ethnic religious nature caused an undetermined number of deaths in Gujarat - some sources say there were 2,000 victims - and 150,000 refugees. The violence broke out after the death of 60 Hindus, during an attack on a train in the city of Godhra, presumed to have been carried out by an Islamic group.
Modi, leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Chief Minister of the state at the time, is accused in particular of being involved in the killing of a member of parliament, but for much of public opinion the leading exponent of the nationalist Hindu party should also respond for the tacit approval of the rioters, and the inertia of the authorities in helping the victims of the massacres.
Jesuit Fr. Cedrick Prakash, director of the Prashant center for human rights, justice, and peace, interprets the decision of the Supreme Court as "a triumph of justice" putting an end to seven years of waiting. "Obviously, there are many in Gujarat society who would best want the horrors of 2002 to be forgotten," says Fr. Prakash. However, one has to realize and accept that when a whole section of one's population is brutalized and decimated, things will never be the same again."
For the Jesuit priest, the coincidence of the institution of the commission and the 60th anniversary of India's constitution is a good sign, because it indicates that "we can proudly live in a land where 'Satyameva Jayate' [editor's note: India's motto, meaning 'Only the truth prevails'] are not only words that come out from our lips."
The decision of the Supreme Court did not fail to cause controversy among the parties in the grip of an election that should decide who will lead the country over the next five years.
Modi is a star of the BJP, and before the elections underway many pointed to him as a Hindu alternative to prime minister Manmohan Singh, leader of India's governing National Congress Party. Modi himself has commented on the news of the institution of the commission as "a conspiracy of the Congress party to put me behind bars."
Lenin Raghuvanshi, director of the popular committee for the protection of human rights, tells AsiaNews that "Hindu fundamentalists will flourish with this type of verdict of the Supreme Court against Narendra Modi during the election time." But the institution of the commission "proves that the genocide of Muslim minority happened in Gujarat with the nexus of state government."
Monday, May 11, 2009
Case of Lenin highlighted again in Report submitted by the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights
Report submitted by the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights
defenders, Margaret Sekaggya
Summary of cases transmitted to Governments and replies received
Please see Link:
Threat and attack on Dr. Lenin Raghuvanshi highlighted at Page 244, Page 245, Page 251 as follows:
1179. On 13 December 2007, the then Special Representative, together with the Special Rapporteur on the right to food, sent an urgent appeal to the government concerning Dr. Lenin Raghuvanshi and Mr Manoj Kumar. Dr Lenin Raghuvanshi and Mr Manoj Kumar are convener and staff member of the People's Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh state, respectively. Dr. Lenin Raghuvanshi was the subject of a joint urgent appeal sent by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the situation of human rights defenders, together with the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression and the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance on 16 August 2005.
1180. According to information received, on 4 December 2007, from approximately 4.45pm (Indian Standard Time), Dr. Lenin Raghuvanshi reportedly received anonymous threatening phone calls on his mobile phone from callers warning him that he would be shot and killed if the PVCHR continued to report cases of deaths from starvation and malnutrition in the Uttar Pradesh state. The callers also informed him that if the PVCHR continued its activities, staff members were to be charged with fabricated charges and the PVCHR itself forced to close down. There had been national media coverage of the death of a three-year-old boy from starvation on 25 November 2007 that was reported by the PVCHR. Its staff member, Mr. Manoj Kumar, working in the Ambedkarnagar district where the boy lived, has reportedly also been receiving threats.
1181. Concern was expressed for the physical and psychological integrity of Dr. Lenin Raghuvanshi and Mr. Manoj Kumar. Further concern was expressed that the aforementioned threats against Dr. Lenin Raghuvanshi and Mr. Manoj Kumar may be directly related to the human rights activities of the PVCHR, in particular its work to defend the right to food in India.
Letter of allegations
1182. On 14 February 2008, the then Special Representative sent a letter of allegation to the Government concerning Dr Lenin Raghuvanshi and other staff members of the People's Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR). Dr Raghuvanshi, in his capacity as Convener of the PVCHR, has focused on the right to food and on victims of death due to starvation. He is also a member of the District Vigilance Committee on Bonded Labour in the State of Uttar Pradesh. Dr Raghvanshi was previously been the subject of a joint urgent appeal sent by the Special Representative, together with the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia and related intolerance and the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, on 16 August 2005, and of a joint urgent appeal sent by the Special Representative, together with the Special Rapporteur on the right to food on 13 December 2007.
1183. According to information received, on 23 January 2008, Dr Raghuvanshi reportedly appeared before the Judicial First Class Magistrate Court 1 to present his application for bail, which was accepted as the Court ruled that there was no reason for him to be detained. Furthermore, the Magistrate ruled that the complaint filed against Dr.Raghuvanshi on 9 December 2007 by the village head of Belwa in the Badagaon administrative district, Mr Rajendar Thripathi, for “anti-state activities” could not be registered due to insufficient evidence. Dr Raghuvanshi, along with Ms Anupam Nagavanshi and Ms Shruti Nagavanshi, also staff members of the PVCHR, have been charged with “statements conducive to public mischief”, under Section 505(b) of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. However, the Court reportedly ordered that they are not to be arrested in relation to these charges until further notice. Due to questions regarding the procedure that was followed in this case, the Magistrate has ordered the Phulpur police to produce all documents relevant to this case before 29 January 2008.
1184. As previously noted in the urgent appeal of 13 December 2007, Dr Raghuvanshi and the staff of the PVCHR received several threats between 4 and 6 December 2007. It is alleged that Dr Raghuvanshi was also the subject of intimidation by Mr Rajendar Thripathi and his associates on several occasions.
1211. On 23 May 2008, the Special Rapporteur sent an urgent appeal to the Government concerning Mr Lenin Raghuvanshi, Convener of the People's Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) in Varanasi, State of Uttar Pradesh. Mr Lenin Raghuvanshi has focused his work on the right to food and on victims of death due to starvation and he is also a member of the District Vigilance Committee on Bonded Labour.
1212. Mr Lenin Raghuvanshi was previously the subject of a letter of allegation sent by the former Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the situation of human rights defenders on 14 February 2008, as well as of a joint urgent appeal sent by the former Special Representative, together with the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia and related intolerance and the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, on 16 August 2005, and of a joint urgent appeal sent by the former Special Representative, together with the Special Rapporteur on the right to food on 13 December 2007. The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders regrets that no reply to date to any of the three communications has been received and as such, would greatly appreciate a response from Your Excellency’s Government as soon as possible.
1213. According to information received, on 26 April 2008, Mr Lenin Raghuvanshi began to receive abusive and threatening phone calls, which warned him to end the PVCHR’s work in the district of Varanasi. On 18 May, he received a phone call, thought to be from a powerful member of a criminal group in Uttar Pradesh, which threatened that if the PVCHR did not stop working for the Musahar community, a Dalit group subject to caste-based discrimination, men hired by upper caste feudal lords would raze Musahar ghettos and villages in Varanasi. The caller also questioned Mr Lenin Raghuvanshi about the funding of the PVCHR, in what is believed to be a warning to the PVCHR to pay protection money to local mafias.
1214. Concern was expressed that the threats and intimidation directed against Mr Lenin Raghuvanshi may be directly linked to his work and that of the PVCHR in defense of human rights, in particular the rights of Dalit communities in the State of Uttar Pradesh.
In view of these threats, serious concern was expressed for the physical and psychological integrity of Mr Lenin Raghuvanshi and the members of the PVCHR.
Response from the Government
1215. In a letter dated 28 January 2009, the Government responded to the urgent appeal of 23 May 2008. The allegations contained in the communication were examined by the Government, which informed that a complaint was lodged in Thana Cant, Varanasi, following which a chargesheet was sent to the court on 21 July 2008 against accused Bulbul Singh alias Uday Narayan Singh. In the meantime, necessary instructions were issued to the local police station to provide adequate security to Dr Lenin.