NEFIS Strongly Codemns the Re-Arrest of Irom Sharmila

September 1, 2014

PRESS RELEASE
Date: 29.08.2014

NEFIS STRONGLY CONDEMNS THE RE-ARRESTING OF IROM SHARMILA!
A TEAM OF POLICEWOMEN DRAG THE ACTIVIST AMIDST SCREAMING WEEPING SUPPORTERS!!

NEFIS(North East Forum for International Solidarity) strongly condemns the rearresting of Irom Sharmila last week just two days after a court ruled that she cannot be charged with attempted suicide for refusing food and water. A team of policewomen dragged the frail activist away from the tin shack that is the site of her protest. We would also like to condemn the Deputy Chief Minister of Manipur who defended the rearresting of Irom Sharmila by saying that the activist’s health was deteriorating. The truth is Irom was grabbed fiercly, dragged and thrown to the Police vehicle by a group of Police women. This is gross violation of human rights and huge disrespect to an activist who has been struggling to end violence and bring peace in the whole north east region of the country.People of Manipur across India are enraged with this blatant offence against a women and an activist who is fighting for ending the brutal law of AFSPA.

The activist is continuing her 14-year hunger strike but says it is not a fast unto death. She says she will fast till the Armed Forces Special Powers Act or AFSPA is removed from Manipur. The law gives soldiers sweeping powers to arrest or interrogate people in “disturbed areas” or states dealing with separatists or insurgents. Sharmila began her fast in November 2000, days after 10 people, including two children, were shot dead in Imphal, by Assam Rifles soldiers. Three days later, she was charged with attempt to suicide and arrested. On 22nd May, 1958, AFSPA law was promulgated for the first time by the Indian state. By denying us the right to rule of law the Indian state has kept us relegated to the status of second class citizens in the country that claims itself to be the world’s largest democracy. Indian ‘nationalists’ love to look across the border and gleefully compare the virtues of their parliamentary democracy with the succession of military juntas that have ruled over Pakistan through most of its post-independence history. Declarations of the committee appointed by the Supreme Court in April 2013 that fake encounters happened in Manipur merely affirmed facts that we have all known for very long.

We demand the immediate release of Irom Sharmila and revoking of Armed Forces Special Power Act(AFSPA).

Chinglen Khumukcham
North-East Forum for International Solidarity (NEFIS)
Contact: 7838983871 Email: nefis.delhi@gmail.com