HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

Amnesty slams lifer for Binayak Sen

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, December 25, 2010
First Published: 17:29 IST(25/12/2010) | Last Updated: 01:37 IST(26/12/2010)

A day after activist Binayak Sen was convicted of sedition and sentenced to life in prison, international human rights organisation Amnesty International responded with a statement that declared the sentence a "violation of international standards of fair trial" and asked the Indian government to revoke the Chhattisgarh court’s order and set Sen free.


"Life in prison is an unusually harsh sentence for anyone, much less for an internationally recognised human rights defender who has never been charged with any act of violence," said Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific director Sam Zarifi, adding that Sen was convicted under laws that were impermissibly vague and fell well short of international standards for criminal prosecution.

National Advisory Council member Aruna Roy and other RTI activists also termed the trial unfair and a miscarriage of justice. "We condemn the charges, the prosecution and the conviction as a blow to democracy," they said in a statement on Saturday.

Zarifi said instead of persecuting Sen, the state should focus more on protecting people in Naxalism-affected region from the abuses of both the Maoists and security forces.

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