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EU observers likely to witness Binayak Sen's trial

The European Union is reportedly sending a team to the country for Human rights activist Binayak Sen's bail hearing at the Chattisgarh High Court in Bilaspur on Monday.

india Updated: Jan 23, 2011 10:58 IST

The European Union is reportedly sending a team to the country for Human rights activist Binayak Sen's bail hearing at the Chattisgarh High Court in Bilaspur on Monday.

The Ministry of External Affairs has forwarded to the Chhatisgarh government a request from an eight-member European Union (EU) delegation that the members want to watch the proceedings in the HC in Bilaspur on January 24, according to a newspaper report.

Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh has forwarded the Centre's request to the HC, leaving it to the judiciary to take a decision whether the foreign observers be allowed to watch the proceedings.

58-yer-old Sen, Vice-President of People's Union of Civil Liberties, was convicted for sedition and sentenced to
life in prison along with Naxal ideologue Narayan Sanyal and Kolkata businessman Piyush Guha for colluding with Maoists to establish a network to fight the state.

Earlier, a top UN envoy on human rights said the world body would "see" how Indian courts deal with the case relating to Binayak Sen sentenced to life imprisonment by a Chhattisgarh court for sedition.

UN Special Rapporteur Margaret Sekaggya said the "due process" should take place while dealing with the case and the
world body was waiting to see the outcome of the appeal filed in a higher court against his sentence.

"We are waiting for the outcome of the case. We want to see how the case is going to be handled by the courts," Sekaggya, who is on 10-day fact finding mission in India about human rights violations, said here.

The comments by the UN envoy came days after the Supreme Court came down heavily on social activist Teesta Setalvad for raising the issue of post-Godhra riots of Gujarat with Geneva-based Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Sen has already challenged in Chhattisgarh High Court the life sentence given to him by the local court.

Noting that if such a case was brought to the UN and if it finds that the person concerned is a huamn rights defender, then the world body encourages the government to follow the due process and investigate the matter, the UN official said.

"The Sen issue was brought to us. We met his wife and I know that the case was going for appeal," Sekaggya said when
asked about conviction of Sen by a court in Chhattisgarh that had triggered angry reactions from fellow activists within and outside the country.