UN, EU human rights officials condemn Stan Swamy’s death
- The special representative for human rights from the European Union, Eamon Gilmore echoed similar sentiment and said that the European Union raised his case repeatedly with authorities.
Human rights officials from the European Union and United Nations called the death of Jesuit priest and activist Stan Swamy on Tuesday. They said Swamy was a defender of indigenous people’s rights in India and was ‘falsely imprisoned’ according to a report by news agency PTI.
“The news from India today is devastating. Human Rights Defender and Jesuit priest Fr. Stan Swamy has died in custody, nine months after his arrest on false charges of terrorism. Jailing human rights defenders is inexcusable,” Mary Lawlor was quoted as saying by the news agency. Lawlor, who is the special rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders for the United Nations, had earlier expressed her concerns regarding the health condition of Stan Swamy. She had also sought possible specialist treatment for him while describing the charges levelled against him as ‘unfounded’.
The special representative for human rights from the European Union, Eamon Gilmore echoed similar sentiment and said that the European Union raised his case repeatedly with authorities. “I am very saddened to hear that Fr #StanSwamy has passed away. A defender of indigenous peoples’ rights. He was held in detention for the past 9 months. The EU had been raising his case repeatedly with authorities,” Gilmore said via a tweet where he had also tagged Lawlor’s tweet.
Swamy who was arrested for creating unrest in 2020 for in connection with the Elgar Parishad case and lodged at the Taloja Central Jail in Navi Mumbai. The authorities claim that the priest made inflammatory speeches made at a conclave held in Pune on December 31, 2017, by the Elgar Parishad near the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial following which violent clashes were triggered. Swamy died while waiting for his bail to be cleared. Investigative agencies also allege that the conclave was held by people with Maoist links.
Swamy died at Mumbai’s Holy Family Hospital on Monday, a day after he suffered a cardiac arrest. Swamy also suffered from Parkinson's disease and several other ailments and was put on ventilator support. He had also tested positive for Covid-19.