Stop the witch-hunting of students and activists in the middle of a pandemic!

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Dear Citizens of India, 
As you know well by now, in the past months, even as the whole country grapples with a dreaded pandemic and the difficulties of a nation-wide lockdown, young people are being harassed, interrogated, detained, arrested or threatened with arrest under some of the gravest sections of the Indian penal code - worst of all the draconian - Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.

The prevailing conditions of the lockdown means that they have not been able to access lawyers!

They have missed the physical, bodily solidarity of the presence of their friends, or of their loved ones. They are alone, and occasionally terrified, of what lies in store for each of them.

Some of them are already behind bars. Others wait to be taken.
We know these men and women, we know their incredibly generous hearts, and the love they carry for the country and its people.

They have passionately worked to ensure that the constitution, it's values of secularism, peace and democratic rights are upheld and now they are being punished for that! One of the incarcerated activists, Safoora Zargar, is in the second trimester of her pregnancy, incarcerated in the middle of a pandemic with little regard for her health.
I ask you if the students and young leaders of our country will not question and dream of a land full of equality and love, then who will?

The best way to silence them is to use the lockdown and intimidate them through false charges.
They are being threatened with the provisions of the UAPA, a law that can hold people in prison without charges, without trial, on mere suspicion. The UAPA has often been used as a weapon to silence the voices of the marginalised!

We demand from the Ministry of Home Affairs to -
- Immediately withdraw all cases of UAPA,
Sedition and NSA on students and activists.
- Immediately release all political prisoners
like Meeran Haider, Safoora Zargar, Shifa-Ur-Rehman, Asif Iqbal, Sharjeel Imam, Khalid Saifi, Gulfisha, Ishrat Jahan and Dr. Kafeel Khan, Natasha, Devangana and others from prison.

Now they are using UAPA against people who have tirelessly done relief work, and worked to safeguard the harmony of the country.
It breaks our hearts to see that the police and the state are all in it together.

Each false charge will be contested in court, but the citizens of the country are our only hope.

We hope that the judicial system will remain true to its constitutional responsibilities. We believe that our friends will walk free because they are innocent of every charge leveled at them.

But we need all the help you can give. It is YOU who can help these students and leaders who have been thrown behind bars or are being intimidated each passing day!

Please sign this petition in the support of all the young activists unjustly accused at such a difficult time. While we watch with horror the painful plight of workers unfold across the country, to witness such ruthless persecution of young activists and students in the middle of such a huge crisis is unbearable. We need you to pledge your solidarity and to promise that you will raise your voice against injustice.

Let us all make a promise to be together, and to stand together with Meeran, Safoora, Shifa, Asif, Sharjeel, Khalid, Gulfisha, Ishrat, Dr. Kafeel, Natasha, Devangana and with every other young person who is being persecuted wrongfully, in the coming days.