Release Rights Activists Immediately and Unconditionally

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This is an appeal, to all the citizens of India, who believe in the idea of democracy, who want to cherish the rights granted by the constitution, to come forward and condemn, in the strongest possible manner, the State's systematic suppression of dissent and the shrinking space for contesting injustice. Let us demand that the government stop its vendetta against human rights defenders, and recognise the value of dissent in a vibrant democracy.

The arrests made by the Pune Police are arbitrary, illegal, and against the orders of the Hon'ble High Court. The arrested five are highly educated individuals who chose to work and fight for the downtrodden.

One of the detainees, Sudha Bharadwaj, is an American born lawyer, who returned to India to work for the neglected communities in the tribal regions of Chhattisgarh. She is the General Secretary of the Peoples' Union for Civil Liberties, Chhattisgarh, a visiting faculty at the National Judicial Academy, a member of the governing body of the Chhattisgarh State Legal Services Authority, and a renowned lawyer at the High Court of Chhattisgarh. So are the other detainees who are prominent in the Civil Liberties and Human Rights movements across the country.

This act is a blatant suppression of dissenting voices and is a grave threat to the foundations of our democracy and the constitution. Come forward to oppose this and make your voice heard.