Drop all charges against Lois Sofia
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We, the undersigned, condemn Lois Sofia’s arrest and subsequent unconstitutional remand by the judicial magistrate for raising the slogan, “Fascist BJP government, down, down” on a flight at the Tuticorin airport on 3rd September 2018. We condemn the persecution of Lois and her family by the President of the BJP state unit of Tamil Nadu, Tamilisai Soundararajan, her cadre, and the Pudukottai police.
The Pudokottai police registered an FIR against Lois under sections 209 of the Indian Penal Code pertaining to actions causing “public nuisance” and section 75(1)(c) of the T.N. Police Act that relates to disorderly behaviour that may “cause a breach of public peace”. As evidenced by the lack of any complaint (formal or informal) from the crew members or other passengers on the plane, Lois’ actions were not injurious to public peace or safety. Her actions did not constitute any threat or personal attack against Tamilisai Soundararajan, other passengers on the aircraft or any person in the airport. It is also clear that there was no threat to the operation of the aircraft, as the plane had already landed.
It is undeniable that Lois had the constitutional right to voice her opinion about the BJP government. Debating the content of her statement only detracts from the more important issue of powerful individuals misusing state institutions to suppress criticism and dissent.
We, therefore, demand an immediate revocation of the charges against Lois Sofia along with an end to the tactics of intimidation used by the T.N. BJP unit to threaten Lois Sofia and her family.
We unequivocally condemn Tamilisai Soundarajan’s malicious proclamation to the media that Lois Sofia has “Terrorist connections”.
We urge the Thootukudi police to register an FIR against the
state BJP president Tamilisai Soundararajan for threatening violence, and intimidating Lois Sofia and her family.
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