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Dr Binayak Sen’s Conviction And Life Sentence Mock Justice
The life sentence handed down against Dr Binayak Sen by a court in the India state of Chhattisgarh violates international fair trial standards and is likely to enflame tensions in the conflict-affected area, Amnesty International said today.
Dr Binayak Sen was convicted of sedition and conspiracy under the Chhattisgarh Special Public Safety Act, 2005, and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 2004. India’s central government has acknowledged that the intensifying armed conflict with the Maoists in central India is a reflection of serious inequities and a history of human rights violations in the area. Amnesty International believes that the charges against Dr Sen are baseless and politically motivated; Dr Binyak Sen is a pioneer of health care to marginalized and indigenous communities in Chhattisgarh, where the state police and armed Maoists have been engaged in clashes over the last seven years. He has reported on unlawful killings of Adivasis (Indigenous People) by the police and by Salwa Judum, a private militia widely held to be sponsored by the state authorities to fight the armed Maoists. Love and serve the poor. That is the crime Dr. Binayak Sen is guilty of. Dirt, disease, starvation and poverty filled districts of Chhattisgarh. The wretched place cries, it shrieks for attention. And as an individual, Dr. Sen dedicated the best part of his life giving precisely that. Attention and care. Indeed, like Christ, Dr. Sen was a healer. (Editor)