Take Action for Human Rights Defenders in India

Thursday, November 7, 2013

On October 2, without any provocation or warning, Indian police commandos showed up at Jiten Yumnam’s doorstep demanding his appearance at headquarters for questioning. The young activist has spent years rallying opposition to destructive dams and other projects to protect the rights of indigenous communities in the northeastern state of Manipur.

The next day, Jiten voluntarily went to the police complex. His family feared the worst – they remembered the summer of 2009 when police commandos forcibly arrested Jiten, tortured him with electric shocks on the day of his arrest, and then arbitrarily detained him for four months.

“We must take all necessary measures to guarantee that human rights defenders are able to carry out their legitimate activities without the threat of harassment, torture and death,” says Jitin.

This time around the police were guarded in their approach; he was neither threatened nor abused. But his continued surveillance is meant to scare him and other activists into giving up their struggle for human rights.

Please take action today in solidarity with Jiten and other human rights defenders in India. Demand an end to harassment and intimidation at the hands of the government, and remind the Manipur state government of their legal responsibility to respect the rights of indigenous people, abide by international laws, and consult indigenous people about projects that affect them.