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Dr Kafeel Khan writes to UN experts, urges Centre to 'release human rights defenders'

Dr Kafeel Khan has written to United Nations human rights experts in reference to their letter dated June 26, 2020, urging the Indian government to immediately release human rights defenders.

ANI | New Delhi | Updated: 20-09-2020 18:05 IST | Created: 20-09-2020 18:05 IST
Dr Kafeel Khan writes to UN experts, urges Centre to 'release human rights defenders'
Dr Kafeel Khan (File Photo/ANI) . Image Credit: ANI

Dr Kafeel Khan has written to United Nations human rights experts in reference to their letter dated June 26, 2020, urging the Indian government to immediately release human rights defenders. He stated that the use of stringent national security laws/UAPA against political dissenters, in the absence of any appeal to violence, is something to be condemned in all cases.

He assured his sanctification, devotion, and determination towards serving his countrymen would continue regardless of the obstacles. "I was tortured mentally as well as physically, denied food and water for many days, and treated inhumanly during my seven months of incarceration in a congested, overcrowded Mathura prison. Fortunately, I got my NSA and all three extensions quashed by the High Court Uttar Pradesh, India which called the whole process illegal. While dropping NSA charges against me, the Chief Justice observed: Dr Kafeel Khan's speech at AMU, Aligarh, UP, India does not disclose any effort to promote hatred or violence. It also nowhere threatens the peace and tranquillity of the city of Aligarh. The address gives a call for national integrity and unity among the citizens. The speech also deprecates any kind of violence," he stated.

It appears that the District Magistrate Aligarh, UP, India selectively read and mentioned a few phrases from the speech, ignoring its true intent. Our anxiety is to assess as to whether a reasonable man could have concluded as arrived by the District Magistrate, Aligarh? Prima facie, the speech is not such that a reasonable man could have concluded the inference drawn by the District Magistrate, Aligarh," the letter further read. "....we are having no hesitation in concluding that neither detention of Dr Kafeel Khan under National Security Act, 1980 nor extensions of the detention are sustainable in the eye of the law," the letter stated.

"The extension of the period of detention of Dr Kafeel Khan is also declared illegal," he added. The letter further stated, I thank you all very much for supporting our cause and standing in solidarity with us in this most tumultuous, roller-coaster phase and would appeal to continue raising our plight as many human rights defenders/social activists/ students are continue to be detained.

Dr Khan was charged under the National Security Act for his alleged inflammatory statements at the Aligarh Muslim University during a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). Khan was arrested by the Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force in January from Mumbai after he allegedly made inflammatory statements at the Aligarh Muslim University during a protest against the CAA on December 12, 2019.

He was on February 14, 2020, charged under the National Security Act. (ANI)


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