The death of an 84-year-old Jesuit Priest and tribal rights activist Father Stan Swamy triggered anger in the minds of the people. He was incarcerated under draconian anti-terror law UAPA in connection with the Elgar Parishad case.
Furthermore, the social media flooded with messages from human rights representatives, politicians and intellectuals. Condolences started pouring including messages of Congress leaders including Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.
Heartfelt condolences on the passing of Father Stan Swamy.
He deserved justice and humaneness.
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) July 5, 2021
फादर स्टैन स्वामी को विनम्र श्रद्धांजलि।
कितना दुर्भाग्यपूर्ण है कि एक व्यक्ति जिसने जीवन भर गरीबों-आदिवासियों की सेवा की और मानव अधिकारों की आवाज बना, उन्हें मृत्यु की घड़ी में भी न्याय एवं मानव अधिकारों से वंचित रखा गया।#StanSwamy
— Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (@priyankagandhi) July 5, 2021
Mary Lawlor, a United Nations Special Rapporteur for human rights defenders, and Eamon Gilmore, the European Union’s Special Representative for Human Rights were among those who spoke out on Swamy’s death.
Ms. Lawlor, attached a link to YouTube video and tweeted “The news from India today is devastating. Human Rights Defender and Jesuit priest Father Stan Swamy died in custody, nine months after his arrest on false charges of terrorism. Jailing HRD’s is inexcusable”.
The news from #India today is devastating. Human Rights Defender & Jesuit priest Fr Stan Swamy has died in custody, nine months after his arrest on false charges of terrorism. Jailing HRDs is inexcusable. He explains his work here: https://t.co/kKPhM6IaHu pic.twitter.com/YoEpst0ol2
— Mary Lawlor UN Special Rapporteur HRDs (@MaryLawlorhrds) July 5, 2021
Mr. Gilmore retweeted Ms. Lawlor’s tweet and said, India: I am saddened to hear that Father Stan Swamy has passed away. A defender of indigenous peoples’ rights. He was held in detention for the past 9 months. The EU had been raising his case repeatedly with authorities.
India: I am very saddened to hear that Fr #StanSwamy has passed away. A defender of indigenous peoples’ rights. He was held in detention for the past 9 months. The EU had been raising his case repeatedly with authorities. https://t.co/DNpNa1r8cq
— Eamon Gilmore (@EamonGilmore) July 5, 2021
United Nation’s Human Rights
Earlier in Jan, the United Nation’s Human Rights office in Switzerland expressed serious concern over the condition of Stan Swamy and other human rights activists in India. Though UN did not name anyone of them, still it expressed concern regularly.
UN said “We continue to be concerned about the situation of activists detained in India, including in the context of the Bhima Koregoan events”.
They were occasions where the UN urged the govt. to release some of the detainees, especially the elderly and in poor health” as they await trial.
Jharkhand Chief Minister
Meanwhile, the Chief Ministers of Jharkhand and Kerala, Hemant Soren and Pinarayi Vijayan respectively posted condolence messages on Stan Swamy’s death.
Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren, in whose state the Jesuit Priest worked for the tribal communities for over five decades, held the union government responsible for stan swamy death.
Shocked to learn about the demise of Father Stan Swamy. He dedicated his life working for tribal rights. I had strongly opposed his arrest & incarceration. The Union Govt should be answerable for absolute apathy & non provision of timely medical services, leading to his death.
— Hemant Soren (@HemantSorenJMM) July 5, 2021
Mr. Soren said: “Shocked to learn about the demise of Father Stan Swamy. He dedicated his life working for tribal rights. I had strongly opposed his arrest and incarceration.
The Union government should be answerable for absolute apathy and non provision of timely medical services, leading to his death”.