NEW DELHI—Dr. Kafeel Khan has thanked the European Parliament for taking up the issue of release of human rights activists arrested for protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC).
A former assistant professor in UP’s BRD Medical College and suspended twice by the UP government, Dr. Khan sent the thanksgiving letter to Marea Arena of the Sub-Committee on Human Rights, European Parliament. The letter was sent on October 13.
Stating that the appeal of the European Parliament had no effect on the Government of India, he said that many human rights defenders including Umar Khalid, Prashant Kanojia, Akhil Gogoi, Anand Teltumbde, Gautam Navalakha, Khalid Saifi, Meeran Haider, Stan Swamy, Sharjeel Imam and hundreds of others were still incarcerated behind bars.
He said, “Authorities continue invoking counter-terrorism and national security legislation using procedural powers against these human right defenders for raising issues which would affect India’s poorest and most marginalized community, violating international human right standards”.
Dr. Khan also brought to notice of the EU authorities as to how he was allegedly “tortured mentally as well as physically, denied food and water for many days, and treated inhumanly” during his 7 months of incarceration in a congested, overcrowded Mathura prison.
“Fortunately, I got my NSA and all 3 extensions quashed by Honourable High Court-Uttar Pradesh-India which called the whole process illegal”, Dr. Khan said in the letter.
He added, “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”.