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REPUBLIC OF INDIA:
ACTIVIST WITH DISABILITIES HEALTH DETERIORATES

Update info:
26 Apr 2018
Country:
REPUBLIC OF INDIA
Subject:
G N Saibaba
Gender: m
Period:
16 May 2018
Distribution date:
26 Apr 2018
UA No:
131/2014

Activist and teacher, G N Saibaba, who is paralysed, continues to be denied access to adequate medical treatment in Nagpur Central Jail despite pleas of intervention from his family. Convicted under a draconian anti-terror law on 7 March 2017, his life remains under threat if he is not provided immediate and adequate access to medical care. 

G N Saibaba is an activist and academic who has routinely spoken out against human rights abuses against Adivasis in the mineral rich belt of central India. He was first denied medical care in May 2014 when he was detained by the Maharashtra police for his alleged links with the banned Communist Party of India (CPI. Maoist). In March 2016, the Supreme Court of India granted him bail on medical grounds after his health deteriorated. According to media reports, the court said the Maharashtra government had been “extremely unfair to the accused, especially considering his health”. 

G N Saibaba was convicted of offences including "unlawful activities" and “membership of a terrorist organization”, and sentenced to life imprisonment on 7 March 2017. His conviction was primarily based on photographs, documents and videos, which the police say they found in G N Saibaba's home and which the court ruled was evidence that he was a member of a front organization of the CPI. Amnesty International believes that the charges against G N Saibaba are fabricated and that his trial did not meet international fair trial standards.

G N Saibaba has post-polio paralysis in both his legs and requires the use of a wheelchair. He has been diagnosed with acute pancreatitis, a spinal disorder that compromises the use of his left shoulder and hand. Following his arrest and detention at the Nagpur Central Jail in Maharashtra, his condition has considerably worsened. His wife reported that he is in acute pain and has fallen unconscious in his cell three times since his conviction. In a recent letter, he mentioned that even writing the letter was a painful task that he managed to complete with great difficulty. 

Jail authorities have failed to provide necessary health updates to G N Saibaba’s family despite repeated requests for information. 

G N Saibaba was taken on a hospital visit on 2 April 2018 by the prison authorities. No information about the visit has been given to his wife, who has been prevented from meeting him and his doctor. On 27 March, his wife appealed to the National Human Rights Commission to investigate G N Saibaba’s health and to transfer him to a jail in another city, where hospitals are better equipped and he will have the support of his family. 

Take action

Please write immediately in English or your own language, urging authorities to:

  • Commute G N Saibaba’s sentence and release him immediately;
  • Pending his release, in consultation and agreement with G N Saibaba and his family, grant him prompt, regular and unrestricted access to medical care on request or as necessary; 
  • Ensure G N Saibaba is protected from torture and other ill-treatment while in detention, and that he is allowed, without delay, regular access to his family and lawyer.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 16 MAY 2018 TO:
Minister of Home Affairs
Rajnath Singh
17 Akbar Road
New Delhi 110001
Fax: +91 11 2301 4184
Email: 17akbarroad@gmail.com
Salutation: Dear Minister

Jail Superintendent, Nagpur Central Jail, 
Rani Ram Bhonsle
Wardha Road, Dhantoli, Nagpur, Maharashtra 440012
Fax: +91 0712 246 1413
Email: nagpp.utcp-mh@gov.in
Salutation: Dear Madam

And copies to:
Focal Point for HRDs 
Srinivasa Kammath 
National Human Rights Commission Block-C, GPO Complex,
INA New Delhi, India, PIN: 110023 
Tel: +91 11 2465 1330 
Email: hrd-nhrc@nic.in

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.

Further information on UA: 131/14 Index: ASA 20/8167/2018 Issue Date: 6 April 2018