EU leader seeks Sharmila release

K Sarojkumar Sharma | TNN

Irom Sharmila Chanu in a 2007 photo

Imphal: Keith Taylor, a Green Party member of the European Parliament, South East England, has written to Indian authorities, seeking the release of Irom Sharmila Chanu, who is on a decade-old hunger strike, and repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act.

Demanding repeal of the controversial Act, Sharmila has been fasting since November 5, 2000 — three days after Assam Rifles gunned down 10 civilians at Malom village in Imphal West. She is being forced-fed through her nose by security personnel at the state-run Jawaharlal Nehru Hospital near her Kongpal Kongpal Leikai residence in Imphal East.

“She (Sharmila) was charged with attempting to commit suicide despite the fact that hunger strike, according to the World Medical Association, is not equivalent to suicide as those who embark on hunger strike generally hope and intend to survive,” Keith said.

His letters (dated November 8 ) to P Chidambaram, A K Antony and Manipur chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh said Sharmila had never been brought to trial but had been detained, forced fed and re-arrested many times.

“I urge the government of Manipur to release Sharmila and withdraw the criminal proceedings of attempting to commit suicide,” Keith said in his letters, copies of which are made available by Imphal-based Human Rights Alert.

The hunger strike is in protest against AFSPA, which Amnesty International says provides impunity to perpetrators of serious human rights violations, including extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances, rape and torture.

Keith said the statute also violates human rights law, including the right to life, right to remedy and the right to be free from arbitrary deprivation of liberty, all of which “India has signed”. “I, therefore, request the government to repeal AFSPA in line with its commitment to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,” said the Green Party member of European Parliament.

On November 9, Sharmila had ridiculed politicians on their failure to scrap the Army Act, saying they should understand they are people’s representatives. “They (politicians) have not taken my 10-year struggle and the people’s movement seriously. It’s quite shameful on their part,” she said, adding that though the Army was aiding civil administration in Manipur, they held the upper hand by using excessive powers.

Courtesy: The Times of India

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5 Responses to “EU leader seeks Sharmila release”

  1. A K Bairagi 29 November 2010 at 7:40 AM #

    Sharmila ke abilambe chhere deoa hok. Samosto Nort-East India theke AFSPA act tule neoa hok.

    Barak-Hussain_Obama—-Doing Nothing ____Getting one Nobble

    Sharmila-Chanu—–Fasting 10 years for peace—–no Nobble

    Shame Shame Nobble Committee

    Shame Shame Indian Govt.

  2. rationalistbiplab 29 November 2010 at 5:35 PM #

    why ibobi can not understand that public opinion is agianst him.

  3. Profile photo of Sumitra Padmanabhan
    Kakoli Sarkar 30 November 2010 at 10:23 AM #

    It is a pity that few Indians know Sharmila’s name. And it is a shame that such people with their courage, tenacity, purpose and just demand are totally ignored by state– thanks to yopur site.

  4. rationalistbiplab 30 November 2010 at 6:09 PM #

    yor are right. he is the musk and our home minister is behind the musk.

  5. nakul dutta 10 June 2011 at 6:24 PM #

    by reading sharmila’s story I must surprise if we are in a position to call ourselves democratic country.


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