Grave Abuse of Human Rights in Punjab, India
Messages Sent So Far
On February 26, 2015, Ravinder Jeet Singh, a US citizen, was arrested in Ludhiana, Punjab (India) along with his father, Surat Singh, an 82-year-old human rights activist on hunger strike for prisoners' rights in India. Ravinder Jeet was merely accompanying his father at a hospital in Ludhiana (Punjab, India) when they were both arrested. Ravinder Jeet Singh has been in police detention since, while Surat Singh is in isolation in a hospital, being force fed by the police. The People's Union for Civil Liberties, India's largest civil liberties organization, akin to the American Civil Liberties Union, has issued a statement condemning the treatment of both men. (1)
Since the 1980s, human rights groups such as Human Rights Watch have documented the Indian Government's widespread practice of illegal arrests, unlawful prolongations of detentions, and widespread employments of torture. (2)
In addition to humiliation and mistreatment in police custody, Ravinder Jeet's case is being purposely delayed, while his father, Surat Singh has been confined to his hospital bed and under strict surveillance of the police. Surat Singh also is being force fed through a pipe stitched onto his forehead, which has now become severely infected. Family members are being curtailed from visiting both father and son.
We request the United States Government to intervene and ensure that the rights of a US citizen and family man are protected.Ravinder Jeet has no criminal history. He was simply looking after his father, and is now facing fabricated charges. Considering Ravinder Jeet's father to be in critical health, Ravinder Jeet should be released and allowed to be with his father during what may be his last days.
* Ravinder Jeet Singh is the son of California-based human rights activist, Mr. Surat Singh, who is a US Permanent Resident.
* Witnessing the human rights violations of political prisoners in India, Mr. Surat Singh started a peaceful hunger strike on January 16, 2015 in India.
* On February 26, 300 policemen stormed the emergency ward of the Ludhiana Civil Hospital and arrested Ravinder Jeet and Surat Singh. Ravinder Jeet was taken into custody, while Surat Singh has been detained at the hospital.
* Surat Singh has been physically abused, humiliated and force-fed by the police.
* Food pipes were stitched to the forehead of Mr. Surat Singh, without anesthesia, and have led to severe infection.
* Ravinder Jeet's case is yet to be heard in the court, despite the intervention of the US embassy in New Delhi.
Attention from the United States Government can ensure that Ravinder Jeet Singh receives due process and is released from detention, so that he is able to look after his father and then return to his family in California safely. Peaceful protest is a fundamental right of all citizens, enshrined in U.S. as well as Indian law.
President Barack Obama's concerns around minority rights, expressed during his speech on January 26, 2015, in India, (3) are once again relevant in the situation of the trampling of the basic rights of the minority Sikh community in India.
1 http://m.thehindu.com/news/national/pucl-slams-punjab-for-inhuman-treatment-of-activist/article7046458.ece/; http://www.countercurrents.org/pucl280315.htm
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