Monday, September 8, 2014
Solidarity Statement: Demanding Immediate Release of Salman
The media too automatically reiterated the police version in their reports, without attempting to investigate into the case, in spite of the fact that police injustice towards Muslim youth is growing day by day. Further, we want to bring attention to the fact that vigilante right-wing hindutva groups are at present conducting an extremely abusive hate campaign against Salman on Facebook. The abusive comments on his Facebook wall have become so vicious that some even threaten to rape the women who are in support of him.
We strongly condemn the arrest and inhumane treatment of Salman Zalman at the hands of the Kerala police and call for his immediate release. We consider the charging of IPC 124 A (sedition) on him as a gross over stretching of the sedition act to encroach into the rights of a citizen to criticize the nation.We also condemn the abusive campaign that is being conducted on Facebook against him and the discriminatory nature of the media reporting, which is aiding such human right abuses.
It must also be noted that whatever the nature of the crime, the withdrawal of constitutionally established human rights is extremely problematic and illegal. We would surely connect the arrest and incarceration of Salman to the way in which Muslim youth in Kerala and elsewhere are being constantly oppressed by the criminal justice system (please remember the case of Muhsin, another trivandramite youth fabricated in a “letter bomb” case from which he was acquitted only after seven years). To avoid such illegal incarceration and delayed justice we demand that he should be allowed to use his fair legal rights as promised by the constitution.
His arrest is all the more troublesome because he was a student who has been a part of many human rights campaigns in the past and was even an artist in the play that was held in protest against UAPA in front of the Secretariat on August 14th. His clandestine arrest and subsequent secret incarceration and denial of legal access for a whole day and night reeks of police impunity, which selectively target the youth who question state ideology. We must remember that, at this moment, it has become a norm to first arrest, torture and incarcerate Muslims before allowing them to seek any kind of justice. This is sheer discrimination and we urge everyone to come together to condemn the arrest of Salman and to demand his immediate release.
Endorsed by: (click link for list of signatories)