Sep 27, 2013

Nagalim: Jailed Leader To Fast For Release Of Political Prisoners


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Marking the third anniversary since his arrest by India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA), the jailed leader of NSCN-IM has announced that he will fast for three days, demanding that all political prisoners be released in order to strengthen the fragile Indo-Naga peace process.

Below is an article published by E-Pao:

Jailed NSCN-IM leader Anthony Shimray alias Ningkhan Shimray has announced today that he will fast for three days starting from September 27 marking the completion of his detention in Tihar Jail after being arrested by National Investigation Agency (NIA) from Nepal three years ago.

Also to mark the occasion, the Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR) will organise a candle light vigil at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on September 27 .

In a letter purportedly written by him, Anthony Shimray said that he will fast till September 29 demanding that all 'political prisoners' be released without conditions for the sake of strengthening the fragile peace process and to end killings and random arrest.

"Peace is a must but peace is not made through coercive policy, arrest and suppression. Arrest, imprisonment and killings do not cohere with peaceful political negotiation. It is a mockery of peace talks; it is a betrayal to one's own self," Anthony Shimray wrote.

In the letter which was released to the press by NPMHR today, the jailed NSCN-IM leader also said, "Peace requires us to stand for the integrity of who we are, not just as a group of people, a nation or race but as humans".

Meanwhile, the Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR) has expressed its serious concern over the case of Anthony Shimray who went missing on September 27, 2010 from Kathmandu's Tribhuvan International airport while flying in from Bangkok in the Royal Nepal Airlines flight number RA 402.

According to the Naga rights body, he was on his way to New Delhi to attend the peace talks between Government of India (GOI) and NSCN-IM scheduled to start on 29 September 2010. Preliminary investigations initiated by a human rights group in Nepal showed that he had filled in his Disembarkation Card giving his hotel address.

He is believed to have cleared Nepal Immigration without any problem.

After passing through Immigration, he was untraceable, the NPMHR stated.

The rights body then said that five days later, due to the mounting pressure from national and international human rights groups, the Government of India "admitted to arresting him" and on 2 October 2010 Anthony Shing's wife was informed through the NSCN secretariat in Delhi that her husband was picked up from Kathmandu airport and brought to Patna (Bihar) by the National Investigation Agency (NIA); a federal agency of Indian government to combat terrorism.

Subsequently, he has been languishing in Tihar Central Jail, New Delhi, on charges of procuring arms and waging war against the State (India), the NPMHR added.

"India is a signatory of International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, and Article 2 of the convention defines 'enforced disappearance' as the arrest, detention, abduction or any form of deprivation of liberty by agents of the State or by persons or groups of persons acting with authorization, support or acquiescence of the State, followed by a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty or by concealment of the fate or whereabouts of the disappeared person, which place the person outside the protection of law," the NPMHR stated, adding "Article 1 states: No one shall be subjected to enforced disappearance”, whereas Article 6 says "No order or instruction from any public authority, civilian, military or other, may be invoked to justify an offence of enforced disappearance".

It then said, "How Anthony went missing and is now in the Jail defies any logic and reasoning and calls for strong condemnation”.

Anthony is one of the key persons in Indo-Naga peace talks and has participated in at least seven rounds of talks held in India and outside.

His enforced disappearance, arrest and illegal detention is not only a violation of the convention and human rights but a strong deterrent to the ongoing peace process, the Naga rights body said.