Jesuit Missions repeats call to clear Indian priest’s name

July 3, 2024

Jesuit Missions has once again written to the Indian High Commission as part of its campaign to clear the name of the late human rights’ advocate and Jesuit priest Fr Stan Swamy.

Br Stephen Power SJ, Chairman of Jesuit Missions’ Management Board, sent a letter to Vikram Doraiswami, High Commissioner of India to the UK, yesterday (July 2) requesting a meeting to discuss the subject of Fr Stan’s imprisonment and death.

Fr Stan – alongside 15 other human rights’ defenders – was arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in 2020, having been accused of inciting caste-based violence in Bhima Koregaon and neighbouring villages in Maharashtra state, India, some years earlier.

He died in custody aged 84 on 5 July 2021, suffering from Parkinson’s disease and having contracted Covid-19.

In his letter, Br Stephen noted: “Jesuits around the world are eager to clear Fr Stan’s name and achieve the liberty of others still wrongly imprisoned.”

Jesuit Missions has engaged in a long-running campaign to secure justice for Fr Stan, demonstrating against his jailing and, following his death, urging the High Commission to absolve him on two further occasions in 2021 and 2023.

It is hosting an event at the London Jesuit Centre on Monday (July 8) that looks at Fr Stan’s story.

Professor Alpa Shah from the London School of Economics will give a talk on her latest book, The Incarcerations: BK-16 and the Search for Democracy in India, which examines the cases of those unfairly accused of working against the Indian state.

It follows a 6pm mass at Farm Street Church, which will be offered to Fr Stan’s memory.

Details of the 8 July event

Visit www.eventbrite.com/e/the-search-for-democracy-in-india-tickets-927736182897

For any enquiries or for more information, contact Adam Shaw, Media and Communications Officer at Jesuit Missions, on adam@jesuitmissions.org.uk

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