June 23, 2024

Stop Silencing Dissenting Voices

THE All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA) has, in a statement issued on June 17, condemned the Delhi Lieutenant Governor's decision to sanction the prosecution of author-activist Arundhati Roy and Professor Showkat Hussain. The action is based on a 14-year-old FIR, which AIDWA describes as a vindictive and repressive attempt to silence dissenting voices. The association stated that this move is outrageous and unacceptable.

AIDWA vehemently opposes the use of stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) charges against Roy and Hussain, and stands in solidarity with them and all activists fighting for people's rights. The organisation reiterated its long-standing demand for the repeal of the UAPA, calling it unconstitutional and draconian.

In a related statement issued on June 15, 2024, the Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust (SAHMAT) also condemned the prosecution sanction under the UAPA. SAHMAT criticised the action as vindictive, noting that it follows closely on the heels of the recent election results and undermines the right to freedom of speech. SAHMAT expressed its support for Roy and Hussain and urged all democratic-minded individuals to protest against this action.

The statements highlight the use of outdated charges and stringent laws to target activists and suppress dissenting opinions.