Thursday, March 30, 2017

Professor GN Saibaba : Letter from Lidia Sendra and Fabio de Masi to Federica Mogherini of European Commission

Lidia Senra, member of the European Parliament from Galician Left Alternative (GLE) and Fabio de Masi member of the European Parliament from Die Linke, send a letter to the European Commission about the situation of Professor GN Saibaba

Open Letter

To the attention of the VP / AR Federica Mogherini:

On February 29, 2016, I sent you a written question E-001822-16 about the situation of imprisonment that Professor GN Saibaba was suffering in India, to which you replied that the EU "The EU has been closely following cases of human rights defenders arrested in India, including the cases of professor Saibaba, accused of having links with Naxal militants, and of Ms. Arundathi Roy, accused of contempt of court for her article defending the cause of Professor Saibaba.

The EU Delegation in New Delhi has made appeals on humanitarian grounds with the National Human Rights Commission.

The EU attaches great importance to the issues at stake, most importantly to the freedom of expression, the right to a fair trial and the rights of human rights defenders. These issues are also addressed at the EU-India human rights dialogue.”

On March 7, 2017, Professor GN Saibaba has been condemned to life imprisonment with five other activists, all of whom have reported torture under police custody. The accusation is based on carrying out "illegal activities" under a draconian law called UAPA, denounced by all human rights organizations in India and internationally as a law that aim to prevent the exercise of freedom of expression and conscience.

Professor GN Saibaba, as you may know, has a 90% physical disability, aggravated in recent months with acute pancreatitis, and he was recommended the removal of his gallbladder.

Because of this, this life imprisonment sentence is actually a death sentence for this professor, who has done nothing but defend the rights of the Adivasis and Dalits people with words, as well as denounce the counterinsurgency strategy "Operation Green Hunt”.

We are addressing you to ask the European Commission to adopt necessary measures to prevent GN Saibaba imprisonment, and call for all legal guarantees to be respected under the highest human rights standards for him and the rest of prosecuted people.

If this does not happen, and in line with the human rights advocacy that EU is committed to, we think it would be timely to halt all EU agreements with India.


Lidia Sendra - Galician Left Alternative

Fabio de Masi- Die Linke

Note About GN Saibaba - The Man from Democracy and Class Struggle

Born in Andhra's Amalapuram in 1967, Saibaba's known poverty first-hand. "He didn't have electricity at home," says his wife, "He got a wheelchair after coming to Delhi in 2003.

Before that, movement was by crawling." His father grew rice on his three-acres but by the time Saibaba was 10, he'd lost that to money-lenders. 

A consistently stellar performance in class ensured scholarships throughout. But the fee for his entrance test for master's in Hyderabad was paid by his wife, then girlfriend. 

He met Vasantha at a coaching class and they fell in love over grade 10 maths homework. The duo "exhausted" the literature section of the Amalapuram library. "My interest in politics is through literature." He read Gurujada Apparao (1862-1915) and Sri Sri (1910-1983) and "revolutionary literature in Telugu." His favourite author is Kenyan Ngugi Wa Thiong'o whom he met at a seminar. 

Saibaba finished at SKBR College at the top of the university. Vasantha funded the trip to Hyderabad and a new set of experiences - he left Amalapuram and saw a train for the first time. 

Later, as an activist of the All India People's Resistance Forum (AIPRF), he travelled over 200,000 km to speak in support of liberation movements in Kashmir and the north east and campaign for dalit and adivasi rights.

Saibaba cut his political teeth with the Radical Students' Union during his MA-MPhil days. "My political life began with the Mandal Commission and the fight for reservation." Vasantha joined him in Hyderabad. 

They married in March, 1991. "RSU organized a public meeting on man-woman relationship," says Saibaba. 

The couple laughs at the odd way of solemnizing their nuptials, "We spent Rs 832 including registration." Till after their daughter's birth, Saibaba was practically a full-time activist with AIPRF. He abandoned his PhD; Vasantha joined a women's organization.

In Delhi, he returned to academics. He taught at Sri Venkateswara for three months in 2003 before moving to RLA. 

In 2005, AIPRF evolved into the Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF) -- accused of being a Maoist front. "We have an ideological understanding," says Saibaba, "But no organizational linkages.

" RDF's members have been arrested before and it was banned in Andhra. In Delhi, Saibaba organized fact-finding missions to Jharkhand, Kashmir, Assam and Manipur and completed his PhD.