Stan Swamy SJ is an 83-year-old Jesuit and human rights defender in India who has been arrested on false charges of involvement with extremist groups. We demand his release.
Fr Swamy has worked with marginalised groups for more than 50 years, and has particularly focused on defending and protecting the rights of Adivasi (indigenous) communities as enshrined in the Indian Constitution.
He has always called for justice and exposed the large-scale abuse of power against the Adivasi through the use of anti-terrorism and sedition laws and the appropriation of land without due process of law. Swamy has also documented and published the suffering of hundreds of young Adivasi, who were falsely implicated and imprisoned for exercising their right to defend their livelihoods.
After his arrest at his home in Ranchi, the National Investigation Agency(NIA) brought Swamy to Mumbai where they questioned him about the Elgar Parishad event that preceded violence between Dalits and Marathas at Bhima Koregaon near Pune on 31 December 2017. The NIA falsely accused him of having personal links with banned extremist groups of Maoists and Naxalites.
Fr Swamy who, according to BBC News, is the oldest person in India to have been arrested on such charges is also in poor health.
As a Jesuit organisation that is concerned with advocating for poor and vulnerable communities, the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice stands in solidarity with Fr Swamy and other human rights defenders in India. We strongly condemn his arrest and demand his immediate release.
How You Can Help
We are asking you to help to raise awareness of Fr Swamy’s arrest, by sharing his story on your social channels with the hashtag #StandWithStan #ReleaseStanSwamy
Ask your contacts to sign the petition to release Fr Swamy
Contact the Department of Foreign Affairs to ask Minister Coveney to make urgent representation to the Indian State for the release of Stan Swamy.