India: Statement of Solidarity with Human Rights Defenders Teesta Setalvad and Javed Anand


As international networks and organisations concerned with equality between all citizens before the law, standing for secularism as prevention of communalism, we are closely following and monitoring the case against human rights defenders Teesta Setalvad and husband Javed Anand in India.

We noted with great concern that it is not the first allegation made against them in the past few years, in the vain hope, it seems, to stop them from asking the right questions to government after the 2002 Gujarat massacre, pursuing accountability of Hindu-right organizations and persons for communal violence and religious-ethnic cleansing, and standing for the victims and survivors. Teesta Setalvad filed 68 court cases on their behalf.

Having closely followed their work for a long time, even prior to the 2002 massacres , we know their personal integrity and have no doubt that, just like with previous false allegations made against them, the  present allegation will also been discarded as fabricated in the court of law.

However, we noted the swiftness with which the police came to arrest them, as soon as they saw a legal opportunity to do so. We are therefore concerned with their safety. Attempting to arrest them for interrogation – on accusations of misuse of funds! – simply amounts to harassment and intimidation of these rights defenders.

Moreover, their accounts have been frozen for more than 8 months, making their human rights work on behalf of the Gujarat victims and survivors more and more difficult to sustain, as well as their own legal defence. This seems like a deliberate attempt by the BJP government of Gujarat to silence these defenders.

We will be making sure that the case is being watched internationally. Several international networks have been alerted, and the relevant UN Special Rapporteurs are being approached to ensure their security as human rights defenders.


In solidarity

Secularism Is a Women’s Issue

Women Living Under Muslim Laws

One Law For All

Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain

Fitnah –- Movement for Women’s Liberation

Equal Rights Now –- Organisation against Women’s Discrimination in Iran

Bread and Roses TV