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The World Is Watching: More than 200 International Personalities signed statement to free Umar Khalid and others

An open statement flowing on social media, signed by international personalities demands for freeing Umar Khalid and Others. Here are all the important updates about the statement

Noam Chomsky, Angela Davis, Jan Breman, Achille Mbembe, David Hardiman, Rajmohan Gandhi, Salman Rushdie, P Sainath, Arundhati Roy, Cornel West, GG Parekh, Admiral Ramdas, Sir Richard Jolly, Partha Chatterjee, Irfan Habib, have been among the many who have signed a statement demanding the release of Umar Khalid and others in the recent updates on the charges imposed on protesters against CAA-NRC for inciting violence during the Delhi Riots. On 14th September, Umar Khalid was arrested and a 17,500-page charge sheet was filed against 15 protestors, accused of propagating violence during riots in the national capital in February this year.

The statement entitled “International Statement of Solidarity with Brave Young Defenders of India’s Constitution, Free Umar Khalid and Others”, starts with “As International Community of students, artists, filmmakers, teachers, scholars etc, we have watched with alarm, the events unfolding in India. We stand in solidarity and outrage, with the brave, young scholar-activist, Umar Khalid…who was arrested on September 14 under India’s stringent anti-terror law and the UAPA.” The statement is still ongoing and until now, around 200 internationally acclaimed personalities have signed it already.

Here is the full statement which was updated on the Instagram page @free.umarkhalid 

With the subject, “International Statement of Solidarity with Umar Khalid and other incarcerated democratic voices in India.”, the statement at length asks what was Umar Khalid’s crime and talks about the speech of Umar Khalid for which he has been booked under UAPA. The statement also write other names too as follows –

Read more: 5 Songs by Modern Artists that strengthen the voice of dissent

Taken from the statement –

“Read the names: Ishrat Jahan, Gulfisha Fatima, Sharjeel Imam, Khalid Saifi, Safoora Zargar,  Meeran Haider, Asif Iqbal Tanha, Athar Khan, Umar Khalid, Natasha Narwal, Devangana Kalita and 10 others. The two non-Muslims, Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal are fiery young feminists, who fought for the rights of women students in India’s male-dominated campuses; against a malsculinist state that cannot abide their fearlessness. Safoora Zargar arrested when 3 months pregnant, heartlessly kept for 2 months in a crowded prison during the COVID 19 pandemic, is the only one who got bail on ‘humanitarian grounds’ and only because of enormous public outcry. Currently, 19 of the 21 people falsely accused under terror laws, are Muslim. If we allow their identity to become their crime, India shall stand  shamed in the global community of secular nations.”

The statement calls the Government of India, to free Dr Khalid and others who have been falsely implicated and unjustly incarcerated for showing resistance against CAA-NRC, which denies equal citizenship rights. Along with that, it also appeals the government to as it reads, “to ensure that the Delhi Police investigate the Delhi riots with impartiality under the oath they took as public servants bound by the Constitution of India”. Notable is the fact that the world is witnessing the brutality and unjust act of government to repeal the voices of dissent.

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Ishika Aggarwal

Can write, shoot, listen, talk and procrastinate. A feminist at heart, Ishika is an avid writer and multimedia person who loves talking about women, realism, and society. When not working she is either seen watching films or making one.

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