Stan Swamy detention as per law: MEA

On Tuesday, MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said India “remains committed to promotion and protection of human rights of all its citizens”, and that the country's democratic polity is complemented by an independent judiciary and a range of national and state-level human rights commissions.

A day after several international organisations, including the UN human rights body, questioned the Centre over death of rights activist Stan Swamy, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Tuesday said that Swamy’s detention followed due process of law.

Soon after Swamy’s death, the UN Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner had tweeted, “India: We are saddened and disturbed by the death of 84-year-old human rights defender Stan Swamy, after prolonged pre-trial detention. With covid-19, it is even more urgent that states release every person detained without sufficient legal basis.’’

On Tuesday, MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said India “remains committed to promotion and protection of human rights of all its citizens”, and that the country’s democratic polity is complemented by an independent judiciary and a range of national and state-level human rights commissions.

Noting that Swamy was arrested and detained by the NIA following due process under law, the MEA said because of the specific nature of charges against him, his bail applications were rejected by courts.

“Authorities in India act against violations of law and not against legitimate exercise of rights. All such actions are strictly in accordance with the law,” Bagchi said.

His comments came in response to media queries on Swamy’s death.

“India’s democratic and constitutional polity is complemented by an independent judiciary, a range of national and state level human rights commissions that monitor violations, a free media and a vibrant and vocal civil society,” Bagchi said.

In view of Swamy’s ailing health, the Bombay High Court had allowed his medical treatment at a private hospital, where he received all possible medical attention since May 28, Bagchi said. He said Swamy’s health and medical treatment was being closely monitored by the courts, and he died on Monday following medical complications.

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