From: Oslo, Norway.
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From: Leningrad, Russia.
The administration of the metal plant of the Russian city of Vologda has fired the leader of the local organization of the workers’ union ‘Zaschita’ for his active union activity. On February 21st of 2002 comrade Balamikin on leaving the premises of the plant was stopped by the security service in order to search him. During the search one of the agents of the security service dropped some piece of equipment in his pocket. This gave to the administration of the plant the excuse to accuse G.K. Balamikin of stealing property. On April 18th the administration of the plant formally informed G.K. Balamikin that he is fired. Any attempts of Balamikin to appeal the decision were not taken into consideration. These kinds of provocations and repression against activists of workers’ unions are practiced in Russia quite often. In particular, the bloody repression of Leningrad workers of the cellulose plant of Viborg ended up with the indictment of some of its workers who suffered most from the criminal actions of the special forces of the ministry of internal affairs. This congress protests against the repression against the activist of the workers’ union ‘Zaschita’, a delegate to the II congress of the European Unions (held in Annecy), Balamikin, Georgii Konstantinovich. The congress has decided to circulate this declaration broadly. Athens, Greece III Congress of European Unions, June 2nd 2002.
From: Delhi, India
We, the undersigned members of the Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) are deeply concerned at the manner in which Abdul Rehman Geelani, a fellow teacher and a member of our union, has been arrested and kept under detention in connection with the December 13 attack on the parliament. There has been a consistent and brutal violation of his rights.
Several members of the DUTA as well as civil liberties activists have visited Geelani in prison and they have been told that he was first illegally detained and subsequently subjected to physical torture. He was stripped and hung upside down and brutally beaten and abused in communal terms. He has been made to sign blank sheets of paper and to make a statement that he was not tortured. When produced before the magistrate in the presence of several high ranking police officers, he chose to keep quiet on the subject of torture fearing further physical violence. He told his visitors that his life has been under threat since he has been shifted from Ward 8 to Ward 2 which houses people charged with heinous crimes. For three days his wife and two minor children – a daughter of 10 years and a son 6 years old – were detained at the Lodhi Colony police station and their whereabouts were not known to their family and friends.
To those who have met him, Geelani has repeatedly stated that he is innocent and had no direct or indirect connection with the attack on the parliament. But his voice has found no space in the atmosphere charged with jingoism and war hysteria. He seems to stand condemned by society and the media just because he is a Kashmiri and a Muslim.
The authorities have so far not provided any evidence against Geelani. The rule of law in a democratic society demands presumption of innocence until proven guilty. Therefore, we urge the DUTA leadership to intervene in the matter by going to meet him in the jail, especially since he himself has expressed the desire to talk to his union leaders. Secondly, the DUTA should also ensure that his fundamental rights as a citizen are protected while he is in custody. Thirdly, the DUTA should attempt to find out the reasons for his continued detention. If there is no evidence against him, we should urge upon the authorities not to continue to incarcerate him unnecessarily.
We would like to remind you that on an earlier occasion, in 1985, under the presidentship of Murli Manohar Prasad Singh, the DUTA had successfully intervened in the case of Harmeet Singh of Khalsa College who had been wrongly booked under TADA.
Anand Chakravarti, Virginius Xaxa, Manoranjan Mohanty, Tripta Wahi, Vijay Singh, D. Manjit, Rita Sinha, Lata Singh, K.M. Singh, Mukul Manglik, Dilip Basu, Harish Dhawan and 147 others.
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