In response to the continued detention of human rights defender Atikur Rahman under the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, which aims to combat terrorism, when he has only peacefully exercising his human rights despite his deteriorating health, Aakar Patel, President of Amnesty International India, said:
“We are facing a travesty of justice: the Indian authorities have kept Atikur Rahman in detention for almost two years on false charges, simply because he exercised his fundamental rights peacefully. It seems that the authorities are pursuing the goal of completely breaking him by making his life unbearable, in particular by preventing him from receiving health care, or by delaying it. Atikur Rahman should never have been arrested. His arbitrary detention must end. »
It seems that the authorities are pursuing the goal of completely breaking him by making his life unbearable, in particular by preventing him from receiving health care, or by delaying it. … His arbitrary detention must end
Aakar Patel, President of Amnesty International India
“Atikur Rahman must be released immediately and all politically charged charges against him must be dropped. While awaiting his release, the Indian authorities must ensure that his conditions of detention are improved, in accordance with international prison standards, that he can see his family immediately and regularly and receive all the medical care he may need need. Imposing inhuman conditions of detention on him and failing to provide him with adequate medical care is a violation of human rights. »
On October 5, 2020, Siddique Kappan, journalist, Masood Ahmad, student, Mohammad Alam, taxi driver, and Atikur Rahman were arrested in Mathura, in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. They had gone to meet the family of a woman from the minority dalits (oppressed) who had been raped and killed by a group of men from the dominant caste in Hathras.
Uttar Pradesh police charged them with ‘sedition’, ‘promoting enmity between groups’, ‘insulting religious feelings’ and ‘criminal conspiracy’ under the Penal Code India, as well as “fundraising in anticipation of a terrorist act” and “conspiracy to commit a terrorist act” under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.
In November 2021, Atikur Rahman was hospitalized at the Institute of Medical Sciences All-India to Delhi for open-heart surgery, after his family filed a civil claim in the Allahabad High Court. He has been hospitalized several times since March 2022. His medical records show that in addition to pre-existing heart problems, he now has a neurological disease. The left side of his body is paralyzed and he suffers from memory loss.