Solidarity with writer Arundhati Roy and Prof. Showkat

The European Lawyers for Democracy and Human Rights (ELDH) with Members in 22 european countries stands in solidarity with Arundhati Roy and Dr. Sheikh Showkat Hussain. and vehemently condemns the decision of the Delhi Lieutenant Governor to prosecute them under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

Indian Delhi lieutenant governor Vinai Kumar Saxena has sanctioned  the prosecution of the author Arundhati Roy and former Professor of International Law in Central University of Kashmir, and Dr. Sheikh Showkat Hussain under the stringent, UAPA section 45 (1), for their alleged ‘provocative’ speech at an event in 2010.  in October 2023, Saxena sanctioned the prosecution of  Arundhati Roy and  Sheikh Showkat Hussain under section 196 of CrPC for commission of offences punishable under different sections of the Indian Penal Code. These criminal proceedings, initiated 14 years after a declaration, are part of the Indian government’s current policy of eliminating the regional autonomy of Kashmir.

It was alleged that Prof. Showkat and Arundhati Roy argued strongly that Kashmir was never part of India and was forcibly occupied by the Armed Forces of India and that every possible effort should be made for the independence of the Jammu Kashmir from India. .

Accordingly, an FIR (First Information Report) was registered and an investigation was carried out.

The complaint concerned Roy’s comment that the disputed territory of Kashmir was not an “integral” part of India, and accused her and others of giving speeches advocating the secession of Kashmir from India.

ELDH condemns the attempts to silence  Arundhati Roy and Prof.  Showkat  and considers it an attack on the freedom of speech. The alleged comments of the accused, if  true,  can t be considered to be a free expression of their thoughts and political beliefs.