On September 30, the Indian Supreme Court ordered that indigenous (adivasi) human rights activist Kopa Kunjam be released. Mr. Kunjam had been in jail since December of 2009 for his peaceful activism on behalf of adivasis affected by the conflict between Maoist insurgents and the state government of Chhattisgarh.
His release follows similar cases of non-violent activists being jailed in Chhattisgarh for the criticism of the state government, Dr. Binayak Sen being the best known. A coalition of 60 organizations, including Amnesty International USA, had called for his release. Many thanks for everyone who took action on Mr. Kunjam's case.
The human rights situation in Chhattisgarh remains dire. Hundreds of thousands of villagers have been displaced by the on-going conflict and massive development projects. Killings and rapes take place with impunity. Other adivasi activists remain imprisoned in Chhattisgarh, including Kartam Joga. Click here to demand his release. And click here to demand that the Chhattisgarh government respect the Indian Supreme Court’s ruling that all state-supported militias in Chhattisgarh be disbanded immediately.