On February 7, India's Supreme Court granted bail to indigenous human rights defenders Soni Sori and Lingaram Kodopi, ending 2 and a half years of imprisonment for their nonviolent advocacy on behalf of locals caught between state forces and armed insurgents in the eastern state of Chhattisgarh.
Amnesty International and many other organizations, in India and internationally, called for the release of both Sori and Kodopi, declaring that both were imprisoned for their nonviolent criticism of the state government's grave human rights abuses, not for having links to armed Maoists as the government had alleged.
Sori and Kodopi were just the most recent nonviolent critics of the Chhattisgarh government's atrocious human rights record to be jailed. Raman Singh's administration also tried to silence Binayak Sen, Kartam Joga, Kopa Kunjam, Ramesh Agrawal and many others for daring to defend human rights in Chhattisgarh. In all of these cases, the false charges were found to be baseless, and all were released by Indian courts.
Thank you for everyone's hard work on behalf of Soni Sori and Lingaram Kodopi. Please continue to make your voice heard when it comes to human rights issues in India.