Santosh Yadav was released from prison on 9 March 2017, over a week after the Supreme Court of India granted him bail. Detained since September 2015, it is believed that he was targeted for his work among Indigenous Adivasi communities in Bastar district, Chhattisgarh. He is required to report to the local police station daily.
Santosh Yadav was granted bail by the Supreme Court on 27 February 2017 following a petition filed by his lawyers in November 2016. He had been charged under the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act and Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. The court-ordered conditions of bail require him to report to the local police station once every day, and to not leave the city without informing the local police. Following administrative delays, Santosh Yadav was finally released from prison on 9 March 2017.
Speaking to Amnesty International India, Santosh Yadav said, “I want to thank Amnesty from the bottom of my heart. No one supported me, or came to meet me in jail, like you did.” He said, “The way journalists are being put in jail, it’s not very motivating to do this work right now”. Santosh Yadav was arrested on 29 September 2015, and it is believed that he was targeted for his work among Indigenous Adivasi communities in Bastar district, Chhattisgarh.
The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act uses sweeping and overly broad definitions of ‘acts of terrorism’ and ‘membership’ of ‘unlawful’ organizations. Pre-charge detention under the law can extend to 180 days, far beyond international standards. The Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act also contains broad and vaguely worded definitions of ‘unlawful activity’. The UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders has called for the repeal of both laws.
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