The Socio-political activist Syed Karar Hashmi said that the Sedition charges against Shehla Rashid will trigger a nationwide debate over freedom of expression and will bring thousands of activists onto the streets. She is a brave daughter of Kashmir, voice of voiceless and inspiration for lakhs across country, it takes courage to stand against oppression of such magnitude. By branding people anti-national merely for expressing opposing views, the central government and Delhi police are displaying an appalling intolerance for dissent. This shows to what extend the democratic rights of citizens are being threatened by none other than state and law enforcement agencies.
Karar Hashmi further said that, the sedition law was used by the British to curb free expression during India’s Independence struggle. It is surprising that the government is using it now to silence those with divergent opinions. It would be better option, in the interests of Indian society; this law must be immediately repealed. Successive governments have deployed it against journalists, activists and human rights defenders in India.
A United Nations report published in July said the Indian government “continues to use various forms of arbitrary detentions to target protests, political dissidents and other civil society actors.”
In another report published last year the UN called for repeal of AFSPA, which has been dubbed as draconian legislation by the rights bodies. The sedition case against Shehla Rashid seems politically motivated move to silence the true voice of people, but such cheap tactics have never yielded any result.
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