Zambia: The Bad News - Civil Society Setbacks in India and Zambia


The struggle for human rights is arduous, often full of threat, sometimes marred by setbacks and defeats. It's at times like this that activists need the most support and exposure.

In July 2019 Daily Maverick reported on the growing clampdown on civil society by the government of Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. In particular, we drew attention to the persecution of human rights lawyers Indira Jaising, Anand Grover and the Lawyers Collective. Grover is a former UN Special Rapporteur on Health. Jaising is a globally respected advocate for women's rights. Both have longstanding connections with the human rights movement in South Africa.

The raids on their office and homes in July led to widespread condemnation of the Indian government, including by the Indian Supreme Court Bar Association. An international petition, signed by hundreds of prominent activists, called on the Modi government to get its hands off the lawyers. The Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales condemned the attacks.

In India itself, Jaising and Grover were able to obtain an order from the Bombay High Court ordering the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to refrain from further "coercive steps" against them. That order has been in effect since.


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