Defending human rights is not a crime: UN official on Teesta Setalvad’s detention by Gujarat Police

L-R: Mary Lawlor, Teesta Stalvad

By Muslim Mirror Staff

UN official Mary Lawlor on Saturday criticised the Gujarat Police’s decision to detain human rights activist Teesta Setalvad. Expressing her concern over the same, she called for her release and an end to “persecution” by the Indian state.


Lawlor, who is UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, said in a tweet, “Teesta is a strong voice against hatred and discrimination. Defending human rights is not a crime.”

The Gujarat Police arrested Setalvad on Saturday, a day after the Supreme Court pronounced a judgement saying that there was a “far-fetched, attempt to keep pot boiling’ on Gujarat riots. The top court made the observation on a plea filed by Zakia Jafri, whose husband Ehsan Jafri was burnt alive during the riots that took place during the tenure of Narendra Modi as Gujarat Cheif Minister.

“Antecedents of Teesta Setalvad need to be reckoned with and also because she has been vindictively persecuting this lis [dispute] for her ulterior design by exploiting the emotions and sentiments of Zakia Jafri, the real victim of the circumstances,” the court said in its order.



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