We share with grief our messages and messages shared by signatories of our public appeal for urgent release of BK-16 prisoners statement that we shared at the Memorial Service held by Father Stan Swamy's Jesuit colleagues on 5 July 2021.
Message from InSAF India
Yesterday, in InSAF India (International Solidarity for Academic Freedom in India), we had planned to hold a 24 hour international prayer vigil for Father Stan Swamy.
But time ran out!
In his last hearing on May 21st, where his plea for bail on medical grounds was rejected, Father Stan had told the court: "I will probably die here, very shortly if things go on as it is. It is a very difficult moment for me. Whatever happens to me, I would like to be with my own."
Father Stan’s own are spread all over the world. He is known for his life-long fight for the Adivasis in India. We had wanted to stay up with him as he fought for his life.
But here we are in a memorial, mourning what can only be described as state murder.
When arrested eight months ago, Father Stan had said that “what is happening to me is not something unique. It is a broader process that is taking place all over the country. We are all aware how prominent intellectuals, lawyers, writers, poets, activists, students, leaders, they are all put in jail because they have expressed their dissent or raised questions about the ruling powers in India. In a way, I am happy to be part of this process. I am not a silent spectator, but part of the game, and ready to pay the price whatever be it."
The Modi government made him pay the ultimate price -- his life! If this does not shake the world’s conscience nothing will.
Rest in power, Father Stan.
Message from Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury, UK
"A brave and truthful witness, whose life has in effect been taken by the agents of the state. Be sure of my prayers and thoughts in solidarity with all meeting today, and with all who continue Fr Stan's work for justice and shared human dignity."
Message from Akeel Bilgrami, Sidney Morgenbesser Professor of Philosophy,
Professor, Committee on Global Thought, Columbia University
“The death of Stan Swamy is a tragic blow to the cause of elementary justice, for tribals, for Dalits, and for the poor and working people of India. It is time to subject the injustices and illegalities perpetrated by the present government against all of Indian civil society to trial by an international tribunal investigating human rights violations in our country."
Message from SOLIFUNDS, Switzerland
"It is with great sadness that we have learned that Father Stan Swamy has passed away. Mixed in with the sadness is a sense of outrage that Father Stan Swamy has had to spend the last few months in prison and has not been released on bail despite his deteriorating health. He was falsely accused along with 15 other human rights activists for supporting Adivasi communities demanding their rights. We express our sincere condolences and our solidarity."
Apsana Begum, Member of Parliament UK also expressed her solidarity.