News / Asia

Indian Court Denies Bail to Indian Doctor Jailed For Life

Demonstrators hold candles in front of the India Gate during a protest demanding the release of Indian doctor Binayak Sen in New Delhi, January 4, 2011
Demonstrators hold candles in front of the India Gate during a protest demanding the release of Indian doctor Binayak Sen in New Delhi, January 4, 2011
Anjana Pasricha

An Indian court has denied bail to a doctor jailed for life for allegedly helping Maoist rebels. Human-rights activists and academics both inside and outside the country have been calling for his freedom.

A High court in Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh State turned down the bail petition of 60-year-old Binayak Sen, a doctor who has worked for decades among the state’s poor and tribal communities.

Sen was sentenced in December to life in prison for sedition and conspiracy after being found guilty of passing notes from a jailed Maoist leader he was treating and helping the rebels open bank accounts. He has appealed his conviction.

The sentence was slammed by civil-rights campaigners who say he is being victimized for highlighting human-rights abuses.

There have been many appeals made to the Indian government for his release, the latest by 40 Nobel laureates, who called him an "exceptional, courageous and selfless colleague."

The South Asia director of Human Rights Watch in India, Meenakshi Ganguly, said human-rights campaigners are disappointed at the rejection of bail for the doctor. She called it a setback for human-rights activists in the country.

"Binayak Sen enjoys international attention and support ... when something like this happens, then it seems as if the authorities are trying to silence critics,” Ganguly said. “In that case, people who are working on the grass root level, who do not have the kind of profile Binayak Sen enjoys are going to be much more fearful, and that is really hurtful for Indian democracy."

Amnesty International has said that Sen’s trial violated international standards, and the charges against him are politically motivated.

The case has also raised concerns that India’s anti-terror laws are too sweeping.

Sen, a trained pediatrician, has won international praise for his work in Chattisgarh. The medical clinics he ran for some of the poorest people in the state helped bring down infant mortality rates. He has denied supporting Maoist rebels.

Chhattisgarh is one of India’s poorest states, and one of the worst affected by a violent uprising by Maoist rebels.

Sen’s family has vowed to go a higher court to seek bail for him.

You May Like

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

In London and New York shares lost 3 percent, while Paris and Germany dropped around 2.4 percent More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs