Ailing Activist Atikur Rahman's Continued Detention a 'Travesty': Amnesty India

The 28-year-old activist was arrested, along with journalist Siddique Kappan, en route to Hathras in October 2020.

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Calling human rights activist Atikur Rahman's continued detention a 'travesty', Amnesty International on Wednesday, 7 September, said that he "should not have been detained in the first place" and "his arbitrary detention must end."

The chair of Amnesty International India's board, Aakar Patel, reacted to Rahman's incarceration under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), 1967, and said:

“It is a travesty for the Indian authorities to keep Atikur Rahman in detention for almost two years on bogus charges solely for peacefully exercising his human rights. It seems the authorities are on a vindictive quest to further crush him by making his life unbearable, including by denying and delaying his medical treatment."
Aakar Patel

The chairperson added, “Rahman must be released immediately and all politically motivated charges against him dropped. Pending his release, the Indian authorities must ensure that his detention conditions are improved in line with international standards and that he has immediate and regular access to his family and any healthcare he may require."

The 28-year-old activist was arrested, along with Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan, en route to Hathras in October 2020. At the time of his arrest, Rahman was receiving treatment for a congenital heart condition.

In November 2021, after an urgent plea was moved by Rahman’s family in the Allahabad High Court, he was taken for heart surgery in AIIMS, Delhi. However, he was not given proper post-surgery care in the jail, due to which his condition deteriorated, the family has alleged.

In its statement on Wednesday, Amnesty said that "subjecting Rahman to inhumane conditions and failing to provide adequate medical treatment is a human rights violation.”

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