Sharmila - one woman's fast to death
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Petition Campaign to Release Sharmila Unconditionally

Launched by Human Rights Alert, Manipur and Asian Human Rights Commission, Hong Kong


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The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mr. Sergio Vieira de Mello
The President of India, Mr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
The Prime Minister, Mr H.E. Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Subject: Request for your Intervention in the Case of Hunger Strike of Ms. Irom Sharmila

Your Excellencies,

This is to bring to your kind notice that Ms. Irom Sharmila, a 29 year old social activist from Porompat, Imphal East District, has been on an indefinite fasting protest demanding the revocation of the Disturbed Areas status under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958, from Manipur.

The fast commenced on 2nd. November 2000, following the massacre by the Assam Rifles of 10 innocent civilian by-standers including women in Malom Village, Manipur. Following Shamila・s protest a Magisterial Inquiry was instituted to ascertain the facts of this heinous attack. However, the armed forces moved the Gauhati High Court and successfully obtained a stay on the proceeding of the Inquiry.

On 5th. November 2000, the third day of her hunger strike, Sharmila was arrested by the police on the charge of attempted suicide. She is being forcefully nasal fed in judicial custody for more than 20 months. Currently she is being held at the Sajiwa Jail, Manipur. Three ministeries and president・s rule over the last two years have failed to bring any honourable solution to the legitimate demands raised by Sharmila on behalf of the people of manipur who have been dealing with the harsh consequences of the prolonged imposition of the .disturbed areas・ status under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act.

Under these circumstances, we the human rights/civil liberties community of India and of the whole world, appeal to your Excellency to lift the .disturbed areas・ status from areas of Manipur where the civil authority can take charge.

We especially appeal that urgent steps be taken in ensuring that Ms. Irom Sharmila is unconditionally released by the police and the false charges withdrawn, so that after almost two years of illegal detention she may resume a normal life.

We hope you meet your promise made to the youth of this country.

Thanking you in Anticipation,



Posted on 2002-09-18

Asian Human Rights Commission
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