Indian Court Ignores Nobelists’ Plea to Release Physician-Activist

first_imgAn appeal by 45 of the world’s top scientists to release an Indian doctor accused of helping Maoist insurgents has failed to sway a state supreme court. On Thursday, the High Court in India’s central state of Chhattisgarh rejected an appeal for the release on bail of Binayak Sen, a doctor and human rights activist.Sen, the vice president of India’s People’s Union for Civil Liberties, was arrested in 2007 and accused of aiding Maoist rebels in Chhattisgarh, known as Naxalites, by smuggling notes from one of them being held in jail. He was released on bail in May 2009 but was convicted of sedition and sentenced to life in prison on 24 December 2010. His lawyers have said that they will appeal to India’s Supreme Court.In their petition (below), the Nobelists express their “astonishment and dismay at the unjust life sentence.” They ask that Sen be released on bail and that “his appeal is heard without delay under the highest standards of Indian law.” Sen is an “exceptional, courageous, and selfless colleague, dedicated to helping those in India who are least able to help themselves,” the statement says.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The petition was authored by chemistry Nobel laureate and Rice University professor emeritus Robert Curl and released to the Indian media on Monday, says Carol Corillon, the executive director of the International Human Rights Network of Academies and Scholarly Societies. Curl and Corillon visited Sen in prison in 2008.Corillon says that Sen is suffering from heart problems and that his wife and two daughters are living in very difficult circumstances. Sen has “really sacrificed a lot,” she says.February 8, 2011Appeal for Indian Medical Doctor, Binayak SenWe, the [45] undersigned Nobel Laureates, respectfully express our astonishment and dismay at the unjust life sentence handed down last month in India to a fellow scientist and human rights advocate, 61-year-old Dr. Binayak Sen.We note that, when Dr. Sen was on trial in 2008 and many of us appealed for his release on bail, a year later the Supreme Court of India concurred with our opinion and ordered his immediate release. Several months after voicing our concern about Dr. Sen’s detention, one of us traveled to Chhattisgarh; met government officials; consulted Dr. Sen’s family, lawyers, and colleagues; visited his remote clinic to learn more about his selfless work with the Adivasis; and, after a few days and many hours spent waiting in the Raipur prison yard, finally met with Dr. Sen himself in the presence of the prison warden.We have seen that Dr. Sen is an exceptional, courageous, and selfless colleague, dedicated to helping those in India who are least able to help themselves. Yet his recompense has been two years in prison under difficult conditions, a blatantly unfair trial lasting two years in the so-called “Fast Track” Sessions Court, an unjust conviction of sedition and conspiracy, and condemnation to life imprisonment.We earnestly hope that our renewed appeal is heard. We know that there are leaders in India who have the power, humanity, patriotism, and decency to speak out against this injustice. We entreat those leaders to act now, to urge Dr. Sen’s immediate release on bail, and insist that this time his appeal is heard without delay under the highest standards of Indian law. Surely, those who would see the largest democracy in the world survive and thrive can do no less at this crucial time for both Dr. Sen and for the future of justice in India.Respectfully,Peter Agre, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 2003Kenneth J. Arrow, Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, 1972Richard Axel, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 2004David Baltimore, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1975Baruch S. Blumberg, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1976Martin Chalfie, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 2008Claude Cohen-Tannoudji, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1997Paul Crutzen, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1995Robert Curl, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1996Johann Deisenhofer, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1988Richard R. Ernst, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1991Edmond H. Fischer, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1992Walter Gilbert, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1980Roy J. Glauber, Nobel Prize in Physics, 2005Paul Greengard, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 2000David J. Gross, Nobel Prize in Physics, 2004Roger Guillemin, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1977Dudley Herschbach, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1986Antony Hewish, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1974H. Robert Horvitz, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 2002David H. Hubel, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1981François Jacob, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1965Daniel Kahneman, Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, 2002Eric R. Kandel, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 2000Lawrence R. Klein, Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, 1980Roger D. Kornberg, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 2006Sir Harold W. Kroto, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1996Finn E. Kydland, Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, 2004 Yuan T. Lee, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1986Anthony J. Leggett, Nobel Prize in Physics, 2003Rita Levi-Montalcini, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1986Roderick MacKinnon, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 2003Sir James Mirrlees, Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, 1996Joseph E. Murray, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1990Douglas D. Osheroff, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1996John C. Polanyi, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1986V. Ramakrishnan, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 2009Sir Richard Roberts, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1993Jens C. Skou, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1998Jack Steinberger, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1988Sir John Sulston, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 2002Charles H. Townes, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1964 Harold E. Varmus, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1989Klaus von Klitzing, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1985Torsten N. Wiesel, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1981last_img

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