Indian Jesuit Father Stan Swamy marked 100 days in prison with a letter highlighting the cases of people languishing in jail who begin their trials without knowing their criminal charges. Source: UCA News.
In his letter to Jesuit colleagues, the 84-year-old priest also expressed gratitude for the “overwhelming” solidarity of his supporters as he completed 100 days in prison on January 15.
Fr Swamy has been detained in Taloja Central Prison in Mumbai since October 9. The human rights activist priest is charged with sedition and having links with outlawed Maoist rebels.
As he completed 100 days in jail, rights groups across India organised peaceful candlelight marches, processions and webinars to mark his and other activists’ incarceration.
“First of all, I deeply appreciate the overwhelming solidarity expressed by many during these past 100 days behind bars,” the priest’s letter said.
“At times, news of such solidarity has given me immense strength and courage, especially when the only thing certain in prison is uncertainty. Life here is on a day-to-day basis.”
Without speaking much about himself, Fr Swamy’s letter referred to the “undertrials” — a term used in India to denote people in custody waiting for their trials to begin.
“Many such poor undertrials don’t know what charges have been put on them, have not seen their charge sheet and just remain in prison for years without any legal or other assistance,” he wrote.