Concerns are growing for the health of the imprisoned Jesuit priest Fr Stan Swamy, whose stay in intensive care has been extended. Source: The Tablet.
Fr Swamy, 84, was arrested with 15 others on October 9, 2020, on charges of terrorism and sedition, specifically for having ties with extremist and Maoist groups trying to conspire against the government.
He has worked for more than four decades in championing the rights of the indigenous communities of the Adivasi in the Indian state of Jharkhand. He and those arrested with him, along with their supporters, have consistently denied the charges. Their supporters believe they have been framed for criticising the policies of the incumbent Bharatiya Janata Party.
Fr Swamy has Parkinson’s disease and has impaired hearing. He was admitted to hospital on May 28 after his health began to decline severely in prison.
Fr Damian Howard SJ, Provincial of the Jesuits in Britain, said: “As Fr Stan’s health continues to deteriorate, it is shocking that the authorities show no sign of ending the inhumane treatment meted out to him. He should immediately be released so that he can die among the people of Jharkhand, as he has requested.”
UCA News reports that Fr Swamy has tested positive for COVID-19 and as a result of his continuing deteriorating health, the Bombay High Court has now extended his hospitalisation from June 18 to July 5.
Even before testing positive for Covid-19, Fr Swamy had been suffering from poor health due to his Parkinson’s disease and other age-related illnesses.