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US Lawmakers Call for Independent Probe into Custodial Death of Human Rights Activist Stan Swamy

Washington: US lawmakers have urged India to conduct an independent investigation into the arrest, incarceration, and subsequent death of Father Stanislaus Lourduswamy, widely known as Father Stan Swamy, a prominent human rights activist. This call underscores international concerns over the treatment of political dissent and the use of anti-terror legislation against human rights defenders.

According to Kashmir Media Service, Congressman Juan Vargas, along with Jim McGovern and Andre Carson, introduced a resolution in the US House of Representatives, which not only seeks an independent inquiry into Father Stan’s death but also criticizes the alleged misuse of anti-terror laws in India. The resolution praises a recent decision by the Supreme Court of India to suspend a colonial-era sedition law, urging the Indian Parliament to make this suspension permanent.

The resolution emphasizes the universal right to freedom of expression as fundamental, highlighting Father Stan’s advocacy for the indigenous Adivasi communities and his role in the Pathalgadi movement. It also reflects on his personal history, from his early inspiration by Jesuit priests to his significant educational and social contributions in India.

“Father Stan dedicated his life to giving a voice to the voiceless, training young community leaders, and working for justice for many communities in India,” Congressman Vargas stated, expressing personal dismay at the conditions of Father Stan’s custody and the denial of medical care which he faced.