On humanitarian health grounds , Safoora Zargar must be immediately released

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Photo Credit: MNN

The arrest of Jamia student Safoora Zargar has become a matter of concern at time of National lockdown considering her pregnancy. Human rights activists as well as health activists from different corners of the country have spoken in support of her, and demanded immediate intervention on part of Government and her immediate release considering the health of mother and baby in mind along with the risk of covid-19.

The Indian chapter of Amnesty International on Friday demanded the release of Safoora Zargar, a pregnant activist who was arrested in connection with the communal violence that flared up in Delhi in February over the country's contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

In a tweet, the human rights organisation blasted the Indian government for "ruthlessly arresting a pregnant woman and sending her to an overcrowded prison during Covid-19" and demanded her immediate release.


Amnesty said in a statement: “She is currently imprisoned in Tihar jail, which is one of the most overcrowded prisons in the country, and has not been able to access her lawyer or meet her husband since 14 April. Safoora’s pregnancy is a mitigating factor against her continued detention under UAPA, particularly amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.”

the 27-year-old was arrested on April 10 and charged under the country's Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 2019 (UAPA). She was three months pregnant at the time of her arrest.


Zargar was a research fellow at the Jamia Millia University in Delhi and the media coordinator for the Jamia Coordination Committee (JCC) which organised weeks of protests against the citizenship law passed by the government in December of last year.


According to a Times of India report Delhi police say Zargar is being kept at a separate cell in Tihar Jail and has been provided medical supervision and facilities.


They accused Zargar of being a "key conspirator" of the communal violence that erupted in Delhi in February. At least 56 people were killed in clashes between Hindus and Muslims in the country's capital.


Early Monday morning, her sister Sameeya released an open letter to her, describing the period of Safoora’s arrest as a “slow death”.

“She has had pregnancy related UTI issues. She also has a history of UTI. We were hoping on all these grounds she will be given bail, but hasn’t yet,” Sameeya said.

Kavita Krishnan , eminent activist writes on twitter 

Take back the false cases framing Jamia students and anti CAA activists!
Mother to be Safoora Zargar needs to be home and safe, not in jail during a pandemic.


Around 1100 activists from across the country has written a solidarity letter in this regard demanding her immediate release. The prominent names include Medha Patkar, Shabnam Hashmi, Farah Naqvi, Arundhati Roy, Teesta Seetalwad, Sadaf Jafar, Aparna Sen, Tina Gill, among others. 

Safoora’s husband added: “We were hoping she would get bail soon, but because of the lockdown, the entire machinery is moving slowly. But we have hope in our judicial system.”

Mental health experts to whomever Medogle talked told us that arrest during pregancy will have consequences on the health of baby, and it's necessary to release the activist on health grounds as early as possible and legal proceedings may follow accordingly. 

Her arrest when he is entering second trimester of pregnancy is taking a toll on maternal and child's health both & we are of the view that what is required is her immediate release. Even in the war zones, pregnant women are not arrested. 


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