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India: Prisoners

Volume 493: debated on Monday 8 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations his Department has received regarding the detention by the Indian authorities of Dr. Binayak Sen; and what steps he has taken as a result. (278334)

In 2009 we have received six letters from members of the public and one parliamentary question regarding the detention of Dr. Binayak Sen by the Indian authorities.

Working with EU colleagues in India, we have registered our concern with the central Government, writing to the Ministry of External Affairs, the National Human Rights Commission and a number of senior political leaders about the case.

Dr. Sen was granted bail on 25 May 2009. The EU has sent observers to the various stages of his judicial hearings so far and plans to attend the next trial session expected to be held in June 2009.

The rights of human rights defenders including Dr. Sen, were discussed at the EU-India Human Rights Dialogue held on 27 February 2009. Our high commission in New Delhi and EU colleagues will continue to monitor this case in cooperation with non-governmental organisations in accordance with EU guidance for the protection of human rights defenders.