India: ‘Iron’ Sharmila’s fight against AFSPA takes a new course
Amnesty International’s Prisoner of Conscience Irom Sharmila Chanu has taken an individual decision to end her 16-year-old fast against the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act on August 9. Amnesty International India calls on the Manipur government to immediately and unconditionally release the 44-year-old activist and to drop all charges against her.
At a district court hearing in Imphal, Sharmila expressed the desire to come out of her fast and contest state elections. Speaking to local media, Sharmila said, “The only way to bring change is electoral process. I will stand as an independent candidate from Malom constituency. My single issue would be to remove AFSPA from the state. In my next hearing in the court on August 9 I will end my fast.”
“With this decision Sharmila’s iconic fight against AFSPA is bound to take a new course. This also comes at a time when the Supreme Court has ordered 1528 cases of alleged extrajudicial execution in Manipur over the last two decades to be investigated. Now the government needs to do its part to pave the way for the repeal of AFSPA,” said Arijit Sen, Project Manager at Amnesty International India.
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