CNA Staff, Oct 26, 2020 / 09:30 am
A Jesuit priest arrested in India on charges of sedition will remain in jail for at least another two weeks, after the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences has called for his release, along with other international organizations.
Fr. Stan Swamy, S.J., was arrested Oct. 8 by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), India’s counter-terrorism task force. The 83-year-old priest is accused of being involved with a Maoist group, and inciting violence in the town of Bhima-Koregaon on January 1, 2018. One person was killed and others injured during mob violence that day.
Swamy denies all charges and says that he has never even been to Bhima-Koregaon. The priest is the co-founder of the Persecuted Prisoners Solidarity Committee, an organization that assists those who are being held in prison but have not been yet been convicted of a crime, and are still undergoing a trial. It is estimated that 70% of India’s prison population is in this category.
On Oct. 26, the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC) issued a statement in support of Swany, and calling for his release.