The fifteen includes seven women and belong to the People’s Movement against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), a campaign group led by Dr S P Udayakumar, a teacher. They have been fasting since 19 March as part of ongoing protests against plans for a Russian-built nuclear power plant project next to the coastal village of Kudankulam, because they feel it poses a danger to local communities. The site will affect at least 15,000 people living close to the site.
The Idinthakarai villagers have faced shortages of essential goods and services over the last three days as police and paramilitary forces have blocked their delivery. Police have arbitrarily detained at least 180 people in the last two days in connection with the protests, including fishermen who tried to reach the village by sea. Police and paramilitaries have urged the media to leave the area.
Some of those detained were assaulted when they were detained. They may be at risk of torture. Some of the protestors, including Dr S P Udayakumar already face charges of sedition (crimes against the state) and waging war against the state and, if convicted of these charges, they could face sentences as high as life imprisonment. Others have been charged with conspiracy and rioting with deadly weapons. Amnesty International believes the charges are false, and constitute a deliberate attempt by the authorities to silence the protests. Dr S P Udayakumar states that the expert panel established by the Indian authorities has failed to respond satisfactorily to several site and safety concerns raised by an independent group of experts.
Please write immediately in English or your own language:
Calling on the authorities to immediately release all peaceful protestors and drop the charges against them if they have been brought solely to silence the peaceful protests of the group and others;
Calling on the authorities to ensure that those arbitrarily detained are not tortured or subjected to other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and produce them in a court of law if there are charges against them other than participating in peaceful protests;
Calling on the authorities to immediately allow free passage to those seeking to enter or exit Idinthakarai village and respect the rights of freedom of expression and freedom of assembly of the peaceful protestors there in accordance with international law.
P LEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 3 MAY 2012 TO :
Prime Minister of India
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
South Block, Raisina Hill
New Delhi 110 00, India
Fax : +91 11 2301 7931
Email: Through website:
Salutation: Dear Prime MinisterTamil Nadu Chief Minister
Fort St George
Chennai 600 009
Salutation: Dear Chief Minister
Solidarity messages may be sent to:Dr S. P. Udayakumar
People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy
Idinthakarai PO 627104
Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below:
Name Address 1 Address 2 Address 3 Fax Fax number Email Email address Salutation Salutation
Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date. This is the second update of UA 367/11. Further information: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA20/008/2012/en