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Teesta Setalvad who fought for 2002 Gujarat riot victims arrested

Teesta Setalvad has been fighting for scores of survivors and victims of India's western state of Gujarat riots

A United Nations expert has joined global human rights groups in expressing concern over the arrest of Indian rights defender Teesta Setalvad a day after the country’s Supreme Court upheld the findings of a special investigation team (SIT) that cleared Prime Minister Narendra Modi of complicity in 2002 anti-Muslim riots.

Setalvad was picked by the anti-terrorism wing of the Gujarat police on Saturday afternoon from her home in Mumbai hours after India’s interior minister, Amit Shah, a close aide of Modi, accused her of giving baseless information to the police about the deadly anti-Muslim violence during Modi’s chief ministership of the state.

“Deeply concerned by reports of #WHRD [Human Rights Defender] Teesta Setalvad being detained by Anti Terrorism Sqaud [sic] of Gujarat police,” said Mary Lawlor, UN special rapporteur on human rights defenders, in a tweet describing Setalvad as “a strong voice against hatred and discrimination”.

Lawlor reiterated that defending human rights was not a crime as she urged the Indian authorities to release Setalvad and put “an end to [her] persecution by Indian state”.



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