India: Umakanta Meitei

Human rights lawyer Leitanthem Umakanta Meitei, Secretary General of the Threatened Indigenous Peoples' Society, was arrested without an arrest warrant at his home by a team of police officers. They seized CDs and books from the Threatened Indigenous Peoples' Society and the International Labour Organisation, among other things.

 

Following the arrest, Mr. Umakanta Meitei was detained, interrogated, allegedly tortured by the police, and denied access to a lawyer. He was charged with being a member of, and supporting terrorist organisations and accused of maintaining links with the illegal group 'Organisation to Save the Revolutionary Movement in Manipur'.

 

On August 29, 2006, the Chief Judicial Magistrate ordered that Mr. Umakanta Meitei be released on bail due to lack of evidence. Mr. Umakanta Meitei refused to pay bail on the basis that the charges against him were false and he insisted on an unconditional release.  As a result, he was held in judicial custody for another 15 days at the Sajiwa Central Jail.

 

The Chief Judicial Magistrate found that the police had tortured Mr. Umakanta Meitei while he was in custody and ordered the prison authorities to arrange for a medical examination by a doctor approved by the Health Department. In October, 2006, Mr. Leitanthem Umakanta Meitei was released and all charges against him were dropped.

 

In November 2006, the Law Society sent letters of interventions to the authorities in India.

 

Letter of Intervention