NEW DELHI: European Union Special Representative for Human Rights Eamon Gilmore on Monday condoled the death of tribal activist Stan Swamy.
“India: I am very saddened to hear that Father Stan Swamy has passed away. A defender of indigenous peoples’ rights. He was held in detention for the past 9 months. The EU had been raising his case repeatedly with authorities,” Gilmore tweeted.
Gilmore was referring to the letter in December last by 21 Members of European Parliament (MEPs) to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking the release of Swamy.
READ EDITORIAL | Stan Swamy and the murder of justice
Mary Lawlor, a United Nations Special Rapporteur for human rights defenders, termed the news of Swamy’s death as devastating and called detention of human rights defenders inexcusible.
“The news from India today is devastating. Human Rights Defender and Jesuit priest Father Stan Swamy has died in custody, nine months after his arrest on false charges of terrorism. Jailing HRDs is inexcusable,” she tweeted.
Earlier in the day, Stanislaus D’Souza SJ, Jesuit Provincial of India, issued a statement, saying he joined all Jesuit priests in extending their condolences to Swamy’s family.
“I express my deepest condolences to the family members, and all those who stood by Stan.”