Not only in India, but in countries around the world the pressure is mounting for the release of Dr Sen.
Last year, twenty-two Nobel laureates from around the world had appealed to the Indian government to allow Dr Binayak Sen to receive the 2008 Jonathan Mann Award for Global Health and Human Rights in person at the end of May 2008. But Indian government denied the permission and Dr Sen's wife had received the coveted global health award on his behalf.
Dr Binayak Sen of Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India, who has helped establish a hospital serving poor mine workers in the region, founded a health and human rights organization that supports community health workers in 20 villages, and is the general secretary of the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), has been imprisoned in Raipur for more than a year now without trial as a result of allegations that he violated state antiterrorism laws. Not only Dr Sen denies committing any crime, but his lifetime contribution to strengthen democracy and fight for the most underserved communities defies such accusations.
The PUCL-Chhattisgarh Unit, with Dr. Binayak Sen's active leadership as its General Secretary, had exposed the government sponsored so-called campaign Salwa-Judum in Chhattisgarh which legitimizes extra-constitutional violence and pits adivasis against adivasis.
Activists like Dr Sandeep Pandey, Magsaysay Awardee (2002) and member, National Presidium, Lok Rajniti Manch (People's Politics Front - PPF) are leading a candle light vigil in Lucknow, India, to mark the completion of 2 years of Dr Sen's imprisonment and demand his release. Similar protests and demands for his release are being echoed from communities across the country. Let's hope these voices reach the corridors of power.