Human rights activist Dr Binayak Sen walked free from jail in Raipur, India on 25 May 2009 after two years incarceration. He has been granted bail by the Supreme Court, but his trial for alleged "terrorist" links continues. Amnesty International has repeated its call on the Indian authorities to immediately drop all the charges against Dr Sen.
Binayak Sen's release is great news. It's a victory for human rights campaigners in India and around the world... but it has taken far too long. It marks the end - in this particular case - of an attempt by the Chhattisgarh authorities to use undertrial custody as a form of punitive detention calculated to deter dissent. But other activists around India continue to suffer multiple forms of harassment.
Binayak Sen's ongoing trial is a charade. Two years after his arrest and one year after the trial opened, prosecutors have failed to establish any substantive case. The case could have been either dismissed or brought to a conclusion so that the court could reach a verdict. Instead it continues to clog up the legal system and hang over the head of Binayak Sen and his family.
For the latest news see www.binayaksen.net
Edinburgh demo on 15 May (report and pictures)
Ilina Sen and Kavita Srivastava in Edinburgh - speeches given by Binayak Sen's wife Illina and Kavita Srivastava (PUCL) at an Edinburgh meeting on 9 March 2009 (audio).