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Amnesty hails Supreme Court’s decision to suspend sedition law

By The Hindu Bureau

Amnesty International India on Wednesday said the Supreme Court’s decision to suspend the sedition law was a welcome step and that the government should repeal the law.

In a statement, the chair of AII’s board, Aakar Patel, said: “We welcome the Supreme Court’s order to suspend the sedition law until the Government of India re-examines the 152-year-old provision. For far too long, authorities have misused the sedition law to harass, intimidate, and persecute human rights defenders, activists, journalists, students, filmmakers, singers, actors, and writers for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression. Sedition has been used as a tool of political repression by successive governments.”

He said the order to put a hold on registration of FIRs was a step in the right direction, but as long as the law remains on the books, those speaking out against repression would continue to be punished.

The government should urgently repeal this pernicious legislation, and comply with their international human rights obligations,” he said.

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