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Peter Tatchell House Arrest In Mumbai

By Charlotte Robinson, October 14, 2023

Mumbai police have placed human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell under ‘house arrest’ in his hotel in Mumbai, India to prevent him from peacefully protesting outside the International Olympic Committee Congress in the city. Tatchell is forbidden to leave his hotel room under police orders & four officers are stationed in the lobby to prevent him from leaving. Sub Inspector, Shrikrant Neve, from Kurla police station stated, “We are not allowing it [the protest]. We are not giving permission. You make serious accusations against India [over its human rights record]. What you are proposing to do is negative towards some of India’s allies.” Officer Neve was referring to likely bidders to host the 2036 Olympics like China, Qatar, Egypt, Turkey & Indonesia. Peter Tatchell concluded, “When I pointed out that the Indian constitution guarantees freedom of expression & the right to assembly & peaceful protest, I was told ‘these rights only apply to Indian citizens.’ Foreigners do not have these rights. I was stunned. I assumed that India was a democracy & that peaceful protests by anyone were allowed. This ban is a blow to India’s democratic reputation. It is what we expect from police state regimes. The police added that I had, in any case, violated the condition of my tourist visa, which does not permit anything other than tourist activities. I was not aware of this restriction & offered to apply for a new visa. ‘A protest will still not be allowed,’ I was told…After two hours, the police left. Just over an hour later, they returned to serve a ‘Notice’ under ‘Section 14 of the Foreigners Act 1946,’ which prohibits violations of the terms of a visa - punishable by up to five year’s imprisonment & a fine.” 

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