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Jesuits demand the immediate release of Fr. Stan Swamy, arrested in India

For over five decades, Fr. Stan Swamy, a Jesuit priest and human rights activist, has been working for India's most marginalized and vulnerable indigenous communities.

On Oct. 8 Fr. Stan Swamy was taken into custody by the National Investigation Agency in India. The NIA accuses him of personal links with the banned extremist groups of Maoists and Naxalites. 

Two days before being taken into custody, Fr. Stan recorded this video to be released in case an arrest took place.

Jesuit Priest, Human Rights Activist
“What is happening to me, is not something unique. It’s a broader process that’s been taking place all over the country. We are all aware of how prominent intellectuals, lawyers, writers, poets, activists, student leaders, They are all put into jail just because they’ve expressed their dissent, or raised the questions about the ruling powers of India.”

Fr. Xavier Jeyaraj is the Secretary for all the Jesuit Social Justice and Ecology initiatives. He knows Fr. Stan personally and considers him a mentor. 

Fr. Xavier believes that the state is after him because of his dissent with several policies of the government, and says Fr. Stan is the one who raises the concerns of the voiceless people in India.

Secretary for Social Justice and Ecology, Society of Jesus
"He has been a person who has been committed to the cause of the indigenous people in India for all these 50 years in Jharkhand, the state where the majority are indigenous people. They have been deprived of their rights over their land. He has been standing with them to fight for their rights and for the state to give them their due rights. This has been his mission."

The Secretariat for Social Justice and Ecology is mobilizing the Jesuit community and people worldwide to demand Fr. Stan Swamy's immediate release.

Secretary for Social Justice and Ecology, Society of Jesus
“The whole Society of Jesus is with him in solidarity. We want to say that "Stand with the Stan," who has been standing with the people. By standing with him, we want to say that we stand with the indigenous people and the Dalits.”

The Jesuits recently held a day of solidarity with Fr. Stan Swamy. Since then, peaceful demonstrations, meetings of solidarity, candlelight marches, and online campaigns have been held across India and the rest of the world.

Christian Campos