maandag 12 mei 2014
An update on Sharmila Chanu
Just a short update on Sharmila. She did receive your mail art and PetrolPetals. I owe you both. She received a fair bit of support from mainland India and abroad last month. There appears to be something happening. I am preparing for the worst but it may work out. After having kept her under indefinite detention without trial for 13 years in long periods of solitary confinement they are now putting on trial in both Imphal and Delhi. The trial in Imphal begins next Tuesday 13 May. The trial in delhi is 28th may. It gets a bit complicated to explain how they can do that. But in essence once the trial is over in Imphal she will be automatically released and allowed to die over a few weeks. There is no other possible verdict. If they find her guilty she is released based on 13 years time served. If she is found not-guilty she is released without conditions. I was keen to get her to trial in Delhi because it ended her isolation in Imphal and would have made no difference to her incarceration and force feeding in Imphal. The election results are on May 16 but unless Manipuris turn out to support her next Tuesday they appear to be behaving like Nazis retreating before advancing allied soldiers. They will kill her just before AFSPA is removed from Manipur.
I owe you a proper mail art more than that. I know that you can do only small things. But if people did small things it would be enough. Anything you can do even just telling one person would be very helpful. She isn't dead yet. By the end of this month the dust will clear a new PM will be in Power in Delhi, then a new CM of Delhi will be appointed. They can the trial out for months or years or they can get to a verdict within days. If they thought many people cared they wouldn't just let her die after torturing her and realizing they couldn't break her.
Thank you so much for the mail art. I received her last parcel two days ago. But when I tried to contact helpers in manipur the only people who want to talk to me are now are the government informants and they obviously don't want to help.
But things may become clearer over the next few months so I am rewriting to those who have helped in the past if you have time for one last effort. Another letter or anything you think might help.