New Delhi, June 7, 2022: Political prisoner Dr G N Saibaba should be admitted to a hospital as he is facing health-related problems, said the National Confederation Of Human Rights Organizations, a collective body of human, democratic and civil rights groups, on Tuesday.
Saibaba has been lodged in the Nagpur Central Jail since March 2017 when he was sentenced to life for having alleged links to the CPI (Maoist). The 55-year-old is wheelchair-bound as he suffers from ailments due to which 90% of his body is disabled.
In its letter to the Nagpur jail authorities, the National Confederation Of Human Rights Organizations said that Saibaba is suffering from “blood stools” and his health is deteriorating. This could mean that there is bleeding in his digestive tract.
“As a result blood is spilling all over his bed,” the organization said.
Saibaba was to be admitted to the prison hospital on May 25. However, he is yet to receive treatment.
“What he is being made to go through is inhumane and violative of his basic human rights,” the organization said. “We hope that you would heed the appeals made by his family, us, and others who have placed similar concerns before you.”
Saibaba should be shifted to an “appropriate hospital” and provided proper medical treatment, the organization added.
It also said that Saibaba should be shifted from the high-security “anda cell” as it is extremely hot in summer and cold in winter.
“He is facing breathing problem because of it,” it said. “He should be shifted to a wheelchair-accessible barrack with an assistant to take care [of him].”
On May 21, Saibaba had gone on a hunger strike to protest against the jail authority’s decision to install a closed-circuit television camera in front of his cell. The camera recorded all his activities, including him using the toilet, according to his family.
Saibaba had also demanded parole for medical treatment and had sought to be shifted from the “anda cell”.
He had called off his strike on May 24 after the jail authorities agreed to fulfill some of his demands, including changing the direction of the CCTV camera. The authorities also allowed Saibaba to keep a water bottle to which he was earlier allegedly denied access.
The National Confederation Of Human Rights Organizations on Tuesday asked the jail administration to remove the CCTV camera. Watching a person round-the-clock is a violation of his right to privacy and dignity, the organization added.
“It is important to note that a person in prison does not cease to have rights,” it said.
The organization also urged the jail authorities to shift Saibaba to Cherlapally Central Prison in Hyderabad as a humanitarian gesture. “Please understand that the situation he is in threatens his very life,” it added. “The right to life is a fundamental right, and hence we appeal to you to heed our concerns and save his life.”
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