A/HRC/WGAD/2021/21 Advance Edited Version Distr.: General 17 June 2021 Original: English Human Rights Council Working Group on Arbitrary Detention Opinions adopted by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention at its ninetieth session, 3–12 May 2021 Opinion No. 21/2021 concerning Gokarakonda Naga Saibaba (India) 1. The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention was established by resolution 1991/42 of the Commission on Human Rights. In its resolution 1997/50, the Commission extended and clarified the mandate of the Working Group. Pursuant to General Assembly resolution 60/251 and Human Rights Council decision 1/102, the Council assumed the mandate of the Commission. The Council most recently extended the mandate of the Working Group for a three-year period in its resolution 42/22. 2. In accordance with its methods of work,1 on 30 December 2020, the Working Group transmitted to the Government of India a communication concerning Gokarakonda Naga Saibaba. The Government has not replied to the communication. The State is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. 3. The Working Group regards deprivation of liberty as arbitrary in the following cases: (a) When it is clearly impossible to invoke any legal basis justifying the deprivation of liberty (as when a person is kept in detention after the completion of his or her sentence or despite an amnesty law applicable to him or her) (category I); (b) When the deprivation of liberty results from the exercise of the rights or freedoms guaranteed by articles 7, 13, 14, 18, 19, 20 and 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and, insofar as States parties are concerned, by articles 12, 18, 19, 21, 22, 25, 26 and 27 of the Covenant (category II); (c) When the total or partial non-observance of the international norms relating to the right to a fair trial, established in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the relevant international instruments accepted by the States concerned, is of such gravity as to give the deprivation of liberty an arbitrary character (category III); (d) When asylum seekers, immigrants or refugees are subjected to prolonged administrative custody without the possibility of administrative or judicial review or remedy (category IV); (e) When the deprivation of liberty constitutes a violation of international law on the grounds of discrimination based on birth, national, ethnic or social origin, language, religion, economic condition, political or other opinion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or any other status, that aims towards or can result in ignoring the equality of human beings (category V). 1 A/HRC/36/38. A/HRC/WGAD/2021/21 Submissions Communication from the source 4. Gokarakonda Naga Saibaba is a citizen of India and resides in Nagpur. He is a former professor of English literature at the University of Delhi. He contracted polio as a child and was left living with a physical disability and is wheelchair-bound due to postpolio paralysis. He also suffers from a number of debilitating medical conditions. Despite those medical conditions, Mr. Saibaba has spent much of his life fighting for the rights of the disadvantaged, including Dalit and Adivasi people. 5. The source informs the Working Group that the National Confederation of Human Rights Organizations awarded Mr. Saibaba the Mukundan Menon Award in 2019, in recognition of his services for the protection of human and civil rights, in particular of the Adivasi. At the time of his incarceration, he was the Deputy Secretary of the Revolutionary Democratic Front, a federation of organizations in India working among various classes and sectors of society, including workers, peasants, youth, students and women, and cultural groups. 6. According to the source, while Mr. Saibaba was its Deputy Secretary, the Revolutionary Democratic Front published several statements condemning the alleged government violence against Adivasi and Dalit people. For example, in June of 2012, the federation spoke out against the deaths of 4 Dalit people in the state of Andhra Pradesh and 20 Adivasi people in the state of Chhattisgarh, claiming that they had been killed by government forces. 7. The source notes that, while the Revolutionary Democratic Front has been declared a banned organization in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Telangana, it is not banned in Delhi (where Mr. Saibaba was arrested), Maharashtra (where other accused people were arrested) or by the cent

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