Pliny Soocoormanee, Mauritian activist, “under house arrest” in India

Pliny Soocoormanee, a Mauritian activist, became involved “house arrest” in India on a trip to raise awareness about human rights for the International Olympic Committee ahead of the 2036 Olympics. His efforts to organize protests against the persecution of various communities were thwarted by Indian authorities. However, after discussions with the police, the house arrest was lifted. “I decided to end my stay as just a tourist“, he admitted.

He traveled to the country’s largest democracy with Foundation President Peter Tatchell to raise awareness of human rights at the International Olympic Committee in the wake of the country’s selection for the 2036 Olympics. However, since his arrival in India, Pliny Soocoormanee, an activist of Mauritian origin, found he was forced not to leave his hotel room. The foundation issued a press release to explain the situation.

The Peter Tatchell Foundation, based in the UK, has been campaigning for human rights for decades. Pliny Soocoormanee is the organization’s Executive Officer. The aim of the trip was to organize a two-person protest to denounce the fact that almost every country competing in the 2036 Olympics has a history of mistreatment of women, migrants, the LGBT community, religious and ethnic minorities, and to distribute leaflets. to this effect.

However, last Friday, three days before the planned demonstration, police showed up at the activists’ hotel. They were told that their tourist visas did not allow them to carry out such activities, and that the right to protest guaranteed by the Indian Constitution applies only to Indian citizens. The reason, according to the press release, was that the leaflets distributed contained “serious accusations against India (over its human rights record). What you are proposing has a negative impact on some of India’s allies. Furthermore, police officers were stationed in their hotel lobby for constant surveillance.

On Friday, when Pliny Soocoormanee wanted to go out for fresh air, he was accompanied by two police officers. Then, on Saturday, they were prohibited from leaving the hotel, and on Saturday evening, they were prohibited from being on social networks. “They were very kind and polite; we talked for about two hours at first. But there, it looks like censorship,” said the Mauritian resident, explaining that the police’s friendly attitude has not changed.

Discussions have been ongoing with police since Saturday. “The officers were polite, and based on their phone conversation, it appeared they were trying to find a compromise. But they apparently had orders from above to prevent any protests directed against the committee. “We were told that we would be detained if we continued with our actions,” the statement said. Ultimately, the decision to do nothing was taken and confirmed by the two activists, and their “house arrest”. it was removed yesterday.“Given the situation, I decided to end my stay as just a tourist“, explained Pliny Soocoormane.

Serena Hoyles

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