A life sentence handed down to a rural pediatrician in the world's largest democracy had human rights activists screaming a mockery of justice Saturday.
A court in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh found Dr. Binayak Sen and two others guilty of sedition and conspiracy Friday for helping India's Maoist Naxalite movement. They were sentenced to life in jail.
Amnesty International blasted the court's actions as a violation of international fair trial standards and said Binayak's sentence was likely to enflame tensions in an area already clouded by conflict.
Amnesty said the charges were politically motivated because Sen reported the unlawful killings of tribal people by police and a private militia believed to be sponsored by the government to fight Maoist rebels.
"Life in prison is an unusually harsh sentence for anyone, much less for an internationally recognized human rights defender who has never been charged with any act of violence," said Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International's Asia-Pacific director.FULL STORY