Rights commission takes note of Nasreen’s isolation

February 18th, 2008 - 5:55 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Taslima Nasreen

New Delhi, Feb 8 (IANS) The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Friday issued notices to the Delhi Police commissioner and the home secretary, asking whether allegations that Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen was in great agony due to her isolation were true. The NHRC move comes on a complaint by a group of writers that Nasreen, who is confined to a safe house in the Indian capital, was not able to communicate with anyone except a few government officials.

The NHRC gave the authorities two weeks to reply to its notice.

The complainants said the author was entitled to protection of her life as well as liberty and there was no basis to treat her in that manner.

After going through the complaint, the commission said if the allegations are true, it seriously affects human rights. It also directed that a copy of the complaint be provided to the two authorities for their comments.

Nasreen was shifted to the capital from Jaipur in November last year after being whisked away from Kolkata following large-scale violence in that city over her stay by a minority group.

Nasreen was admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences Jan 26 after she was allegedly administered wrong drugs.

The writer, who was recently conferred the Prix Simone de Beauvoir award by the French government, was not allowed to receive it in person when French President Nicolas Sarkozy visited India last month.

She has been living in exile for more than 10 years now after a fatwa was issued against her in Bangladesh over her writings. Since the 1990s, Nasreen has faced numerous threats from Islamic groups for her writings.

The commission also sent notice to the chief secretary and the police chief of West Bengal on a report that at least five people were killed in indiscriminate police firing on Forward Bloc activists at Dinhata town Feb 5.

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