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Federation of Indo-American Christian Associations of North America 110 Maryland Ave., NE Suite 510, Washington,DC 2002 USA. www.fiacona.org Phone: 202-547-4700 Fax: 202-574-6228 Press Release June 18, 2004 Gujarat State Government’s Intimidation of Human Rights Activists The Federation of Indian American Christian Organizations of North America (FIACONA) joins with Christian and human rights organizations in India in condemning the recent attempts by the Gujarat State government authorities including the Criminal Investigation Division, to intimidate noted human rights activist and Jesuit Father Cedric Prakash of Ahmedabad. These actions by the BJP government of Mr. Narendra Modi are in line with other reports of retaliatory steps taken by the State government against social activists and human rights groups, especially those continuing to raise awareness about the plight of minorities affected by the riots of 2002. Father Cedric Prakash has been the subject of police related investigations on repeated occasions with enquiries about his writings and statements at meeting abroad. Rev Bernard Malik, President of FIACONA said “We have known Father Cedric Prakash to be a man of God, a gentle and thoughtful campaigner on behalf of the oppressed in his country and a true patriot whose concern has been social justice and harmony between India’s religious faiths. People like Fr. Prakash should be honored and society owes him a debt of gratitude on behalf of the voiceless”. Mr. Abraham Mammen, National Vice President of FIACONA, appealed to the secular political coalition that has just assumed power at the Central Government. “We urge President Kalam and the UPA Government to intervene on behalf of civil liberties and democratic freedoms in Gujarat. Father Prakash and his fellow activists must be protected even as they struggle to preserve the fundamental human rights of the oppressed minority populations in Gujarat who still live in a state of fear and uncertainty.” We call upon the Government to ensure the safety of Fr. Prakash and immediately intervene to stop the intimidation and harassment of all human rights activists in general and Fr. Prakash in particular. FIACONA is a Federation representing Christian churches and organizations in North America with a predominantly Indian American membership. It has its national office in Washington DC. FIACONA works to raise awareness in the US about issues concerning freedom of worship and human rights that have been enshrined in the Constitution of India. Rev. Bernard Malik 302-354-5452 For the favor of publication