On December 13, 2019, Delhi police responded with force to a reportedly non-violent protest that was occurring at Jamia Millia Islamia University in New Delhi, India. At the end of February 2020, the Indian police charged Ms. Safoora Zargar, a protest volunteer and research scholar at the university, with causing disturbances during the protests. Ms. Zargar has been detained pre-trial for seven months despite the fact that she is pregnant and therefore at higher risk of contracting COVID-19 in the crowded prison in which she is detained. Based on a preliminary review of the proceedings to date, the ABA Center for Human Rights (the Center) has determined that her detention does not appear to meet international human rights standards.
The Center monitors trials around the world concerning human rights defenders to encourage compliance with fair trial standards. This preliminary report on the arrest of Ms. Zargar will be updated as the trial progresses.