Irom Sharmila nears decade long hunger strike

November 2, 2010 6:30 PM
Originally published by Surrey County Council Lib Dems

Irom SharmilaLib Dem MEP Graham Watson has asked the UK government and the European Commission to help Irom Sharmila who has been on hunger strike for 10 years.

The 2nd of November 2010 marks a decade of struggle by the 'Iron Lady' of Manipur; the longest fast in Indian history. She is protesting against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act 1958 (AFSPA), which gives Indian Security Forces immunity from prosecution for crimes committed against the civilians. Hundreds of crimes have been committed against the men, women and children of North East India.

Force feeding has kept Ms Sharmila alive, detained by the Indian Authorities, whilst her family and friends appeal to see her. It is unlikely she will live beyond the year sources say.

The Indian Authorities have made every effort to prevent the story of Irom Sharmila leaving India. Graham Watson MEP is trying to raise awareness for Ms Sharmila's cause. Watson has urged the international community to respect, honour and remember the commitment and courage Irom Sharmila is showing.

Graham Watson commented "I was contacted by Irom Sharmila's relatives and asked to help. All she wants is to raise awareness of the cruelty and injustice suffered by the people of Manipur in India. To make it stop. I am deeply moved by the spirit shown by Ms Sharmila, who with no thought for herself has campaigned for a decade to protect her own people. I hope that her efforts are never forgotten, I will do all that I can to help."