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Stan Swamy

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN HL1819, tabled on 7 July 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the government of India about the death of Father Stan Swamy in custody whilst awaiting trial in that country.

Answered on

21 July 2021

I was greatly saddened to learn of Father Swamy's passing on July 5, aged 84. I raised Father Swamy's case with India's Foreign Secretary, Harsh Shringla, and India's Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kishan Reddy, on 15 March while in India. Most recently, I discussed Father Swamy's case with the Indian High Commissioner on 8 June.

We engage with India on a range of human rights matters and oppose discrimination against minorities because of religion, caste, or belief. The British High Commission in New Delhi and Deputy High Commission in Mumbai had been monitoring Father Swamy's case closely and will continue to monitor progress on the rights of Dalits and indigenous people in India.

The British High Commission in New Delhi and our network of Deputy High Commissions across India regularly meet representatives from minority communities and run projects promoting minority rights. Our project work has provided legal training for 2,000 Dalit women to combat violence against them. We also helped establish the first network of Dalit Women Human Rights Defenders who are trained as paralegals in the states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, and Maharashtra. Furthermore, we engaged 365 state criminal justice system officials in case issues, training programmes, legal roundtables, and awareness raising programmes.