Letter to UN
(Following is a letter written by Adeel Khan to UN Human Rights Office)

The United Nations Human Rights Experts
United Nations Human Rights
Office of the high commissioner

Thank you all for urging our Indian government to immediately release human rights defenders who have been arrested for peacefully protesting against changes in the nation's citizenship laws and an upcoming national register for citizenship. Although Government didn't listen to the appeal and many others are still incarcerated behind the bars amid the COVID-19 pandemic creating havoc inside congested prisons all over India.

I was tortured mentally as well as physically, denied food and water for many days, and treated inhumanly during my 7 months of incarceration in a congested, overcrowded Mathura prison. Fortunately, I got my NSA and all 3 extensions quashed by Hon'ble High Court Uttar-Pradesh, India which called the whole process illegal. While dropping NSA charges against me, the Hon'ble Chief justice observed:
Dr. Kafeel Khan's speech at AMU, Aligarh, UP, India "does not disclose any effort to promote hatred or violence. It also nowhere threatens the peace and tranquility of the city of Aligarh. The address gives a call for national integrity and unity among the citizens. The speech also deprecates any kind of violence."

"It appears that the District Magistrate (Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, India) had selective reading and selective mention for few phrases from the speech, ignoring its true intent. Our anxiety is to assess that as to whether a reasonable man could have concluded as arrived by the District Magistrate, Aligarh? Prima facie, the speech is not such that a reasonable man could have concluded the inference drawn by the District Magistrate, Aligarh."

3. "...we are having no hesitation in concluding that neither detention of Dr. Kafeel Khan under National Security Act, 1980 nor extensions of the detention are sustainable in the eye of the law".

4. "The extension of the period of detention of detenue Dr. Kafeel Khan is also declared illegal."

With due respect, I also want to draw your kind attention towards the suffering and trauma, I and my whole family is going through for the past 3 years (Since August 2017). BRD oxygen tragedy happened on 10th August 2017, which killed many children. The reason was the stoppage of the supply of liquid oxygen due to non-payment of dues to the vendor. To hide Government failure I was made a scapegoat and imprisoned for nine months, though I, left no stone unturned in saving the lives of kids on that day. Honorable Allahabad High court categorically stated on 25th April 2018 that there is no evidence of medical negligence against me and I was nowhere involved with oxygen tender. Even in the High Court affidavit, U.P. Government has accepted a shortage of oxygen supply.

Honorable High court in his judgment on 30th April 2018 observed that there was a shortage of liquid oxygen due to the abrupt disruption of liquid oxygen supply which happened due to non-payment of dues to the supplier. Departmental inquiry done by Principal Secretary also stated that there was a shortage of liquid oxygen for 54 hours in BRD Medical College on 10, 11,12th of August 2017 and Dr. Kafeel Khan indeed arranged jumbo oxygen cylinders to save dying kids and absolved me on charges of medical negligence and corruption and accepted that I was the junior-most consultant who was not involved with supply, procurement, maintenance, order, payment of Liquid oxygen.

 After 9 months of hard times, emotional & physical turmoil, when I was trying to start from scratch they tried to kill my brother on 10th June 2018 and what followed later was the horrible, unacceptable, insensitive attitude of UP police as they tried their best to delay the emergency operation to remove the bullets for many hours which was necessitated to save his life. It's been more than 2 years and the investigation is heading nowhere, I wish both incidents should be investigated by CBI to rule out any complicity of state officials in these incidents. Now, my concern is that government-sponsored victimization of the whole family is continued while I am struggling to survive since my suspension has not been revoked. Since last three years have I am under suspension despite 8 different inquiry conducted by the UP government cleared my name of any wrongdoing. Creating administrative hurdles when I was trying to serve voluntarily is another stumbling block by the administration.

 I assure you that my sanctification, devotion, and determination towards serving my countrymen would continue regardless of the obstacles created by this regime. Putting me behind the bars and trying to suppress my voice by physically and mentally torturing me is not going to break my zeal, my enthusiasm, my commitment to my country and it's democratic values. The difficulties which my family faces are making me more determined to achieve my objectives and to win against all odds. I'll continue raising my voice against injustice done to anyone anywhere in the world irrespective of their religion/ region/ caste/Social-economic status/gender/disabilities.

In continuance with a social cause, I'll continue conducting free medical camps every week/fortnight for the underprivileged. Our team under the banner "Dr. Kafeel Khan mission smile foundation" and with the help of common citizens has conducted more than 100 free medical camps treating more than 50000 kids across the country. With a team of 25 health activists, we have started a "Health for All" campaign to demand the Right for Healthcare legislation as the Indian health care system needs an overhaul.

 Once again I thank you all very much for supporting our cause and standing in solidarity with us in this most tumultuous, roller-coaster phase and would appeal to continue raising our plight as many Human Right defenders/social activist/students are continue to be detained and authorities are invoking counter-terrorism and national security legislation using procedural police powers.
Dr Kafeel Khan
(Twice-Suspended Former Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatric, BRD Medical College Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, India)

Vol. 53, No. 15, Oct 11 - 17, 2020