Anand Grover und sein Anwaltskollektiv haben über Jahrzehnte hinweg einen wesentlichen Beitrag für den Menschenrechts- und HIV-Diskurs geleistet. Die indische Regierung geht seit geraumer Zeit gegen das unliebsam gewordene Anwaltskollektiv vor, was man durchaus als ein weiteres Beispiel für den schrumpfenden Raum zivilgesellschaftlichen Engagements durch populistische Regierungen interpretieren kann, die sich bspw. auch durch gegen die Zivilgesellschaft gerichteten Aktionen während der UNAIDS PCB Meetings durch Indiens Delegation ausdrücken.
Over the last decades, the undersigned and countless others have had the privilege to collaborate closely with Anand Grover and the Lawyers Collective in advocating for and working towards achieving affordable access to needed medicines, particularly with regard to HIV and AIDS, hepatitis, cancer and other infectious and non-infectious diseases.
The Lawyers Collective, like no other organisation, has been instrumental in improving global access to medicines by supporting the Indian Government in implementing all TRIPS flexibilities into the Indian patent laws when India as a Middle Income Country had to comply with TRIPS in 2005. Since then, the organisation has safe-guarded section 3d of the Indian patent laws and tirelessly challenged patents that were unlawful under Indian legislation. In doing so, the Lawyers Collective has helped improve access to medicines not only in India, but in many parts of the world, particularly in countries and regions which relied heavily on Indian generics to improve national health and access to affordable medicines.
Anand Grover is a globally highly recognised and respected person and a tireless and outspoken advocate for health, rights and human dignity. He has not shied away from criticizing policies which violate human rights and in particular the right to health. As a lawyer who has spent decades in advancing human rights through litigation and as the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health (2008-2014), Anand is one of very few global actors who has defended the rule of law in different parts of India and the world for the betterment of society and people’s health by upholding the principles of an independent judiciary, the implementation of the right to health and by working towards non-discriminatory laws.
You will appreciate that we were dismayed to hear on July 11th that the police had conducted a raid at the home of the Lawyers Collective’s founders, Mr Anand Grover and Ms Indira Jaising, two outstanding human rights lawyers. We are very concerned about the targeting of the Lawyers’ Collective and their founders.
We therefore urge you and your Government, to do everything in your power to ensure that Mr Anand Grover and Ms Indira Jaising are able to resume their work as lawyers and the Lawyers Collective is able to continue their much needed work for social justice and global access to affordable medicines.
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