40 Nobel laureates appeal for Binayak Sen`s release

A group of Nobel laureates from 12 countries have rallied behind jailed rights activist Binayak Sen, convicted of sedition by a Chhattisgarh court and called for his immediate release.

Updated: Feb 09, 2011, 18:04 PM IST

Raipur: A group of 40 Nobel laureates from
12 countries have rallied behind jailed rights activist
Binayak Sen, convicted of sedition by a Chhattisgarh court
and called for his immediate release.

The group, which includes Indian-origin scientist Dr
Venkatraman Ramakrishnan who got a Nobel in Chemistry in 2009,
have issued an appeal that Sen`s bail plea "be heard without
delay under the highest standards of Indian law".

"We ... respectfully express our astonishment and
dismay at the unjust life sentence handed down last month in
India to a fellow scientist and human rights advocate,
61-year-old Dr Binayak Sen," said the appeal posted on website
binayaksen.net, which has been set up by Sen`s supporters.

Sen, a paediatrician and social activist, was
sentenced to life term by a lower court on December 24 over
his links with Maoist ideologue Narayan Sanyal. Senior
criminal lawyer Ram Jethmalani is now representing Sen in
court.

The Noble laureates, who called for Sen`s immediate
release, described him as "an exceptional, courageous
and selfless colleague" who has dedicated his life to helping
those in India who are least able to help themselves.

Ninety-one year old French scientist Francois Jacob who won a Nobel in 1965, is the senior-most laureate in the
group, which includes several scientists.

Among the signatories are Joseph Murray, who pioneered
kidney transplant and Samuel Blumberg who discovered the
Hepatitis B virus.

PTI