//On the arrest of Jiten Yumnam and AMUCO officials in Manipur, India (On-line Signature Campaign)

On the arrest of Jiten Yumnam and AMUCO officials in Manipur, India (On-line Signature Campaign)


September 16, 2009

Dear Sir / Ma’am,

Jiten Yumnam, member of the Coordinating Committee of the Asia Pacific Indigenous Youth Network (APIYN), was arrested at Imphal Airport around 12:30 pm (India standard time). On the same day, at around 3:00 pm, seven identified executives of the All Manipur United Club Organization (AMUCO) were also arrested after a combined team of Singjamei Police and Imphal West Police Commandos raided their office. The seven executives were Sungchen Koireng, Likmabam Tompok, A. Soken, Irom Brojen, Toarem Ramanda, G. Sharat Kabui and Thiyam Dinesh.

Reports stated that an FIR case has been registered against the eight arrested men (including Jiten Yumnam) and booked under Section 121/121-A of Indian Penal Code (IPC), Section 16/18/39 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and Section O of the Official Secret Act. Section 121/121-A of the IPC deals with “attempting to wage war” and “conspiring to commit offences against the state”. Sections 16/18/39 of UA(P) deal with “unlawful acts of supporting or motivating” of what the State considers as “insurgents”.

Aside from being a founding member of the APIYN, Jiten Yumnam is also the Joint-Secretary of Citizens’ Concerns on Dam and Development (CCDD) that had been vocal and active in motivating youth engagement in constructive dialogues with Governments in the background of development aggression and militarization in North East India. Jiten Yumnam has also demonstrated great wisdom and boldness while raising public awareness against construction of Big Dams, besides his in-depth knowledge of the way International Financial Institutions (IFIs) design and fund mega projects in the name of climate change mitigation. Jiten Yumnam, by the time of his arrest, was actually on his way to Bangkok for another international meeting on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and shall proceed to New Zealand for the Indigenous Climate Connections (ICC) afterwards.

Jiten Yumnam also worked dedicatedly to raise awareness of the youth and the people by being a field reporter of Imphal Free Press and as freelance writer in Manipur Mail, The Sangai Express and the Imphal Free Press. He also published several materials that shook  the Government like the “Insidious Intrusion of International Financial Institutions in India’s North East” (2008);  “Militarization and human rights violations in Manipur” (December 2006) published by Asian Human Rights Commission in Hong Kong; “Mapithel Dam amidst Militaristic Development in Manipur” published in The Sangai Express last 14 December 2008; “Damned Hearings of Tipaimukh High Dam in Manipur” published in New Nation, Bangladesh last May 5, 2008; and “Development Aggression: Imphal Airport and University Expansion” published in the Imphal Free Press  (March 15, 2008).

We express grave concern for the arrest of indigenous youth activist Jiten Yumnam and the AMUCO officials. The arrests last September 14 are not isolated cases, but actually part of the Government’s efforts to repress and oppress criticisms from its concern people. India is known to have used undemocratic Federal and State legislations to charge activists in attempts to immobilize processes that embarrass Governments.

We also express serious alarm over the impunity with which citizens of that region are subjected to. These unjustifiable acts should end now. We demand that Police and law enforcement elements take the issue with utmost seriousness. APIYN and the world’s indigenous peoples, with concerned international agencies, state our abhorrence to the increasing cases of human rights violations in Manipur and demand the Government of India to ensure that its federal unit in Manipur:

   1. 1. Ensure the immediate and unconditional release of Mr. Jiten Yumnam and the AMUCO officials, and provide safety and return to their family and work;
   2. 2. Ensure that they shall be given the opportunity to speak and defend themselves in due process;
   3. 3. Retract from the policy of “cutting-off” activists individually and systematically;
   4. 4. Stop any form of repression and oppression to indigenous peoples activists and shall always use democratic spaces in resolving issues and concerns to the people of India;
   5. Stop state violence to its people.

In this endeavor, we are extremely hoping for a significant action of the concerned authorities of Manipur regarding this matter. We hope that the unjustifiable violations of human rights in the area be resolved and stopped as soon as possible for the prosperity of genuine justice and peace.


   1. Sign up the on-line petition at this link: http://apiyn.org/home/?p=216
   2. Write to the following authorities:

Mr. Okram Ibobi
Chief Minister & Home Minister of Manipur,
Chief Minister’s secretariat Babupara,
Imphal 795001 Manipur INDIA,
Tel: +91 385 2221833, 2220137 (O); 2220136, 2222683 (R)
Fax: + 91 385 2221817,
Email: [email protected]

Pratibha Patil Devi,
President, Office of the President, Rashtrapati Bhawan,
New Delhi, 110004 INDIA Tel: +91 11 3016767 (Joint Secretary),
3014507 (Personal Secretary),  Fax: +91 11 3017290,
3014570E-mail: [email protected] nic.in  or  [email protected] nic.in

Chairperson, National Human Rights Commission of India
Faridkot House, Copernicus Marg
New Delhi-110001 INDIA
Tel: +91 11 23074448, Fax: +91 11 2334
0016E-mail: mailto:  [email protected]

Mr. Chidambaram , Hon’ble  Ministry of Home Affairs,
Griha Mantralaya Room
No. 104, North Block Central Secretariat, New Delhi 110001
INDIA  Fax: +91 11 2301 5750, 2309 3750, 2309 2763
Email:  [email protected]

Chairperson Manipur State Human Rights
Commission Room No. VIP-II, State Guest House
Sanjenthong, Imphal-795001 Manipur
INDIA Tel: +91 385 2410473 (O) / 2447438
(R),   Telefax: +91 385
2410472E-mail: [email protected]

Respectfully your,

Jennifer R. Awingan
Over-all Coordinator
Asia Pacific Indigenous Youth Network (APIYN)
#30 Upper Padre Burgos Street, Baguio City 2600, Philippines

For more information, please also contact:

Paul Andrew Lucena
Asia Pacific Indigenous Youth Network (APIYN)
#30 Upper Padre Burgos Street, Baguio City 2600, Philippines
+63 74 446 2106 / [email protected]