Amnesty International today made an appeal to the Manipur government to drop all charges against activist Irom Chanu Sharmila before she ends her 16-year-old fast on August 9.
In a statement, the international human rights organisation said that the state government must immediately and unconditionally release the 44-year-old activist and drop all charges against her.
Arijit Sen, project manager at Amnesty International India, said Sharmila's iconic fight against the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) was bound to take a new course with her decision which was announced yesterday.
Amnesty has described her as a "Prisoner of Conscience" as she has been under arrest for her fast which is seen by the police as an attempt to commit suicide.
"This also comes at a time when the Supreme Court has ordered 1,528 cases of alleged extra-judicial execution in Manipur over the last two decades to be investigated. Now the government needs to do its part to pave the way for the repeal of AFSPA," Sen said.
The "Iron Lady" of Manipur yesterday said she would end her fast on August 9, get married and take the political route to fight for the repeal of AFSPA.
She will fight as an Independent candidate from Malom constituency in the state Assembly polls due next year.
(With PTI inputs)