Bishop Paul McAleenan offers a clear message to Fr Stan Swamy's captors - Listen to reason, and to the voice of justice, and release him from prison.
Four Catholic Bishops from our International Affairs department have recorded messages calling for the release of Fr Stan Swamy – a Jesuit priest who has been held on unfounded charges of terrorism in an Indian prison for more than 200 days. He celebrated his 84th birthday in captivity on 26 April 2021.
Bishop Paul McAleenan, our Bishop for Migrants and Refugees and an auxiliary Bishop of Westminster, offers a clear message to his captors: “Listen to reason, and to the voice of justice, and act accordingly. And that is by releasing him from prison – immediately – and by allowing him to return safely and without fear to his community.”
Hello everyone, I am Bishop Paul McAleenan, an auxiliary bishop of Westminster Diocese and a member of the International Affairs department of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.
I would like to give a short message on behalf of Father Stan Swamy to indicate my support for him and his cause.
Father Stan Swamy, reflecting on his incarceration in Taloja prison in Mumbai, said: “A caged bird can still sing”. With these words, despite his ordeal, Stan Swamy shows that nothing has undermined his commitment to the cause of justice.
For many, many years, Stan Swamy has been campaigning on behalf of those who are denied justice. Speaking for them, calling for their fair and just treatment under the law. Imprisonment has done nothing to change his resolve to continue to do so. It is now time for us to do what Stan Swamy has been doing for years, that is demand justice for him and ask for fair and humane treatment for him. This can only be achieved by his immediate release from prison.
Firstly, Stan is eighty-four-years-old. Secondly, those who know him well can vouch for his personal integrity. Thirdly, they emphasise his non-violent pursuit of his aims.
For these reasons, and given his health condition, Stan Swamy should be immediately released from prison. That will satisfy the demands of justice. I hope that those holding him in captivity will listen to reason, and to the voice of justice, and act accordingly. And that is by releasing him from prison – immediately – and by allowing him to return safely and without fear to his community.