India politicians and activists condemn arrest of climate activist for involvement with farmers’ protest ‘toolkit’
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India politicians and activists condemn arrest of climate activist for involvement with farmers’ protest ‘toolkit’

Indian politicians and climate activists on Monday condemned the arrest of 22-year-old climate activist Disha Ravi on charges of sedition for her alleged involvement with a Google document “toolkit” containing resources to support the protesting Indian farmers.

The toolkit garnered attention after it was tweeted by Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg. Police believe that Ravi asked Thunberg to remove the document from her Twitter profile after realizing it contained identifying information. Thunberg shared an updated version of the toolkit—no longer in Google document format—on February 3. The document encourages readers to sign petitions, contact representatives, and “continue to organise gatherings.”

Delhi police assert that Ravi was a “key conspirator” in the document’s “formulation and dissemination,” and conspired to “wage economic, social, cultural and regional war against India” on January 26, India’s Republic Day. They allege that Ravi collaborated with Thunberg and the Poetic Justice Foundation “to spread disaffection against the Indian State.”

Arvind Kejriwal, Chief Minister of Delhi, called the events “an unprecedented attack on Democracy” and added that “supporting [India’s] farmers is not a crime.” Nine-year-old climate activist Licypriya Kangujam said Ravi’s arrest is “an attempt to silence the voices of young girls and women.” Thunberg has not yet commented on the matter.

Protests by farmers have continued across India since the passage of agricultural reform legislation in September, drawing attention from human rights groups around the world.