A petition on Change.Org had collected over 46,000 signatures by Thursday afternoon calling for the release of the activist and single mother, who was arrested by Lucknow Police on December 19 while she was recording live on Facebook the protest against CAA and NRC and the violence that followed.
The hashtag #FreeSadafJafar was trending on popular microblogging platform Twitter. The petition on Change.org read:
‘Sadaf is a teacher, a single mother, a survivor, and an overall kind and powerful woman. Right now, she is behind bars and her bail has been rejected. Her fault- she simply attended a protest as a citizen of her country! She was brutally beaten up by the UP police and has suffered multiple injuries. She was arrested while doing a Facebook Live video of the protest.’
Filmmaker Mira Nair took to Twitter to voice her outrage:
Sadaf has now been in jail for 12 days. She has been tortured and left to shiver in the cold of a cell for close to two weeks. As we end this year, let us also work to end the injustices of it. #FreeSadaf & all other protestors.
In an interview with NDTV, Nair called Jafar’s situation ‘appalling. “I plead for the release of Sadaf Jafar, who is an extraordinary teacher, a single mother, an activist who has been brutally beaten and is in jail since December 19. She’s forbidden from taking any medicine, she’s bleeding internally; the jails are freezing, she has not even been given a mattress, just a raggedy blanket. Her children are small and alone. There seems to be no recourse, they’ve just locked her up and thrown away the keys,” she said.
A tweet posted by noted film director Mahesh Bhatt got more than a thousand likes and 500 retweets:
If the mind is shackled or made impotent through fear, it makes no difference under what form of government you live, u are a subject & not a citizen. Without liberty of speech, all of the outward forms and structures of free institutions are a sham, a pretense. #FreeSadaf
Here’s a compilation of some other tweets:
She has statues and paintings of Hindu God, Islamic Scriptures, a painting appearing to be that of a church. She must hv nurtured her kids in the best way #FreeSadaf
I request everyone to support the movement to #FreeSadaf as it could be anyone tomorrow. Please share, RT as what is happening is wrong.
A lady, in jail for over 2 weeks... For doing a Facebook live from a public place where people are protesting.... Tortured, beaten in jail. There can not be something more shameful, blatant and brutal. #FreeSadaf
“Both of Sadaf’s children are eagerly awaiting the release of their mother. This insensitive government has separated children from their mother and old men from their children. UP gov has crossed all limits of inhumanity": @priyankagandhi after meeting Sadaf's kids.
Why is Sadaf in jail? She was beaten up, kicked in the stomach, and arrested. She has been inside for 2 weeks now!
And why? For covering a protest/being a part of it? #FreeSadaf