Irom Sharmila freed after 14 years

A local court on Tuesday ordered the release of human rights campaigner Irom Sharmila, who has been on a hunger strike for the last 14 years, saying there was not enough ground to prove she was trying to kill herself.
Sharmila, 42, has been demanding the repeal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), a law that gives military sweeping powers to search and detain anyone suspected to be involved in an armed revolt in the remote north-eastern state of Manipur.
She was kept under arrest in a state-run hospital and force-fed by tubes. On Tuesday, a court in the state capital, Imphal, ordered that the charge of attempting suicide be dropped and Sharmila be freed.
Joshy Joseph, a filmmaker whose 2009 documentary `While gods took to dancing' was based on Sharmila, described Tuesday's verdict as a “moral victory“. He also expressed concern about the “erosion of support base“ for Sharmila's struggle in Imphal.
Sharmila was 28 when she launched a hunger strike against the draconian act. She was arrested in November 2000 and charged with attempt to commit suicide.

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