Human rights defender
Akram is a trained lawyer and human rights defender from India who works on the issues of extrajudicial killings and cases of public lynchings in the state of Uttar Pradesh. He founded the Afkar India Foundation in 2013 during the riots of Muzaffarngar where Akram actively worked towards the relief and rehabilitation of riot victims. The mission of Afkar India Foundation is to strengthen the voices of marginalised sections of society against injustice and inequality by organizing and supporting them to actively demand their constitutional rights and citizenship entitlements. As part of his work, Akram actively participates in conferences and workshops in India and provides legal aid on behalf of aggrieved families affected by communal violence and state atrocities. Akram hopes to create an ‘Archive against Humanity’ where he will use the existing data of police and media reports to compile and produce exhaustive manuscript on the social and economic nature of crimes in Uttar Pradesh.
Human rights violations in India
In India, draconian laws on sedition and counterterrorism are being used to curb free expression. Furthermore, the Indian government has failed to prevent or credibly investigate growing mob attacks against Dalit, Muslims, and specially, people critical of government policy . As on January 2019, four UN human rights experts have expressed alarm about allegations of at least 59 extrajudicial killings since March 2017, by the Uttar Pradesh police . Family members of the victims and HRDs working on the cases have been harassed, subjected to death threats from police and had false criminal cases brought against them in apparent attempts to intimidate them .
Threats and harassment
Being based outside of Delhi, Akram is at a much greater risk of persecution. He has received numerous threats from police officers in response to filing claims against unscrupulous officers in the courts, and has also been harassed by various other. Since the new government was elected in 2017 circumstances have worsened and he has been placed under constant surveillance, has received threatening phone calls and been subject to physical intimidation.