Australian documentary maker David Bradbury was detained by police late yesterday in Tamil Nadu while investigating the Indian nuclear industry.
Greens nuclear policy spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam said the arrest was only the latest in a series of moves to suppress criticism of India's notorious nuclear sector.
"Mr Bradbury was approaching Idinthakarai, a village that has been subjected to severe police repression in response to anti-nuclear protests, when he was detained and taken to Radhapuram Police Station. He has since been released. I will be raising the matter with the Indian Ambassador today.
"On October 12 an ‘All India Fact Finding' team of about 12 people was intercepted on route to Idinthakarai, interrogated and remanded in Tirunelveli Jail. This is part of a pattern of intimidation to silence dissent.
"Recently at the site of a nuclear reactor in Koodankulam police have used brutal tactics against tens of thousands of peaceful protestors. Two people have been shot dead by police, most recently Mr Anthony Samy in September. There have been at least five deaths in the struggles against Koodankulam (Tamil Nadu), Jaitapur (Maharashtra), and Gorakhpur (Haryana) nuclear power plants since 2010."
Senator Ludlam urged Prime Minister Gillard to reconsider the Government's decision to sell uranium to India.
"Last month, Comptroller and Auditor General Vinod Rai's damning report on nuclear regulation in India highlighted a series of grave organisational and operational flaws, and raised serious concerns about the lack of independence of the Regulation Board. Mr Rai found 60 per cent of inspection reports for nuclear power plants in India were either seriously delayed or did not happen at all. For power plants under construction, the number of inspections delayed or not done was 66 per cent. Smaller radiation facilities operate with no licences and no oversight. Current legislation gives the Board almost no power to penalise breaches. It is no shock that Indian authorities are trying to suppress the truth about this appalling industry.
"In addition to the massive problems in India's civilian nuclear sector, earlier this year India was ranked 28th out of 32 countries in terms of the security of their nuclear stockpiles, and Delhi refuses to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The case against selling uranium to India is undeniable."