July 11, 2011 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
London, UK (July 11, 2011): The Sikh Federation (UK) which is recognised as the leading lobbying Sikh organisation in the UK and Europe has welcomed the resolution passed and adopted in the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 7 July, 2011 in support of Professor Davinderpal Singh Bhullar.
“This followed the earlier success on 1 June when the Vice President of the European Commission, Baroness Catherine Ashton was convinced by MEPs, mainly from the UK and Germany, to write to the Indian authorities expressing the opposition of European Member States to the decision of the President of India to give the go ahead to execute Professor Davinderpal Singh Bhullar” claimed a press release issued by Gurjeet Singh, Secretary of the organization.
“The text of the resolution that has been obtained by the Sikh Federation (UK) makes reference to United Nations General Assembly Resolutions and EU Guidelines on the Death Penalty and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union” it adds.
In passing the resolution the European Parliament has also questioned India’s ability to remain on 47-nation UN Human Rights Council as India before being elected in May 2011 pledged to uphold the highest standards in terms of promoting and protecting human rights.
What will be extremely worrying to India in terms of economic ties with the EU is that the resolution specifically refers to the 1994 Cooperation Agreement between the European Community and India that made respect for human rights an essential element of the Agreement.
The resolution also refers to the circumstances surrounding the return of Professor Davinderpal Singh Bhullar to India from Germany.
The resolution that has been passed ‘expresses grave concern’ at the decision on the death penalty by the Government of India and refers to this ‘bucking the worldwide trend towards the abolition of capital punishment’.
The European Parliament ha urgently appealed to the Government of India not to execute Professor Davinderpal Singh Bhullar and to deal with his ‘case in a . . . . transparent manner’.
The Parliament has instructed its President to forward the resolution to the President, Government and Parliament of India, India’s Minister for Law and Justice, India’s Home Minister, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Commission, and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.
Bhai Amrik Singh, the Chair of the Sikh Federation (UK), said: ‘this a fantastic achievement for Sikhs lobbying not only for the removal of the threat of the death penalty against Professor Davinderpal Singh Bhullar, but also for his release as he is in his 17th year of confinement.
India would be mad to ignore European Member States and the United Nations.
We have already seen obtaining justice for Sikhs killed in November 1984 is proving impossible because the Indian authorities and the judicial system are masters at delay Our challenge is for India not to be allowed to delay making decisions on th release of Professor Davinderpal Singh Bhullar’.