December 12, 2012 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Kesri Lehar – “The Wave For Justice” – Submits The Peoples’ Petition To Prime Minister David Cameron
London, UK (December 10, 2012): A contingent of over 750 Kesri Lehar campaigners from all over the UK gathered outside the office of the British Prime Minister David Cameron seeking truth, justice, and dignity for all minorities in India.
On the occasion of the 64th anniversary of the adoption and proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, this 10th December 2012, MP’s, Peers of the House of Lords and Human Rights activists all came together on International Human Rights Day to show unprecedented solidarity with the 118,000 voices who have signed the Kesri Lehar petition.
The focus of the petition is to urge the UK parliament to request India to sign and ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and the UN Charter against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading treatment or punishment, which encompasses the ‘death penalty’.
The delegation included John Mcdonnell MP, Seema Malhotra MP, Fabian Hamilton MP, Fiona Mctaggart MP, John Spellar MP, Pat Mcfadden MP as well as Dan Jones of Amnesty International UK, Baba Fauja Singh, British centenarian marathon runner, Maggie Bowden of Liberation, Father Yaqoob Kushi of the Asian Christian Fellowship, Iqbal Singh of Panjabi Human Rights Internet and Ms Baldeesh Kaur representing Kesri Lehar.
India’s human rights record came under renewed international scrutiny during its second Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the UN Human Rights Council on 24 May 2012. Research conducted by Amnesty
International, NGOs, academic bodies and individuals have all painted a worrying picture of the prevalence of torture and other ill-treatment committed by both official and non-state-actors throughout India.” reports Amnesty International.
A letter by John McDonnell, MP was also delivered to David Cameron urging him “To lead the UK government in a renewed effort to persuade the Indian Government to renounce capital punishment and address outstanding human rights abuse concerns.”
The letter also states that “The Kesri Lehar campaign was launched by members of the Panjabi community in Britain in response to the continued adherence to the implementation of the death penalty by the Indian government. The petition also highlights the concerns surrounding human rights abuses generally.”
Fabian Hamilton MP, the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for British Sikhs praised the Kesri Lehar for mounting the campaign. Speaking to supporters and campaigners Hamilton said, “I declare my support for the campaign and for the issues being raised in the campaign.” He applauded the mass petitioning campaign as incredibly successful.
Kesri Lehar held its first parliamentary meeting, Chaired by Labour MP John McDonnell, in Committee Room 12 of the House of Commons. Many MPs, Lords and guest speakers from various minority groups and human rights organisations addressed the meeting.
The speakers highlighted in their speeches the need to put an end to the large-scale gross violations of human rights perpetrated by Union of States Government of India, especially, before it bids for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council.
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