April 21, 2013 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Vancouver, BC, Canada (April 21, 2013): It is learnt that Canadian Sikh Coalition memorandum was submitted to Hermann Sitz, Consul General, German Consulate General Vancouver during a meeting in which execution of Prof. Davinderpal Singh Bhullar was discussed.
The text of memorandum, as shared at website Canadian Sikh Coalition, reads as follows:
RE: REJECTION OF MERCY PLEA FOR PROFESSOR DEVINDERPAL SINGH BHULLAR
Dear Hermann Sitz, Consul General, German Consulate General Vancouver,
We deliver this statement as a delegation from the Canadian Sikh Coalition on behalf of the Sikh community of Canada. We are an umbrella organization currently representing over 87 Sikh organizations across Canada with 300,000+ members who are extremely concerned about recent events involving Professor Devinderpal Singh Bhullar.
Earlier this month in April 2013, the Supreme Court of India decided to uphold the sentencing to death of Professor Bhullar; a man that sought asylum in Germany in 1994 yet was rejected and unlawfully extradited to India in 1995. Members of Professor Bhullar’s family had been tortured and killed by the Punjab police, as well as his students at Guru Nanak Engineering College in Ludhiana. This led to the following series of events:
– Professor Bhullar fled to Germany and was seeking asylum, as he would surely be targeted in India and may have become the victim of a “false encounter.”
– Germany rejected his asylum plea, and deported him to India under the conditions that he would not face the death penalty, nor be charged under the TADA (Terrorism and Disruptive Activities Prevention Act), a law which the United Nations condemned as “disturbing and completely unacceptable.”
– Prof. Bhullar’s confession – despite his being an engineering college professor – had his fingerprint on it rather than a signature. Bhullar states that blank sheets were placed before him and he was brutally tortured, and he never gave a confession.
– The President of Germany later sent a statement of regret over the deportation of Prof. Bhullar to the then President of India Pratibha Patil, and a court of Germany ruled that his deportation had been illegal.
Democratic nations across the world have a similar position on issues of the death penalty and a global moratorium on its abolition, but India has yet to commit and sign on as a member state even though it presents itself as a democracy. As stated in the EU memorandum on the Death Penalty (www.eurunion.org/legislat/deathpenalty/eumemorandum.htm), the European Union opposes the death penalty in all cases and accordingly aims at its universal abolition, seeking a global moratorium on the death penalty as a first step.
The extradition treaty between the Republic of India and the Federal Republic of Germany clearly states in Article 11 “Capital Punishment” that the death penalty, even if imposed, cannot be enacted in these circumstances.
Article 11 – Capital Punishment (Requesting State = India & Requested State = Germany)
“When the offence in respect of which extradition is requested is punishable by death under the Requesting State and the laws of the Requested State do not permit such punishment for that offence, extradition may be refused unless the Requesting State furnishes such assurances as the Requested State considers sufficient that the death penalty shall not be imposed, or, if imposed shall not be enacted.”
Taking this into consideration, we would request the following from the Federal Republic of Germany:
1. The Federal Republic of Germany immediately end its Extradition Treaty enacted with India in 2004 on the basis of the Indian government violating Article 11 “Capital Punishment” in which assurances with the Republic of India have not been met and Professor Bhullar is being subject to a sentence of death.
2. The Federal Republic of Germany immediately end its trade and all economic relationships with the Republic of India on the basis of gross violation and negligence in regards to an International Treaty.
3. The Federal Republic of Germany should make strong statements to their counterparts in Republic of India against Prof. Bhullar’s death penalty, and denounce India’s human rights violations in the parliament of the European Union.
We therefore respectfully urge you, Consul General, to immediately speak to your counterparts across the world and within the Federal Republic of Germany’s Foreign Affairs Ministry to exercise all the powers vested in your respected collective offices to grant Professor Devinderpal Singh Bhullar relief from the death penalty.
Canadian Sikh Coalition
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Related Topics: Canadian Sikh Coalition, Death Penalty, Prof. Devender Pal Singh Bhullar, Sikh Diaspora, Sikh News Canada