August 13, 2011 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
New York (August 13, 2011): Many prominent international human rights organizations have extended support to the demand for the release of Professor Devender Pal Singh Bhullar. Equal Justice USA (EJUSA), New Yorkers for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (NYADP); Wespac Foundation and Reprieve have written to the Government to stop the execution of Professor Bhullar.
In a letter addressed to President of India, Shari Silberstein of Equal Justice USA (EJUSA) reminded that India claims to be the world’s largest democracy and is candidate to the UN Security Council and thus “should take a leadership role in moving towards repealing the death penalty, with a view to joining the 104 countries that have already ended the death penalty; or, at a minimum, to maintain the de facto moratorium”. Writing specifically about Professor Bhullar’s case, EJUSA’s letter to President of India states that since Professor Bhullar is currently in a mental hospital, “EJUSA is especially concerned to hear this because we recognize that all of the death penalty’s flaws are exacerbated when mental illness is involved”.
Sikhs to Petition UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) on December 12, 2011 at Geneva
According to Gurpatwant S. Pannun, on the eve of International Human Rights Day 2011, Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) with the support of Equal Justice USA (EJUSA), New Yorkers for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (NYADP); Wespac Foundation and Reprieve will submit a petition to Navanethem Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland. The petition to be submitted on December 12, 2011 will urge UNHCHR to intervene and urge Government of India to stop execution of Professor Devenderpal Singh Bhullar.
Attorney Pannun stated that, the petition to UNHCR will remind the Commission that India is not a signatory to UN Convention Against Torture and Professor Bhullar has been convicted on the sole basis of a confessional statement given by him during his interrogation through torture and the threat of death. The use of torture to obtain false confessions is a violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which guarantees due process of law and protection of life to all human beings.
According to SFJ Coordination Committee members Avtar Singh Pannu, Barjinder Singh Brar, Charanjit Singh Harnampuri, Master Mohinder Singh and Dr. Bakhshish Singh Sandhu, While on one hand India is asking for Clemency for Sarabjit Singh who is on death row in Pakistan from the Government of Pakistan, but on the other hand the same Government of India wants to execute Prof Bhullar, who was tortured and forced to sign blank sheets of papers which were later used to engineer his “confessional statement” which forms the sole basis of his conviction. Professor Bhullar was sentenced to death, by a split decision of the Supreme Court of India, solely on the basis of this fabricated “confession” and without any independent corroborating evidence or witnesses.
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