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Portugal Launches Investigation of Torture Charges Against Punjab Police Officials

February 27, 2016 | By

Lisbon, Portugal: The Prosecutor General of Portugal has launched the investigation of the torture charges against DIG Balkar Singh Sidhu, SP Ashish Kapoor and DSP Rajinder Singh Sohal who recently visited Portugal to submit extradition documents against Paramjeet Singh Pamma.

February 22 notice by Rosa Rocha, Advisor with the Prosecutor General’s office states that “I have the honor to inform that the complaint filed with the Attorney General of the Republic by the Indian citizen identified above, has been forwarded to the Department of Investigation and Penal Action in Lisbon”.

Pamma filed a criminal complaint on January 28 with the Attorney General of Portugal against Indian Police Officers alleging torture and human rights violations under laws Number 31/2004 and 59/2007 which provide jurisdiction over the crimes committed outside Portugal.

The complaint to Attorney General alleged that Ashish Kapoor, SP Mohali tortured the complainant Pamma in 1998, while DIG Balkar Sidhu and DSP Rajinder Sohal extra judicially killed Surjit Singh in May 1992 and Tajinder Singh Billu in May 1993, respectively.

Paramjit Singh Pamma with his legal defense team in Portugal [File Photo]

Paramjit Singh Pamma with his legal defense team in Portugal [File Photo]

“We are closely pursuing the torture case and are seeking “European Arrest Warrants” (EAW) against Kapoor, Sidhu and Sohal for torture and extra judicial killing of Sikhs”, stated attorney Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, legal advisor to “Sikhs For Justice” (SFJ). ” EAW is valid throughout all member states of the European Union (EU) and persons subject of such warrants may be detained by any EU member state, added attorney Pannun.

Portuguese criminal lawyer Manual Luis Ferreira in coordination with human rights group SFJ filed the complaint on behalf of Pamma who at that time was detained in Beja Prison under extradition proceedings.

On February 12, Portugal’s Minister for Justice denied India’s request for extradition and released Pamma on the grounds that he has a valid refugee status granted by UK on the basis of persecution suffered in India.

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