April 18, 2013 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
New York, United States (April 18, 2013): Seeking United Nations intervention, international human rights NGOs have approached UN’s Special Rapporteur on Torture after the denial of commutation plea by the Supreme Court of death row convict Devenderpal Singh Bhullar.
The urgent appeal to Honorable Juan Méndez UN Special Rapporteur on Torture seeking immediate intervention, has been jointly filed by “Sikhs For Justice” (SFJ) a US based advocacy group, “Canadian Sikh Coalition” (CSC), a Canada based NGO and “Movement Against Atrocities and Repression” (MAAR) a Swiss NGO.
Since Bhullar’s conviction is based on torture which is in violation of Article 3 of the UN Convention Against Torture, the appeal urges the UN to issue notification to Foreign Minister of India demanding to stop the execution and to send a “fact finding” mission to India to investigate the torture perpetrated on Bhullar which resulted in “dubious confession” and his conviction.
Bhullar was convicted under TADA (Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act of India, a law that has been condemned as “disturbing and completely unacceptable” by Honorable Nigel Rodely, UN Rapporteur on Torture (1993-2001)”, the appeal further states.
UN Special Rapporteur on Torture is appointed pursuant to resolution 1985/33 of UN Commission on Human Rights, to examine and intervene on questions relevant to torture. Under its mandate, the Special Rapporteur, without drawing any conclusions as to the facts of the case, is required to notify the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the country concerned, urging the Government to ensure the physical and mental integrity of the victims and to send a “fact finding missions”.
Justifying UN intervention in Bhullar’s case, attorney Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, legal advisor to SFJ who practices international human rights law conviction and planned execution, violates fundamental principles of justice, principle of non-refoulment, endorses extracting of confessions through torture and his continuous detention for the past sixteen (18) years violates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and shocks human dignity, the appeal further states.
Attorney Pannun stated that since Bhullar was deported from Germany to India in violation of Article 3 of the Convention Against Torture which prohibits deportation of an individual to a country where he would tortured, Bhullar is now subject of law of nations and not the subject of Indian law alone. International law’s principle of non-refoulment protects Bhullar from death penalty added attorney Pannun.
Spokesman of Swiss NGO MAARS stated that a delegation of international human rights activists will be meeting with Juan Méndez UN Special Rapporteur on Torture to apprise him of the impending threat of execution and medical condition of torture victim, Bhullar.
Since 2011 many prominent international human rights organizations have extended support to the demand for the release of Bhullar. Equal Justice USA (EJUSA), New Yorkers for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (NYADP); “Wespac Foundation” and “Reprieve” have written to the Government of India to stop the execution of Bhullar.
Sikhs for Justice, is a U.S. based human rights advocacy group, which is striving to disseminate information regarding the Genocide of Sikhs in November 1984 and is mobilizing Human Rights Groups and the International Community on a common platform. Sikhs for Justice is pursuing the legal battle to get the justice for the victims of the November 1984 Sikh Genocide with the support of All India Sikh Students Federation, a social political organization headed by Karnail Singh Peermohammad.
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