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Sikh Massacres of 1984 can not and will not be forgotten: Salil Sheety, Secretary General, Amnesty International

December 6, 2014 | By

London, UK: A release by the Sikh Federation UK says Amnesty International Secretary General Salil Shetty has sent a message to the Sikh Federation (UK) for the series of 30th Anniversary of November 1984 Sikh Genocide Remembrance events. Next event Thursday 11 December in the European Parliament, Brussels from 9-11am.

Here is the message of Salil Shetty (video) and it’s transcript:

This year marks 30 years of impunity for the crimes committed during one of India’s most shameful episodes.It is a national disgrace that thousands of victims and survivors of the 1984 Sikh massacres have been denied justice for three decades now.

What happened in 1984 can not and will not be forgotten. The memory of 1984 is a very personal memory of me. I just finished university and the idea of so many brave Sikhs who had fought on the frontiers had to face such victimization and persecution. It is something which affected me and my entire family very deeply.

Amnesty International calls on the Indian Government to reopen all closed cases and re-investigate the massacre of over three thousand Sikhs on the days following the assassination of prime minister Indira Gandhi in 1984. The Indian government can not continue abdicating it’s responsibility to punish those who were behind the violence against Sikh men, women and even children. The authorities must hear the voices of the thousands calling for justice.

We known a number of official commissions of inquiry were appointed to investigate the 1984 massacres and some even found evidence of complicity of police officials and political leaders in systematic attacks against members of the Sikh community. However we also know very few people were convicted in cases related to this violence. After the massacres the Delhi police closed investigations into hundreds of cases citing lack of evidence. In many other cases investigations have not been completed even after 30 years. Only a handful of police personnel were charged for neglecting their duty and offering protection to the attackers have received any form of official punishment. The sheer scale of the impunity of the 1984 massacre is staggering. As long as a perpetration of carnage 1984 go unpunished the rule of law in India remains weakened.

Amnesty International stands in solidarity with the survivors, their families and the communities in calling for justice. Together we urge the government to establish independent and effective investigations into all cases including closed cases of anti-Sikh violence in 1984 and when sufficient and admissible evidence is found authorities must prosecute the accused and bring those responsible to justice, whether they are political leaders, police or the government officials. No body is above the law. Thank You.

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