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UK: Protest, March and Lobby of MPs to help save an innocent Professor from Death in India

April 15, 2013 | By

London, United Kingdom (April 14, 2013): As per a written statement by Sikh Federation UK thousands of Sikhs from across the UK are expected to protest and lay siege outside the High Commission of India on Monday 15 April between 12 noon and 2pm following the decision by the Supreme Court of India on Friday 12 April that Professor Davinderpal Singh Bhullar should be put to death by hanging.

Prof. Devender Pal Singh Bhullar

Sikhs will then march from the High Commission in Aldwych, down the Strand and Whitehall to the Houses of Parliament. Sikhs have been contacting MPs since Friday via email, social media and telephone and will lobby them in large numbers between 3-5pm. The aim of the lobby is to get the UK Government to take immediate action with EU partners, in particular Germany, to get the Indian authorities to remove the Professor from death row and given his deteriorating health, following 18 years in prison, to seek his speedy release on grounds of compassion.

Although the protest, march and lobby is expected to be peaceful emotions in the Sikh community are running very high and a certain amount of traffic disruption in Aldwych, The Strand and Whitehall is expected. Large queues are also expected outside Parliament and numbers inside will make it difficult for the authorities to cope.

Upon hearing of the verdict by the Supreme Court on Friday Sikhs have been holding a constant vigil from midday outside 10 Downing Street. This has been an around the clock vigil where numbers at times have swelled to over a thousand.

Bhai Amrik Singh, the Chair of the Sikh Federation (UK) said:

This is a massive miscarriage of justice and another indication to Sikhs worldwide that Sikhs can never get justice in India. In India Sikhs in their millions are dismayed by Friday’s decision by the Supreme Court against Professor Bhullar. Many non-Sikhs, members of the judiciary, politicians, human rights activists and the media across the globe are increasingly realising the significance of the decision on Friday.

In December 1994 Professor Bhullar fled to Germany following the killing of his father and uncle by Sumedh Saini, the current Director General of Police, Punjab, India.

Professor Bhullar is an innocent man who was deported from Germany in January 1995 following assurances by the Indian authorities to the German Government he had nothing to fear if he returned to India. Subsequently, the courts in Germany declared his deportation was illegal and in violation of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Upon his arrival in Delhi he was immediately arrested, a confessional statement obtained through torture, convicted despite 133 witnesses failing to identify him and sentenced to death notwithstanding the leading judge in the Supreme Court concluding he should be released due to lack of evidence.

For the last 11 years the Professor has been on death row and held in solitary confinement spending 22 hours in a 9×7 cell. This has been a torture worse than death. It is no surprise that his mental state has been very poor for the last two and a half years and he has been hospitalised.

Amnesty International launched an Urgent Action Appeal on Friday 12 April 2013 calling upon the Indian government not to execute Professor Bhullar, to remove him from death row immediately, and retry his case in proceedings that comply with international fair trial standards.

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