July 23, 2011 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
New York, NY (July 22, 2011): “Thousands will attend a historic protest rally on Monday, July 25th from Noon-2:00 p.m. at the United Nation’s Headquarters (47th Street, Between 1st & 2nd Avenues) to demand the U.N. intervention to stop India’s planned execution of Professor Devenderpal S. Bhullar, an innocent man that has been repeatedly tortured by the Indian police” claimed the organizers.
Professor Bhullar is son of a U.S. citizen, Ms. Opkar Kaur. In 1991, Ms. Kaur’s husband Balwant Singh (Professor Bhullar’s father) was tortured to death by the Indian Police. Professor Bhullar’s brother, Tejinderpal Singh Bhullar , who is also a U.S. citizen, will address the rally.
Professor Bhullar was taken into custody in January 1995 by Indian authorities and 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. He was tried and convicted under the notorious TADA -Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act – of India, a law that has been condemned as completely unacceptable by Sir Nigel Rodely, UN Rapporteur on Torture. Bhullar’s conviction endorses extracting confessions via torture; his 16-year detention and planned execution violates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and UN Resolution 62-149 of 2008 calling for a moratorium and abolition of the death penalty. Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) is submitting the memorandum to the U.N. Secretary General asking for its prompt intervention.
Rally speakers include: Jeffrey Deskovic, a victim of brutal treatment and wrongful conviction, an advocate for the abolition of the death penalty and Founder of The Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation for Justice as well as Lawrence Hayes, former death row inmate, Co-Founder of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty and member of Hands Off Cain (HOC), an international organization working for the abolition of the death penalty.
The following organizations are supporting the commutation of the death sentence against Professor Bhullar: Amnesty International, World Coalition Against the Death Penalty; International Commission Against the Death Penalty; People of Faith Against the Death Penalty; Death Penalty Focus; Students Against Death Penalty; Campaign to End Death Penalty.
The rally organized by Sikhs for Justice, a U.S. based human rights organization, is being supported by the Gurudwara (Temple) Management Committees across the United States and Canada.
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