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Urgent Action required to save a life : India to hang Balwant Singh on 31 March 2012
Petition Background (Preamble):
High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 10
I am writing you to express my deep concern that it was confirmed on 13 March that India is preparing to break its moratorium on the death penalty by hanging Balwant Singh on 31 March at 9am in Central Jail, Patiala.
Balwant Singh was a close friend of Dilawar Singh, a serving police officer in the Punjab Police who was involved in 1995 killing of then Chief Minister of Punjab, Beant Singh, who was responsible for the mass genocide of the Sikhs in the 1980s and early 1990s.
In recent years Amnesty International has welcomed the lack of executions in India, with the last one taking place in 2004, but expressed its concern that at least 50 death sentences are passed each year by the Indian courts.
By making this announcement India is signalling to the world that when it comes to Sikh prisoners it is prepared to break the moratorium and reverse the trend to abolish the death penalty.
There is a real risk this may open the flood gates and allow India to execute the likes of Professor Davinderpal Singh Bhullar. His case has been highlighted by Amnesty International and raised with UK Parliamentarians on a number of occasions. He has now been in prison for over 17 years and been on death row in Tihar Central Prison, New Delhi for over nine years.
This most recent announcement also comes on the back of the pre-mature release last month of Kishori Lal, who was awarded the death penalty in the murder of three Sikhs with a chopper knife on 1 November 1984. Many in the Sikh community feel the Indian authorities are blatantly targeting Sikhs and many countries around the world may stay silent as they do not want to jeopardise trade with India.
I, therefore, submit the petition attached with the signatures of the community and sympathisers with the aim to save Balwant Singh Rajoana from going to gallows.
The Urgent Action required to save a life : India to hang Balwant Singh on 31 March 2012 petition to Office of the United Nations, High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) ,Palais des Nations,Geneva was written by Sikh Sangat and is in the category Human Rights at GoPetition. Contact author here.