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Three Men Face Imminent Execution in IndiaSalem-News.com
Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases as the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.
(CHENNAI, India) - Two Sri Lankans and an Indian national convicted for the assassination of India’s former Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi, are facing imminent execution in Vellore prison in Tamil Nadu, India. This follows the rejection of their mercy petitions by the President of India. If carried out, these would be the first executions in India since 2004.
Murugan and Santhan, both 41, and Arivu alias Perarivalan, 37, were sentenced to death in January 1998 by a Special Anti-Terrorist Court on grounds of involvement in the assassination of India’s former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Their sentence was confirmed by the Supreme Court of India in May 1999. According to information received by Amnesty International and reports in the Indian media, their mercy petitions were rejected by the President in August 2011, following the advice of the Government of India.
The three men were amongst 26 people sentenced to death by a special court at the Poonamallee jail complex in Tamil Nadu, under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, 1987 (TADA) – a law that contained provisions that were incompatible with international standards for fair trial. On appeal, a three-judge Supreme Court bench confirmed the death sentences of Murugan, Santhan, Perarivalan and a woman, Nalini, while acquitting 19 persons of the murder charges and commuting the death sentences of three others. In April 2000, the Governor of Tamil Nadu commuted Nalini’s sentence to life imprisonment, but rejected the mercy petitions of the three men. A mercy petition for the three men was sent to the Government of India in April 2000 and eventually only decided upon at the beginning of August 2011.
Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases as the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment. The eleven-year delay in announcing the verdict of the mercy petition and the resultant stay on death row may further amount to cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment. The Supreme Court of India has itself commuted death sentences in a number of cases due to prolonged delay in deciding mercy petitions.
This is the third set of mercy petitions to be rejected since June 2011. No executions have taken place in India since 2004. The move to resume executions after a seven-year hiatus would put the country against the regional and global trend towards abolition of the death penalty.
Please write immediately in English or your own language:
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 26 SEPTEMBER 2011.
Plea to cancel the death sentence wrongly given to innocent Tamils (Rajiv Ghandy Assassination)http://www.change.org/
Sri M.Hamid Ansari [Vice-President of India]
His Excellency Mr. Manmohan Singh [Prime Minister of India]
Shri L.K. Advani [Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha]
Mr. P.CHIDAMBARAM [Home Minister of India]
Hon’ble Mr. Justice S.H. Kapadia [Supreme Court of India]
Smt.Sonia Gandhi [President, Indian National Congress]
Smt.Meira Kumar [Hon’ble Lok Sabha Speaker]
His Excellency Thiru Surjit Singh Barnala [Governor of Tamil Nadu]
Dr. J. Jayalalitha [Chief Minister of the state of Tamil Nadu]
Hon. Justice Shri K.G. Balakrishnan [National Human Rights Commission of India]
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