Rights bodies seek UN Special Rapporteur’s intervention on Bhullar

Chandigarh, Punjab: Seeking immediate intervention of United Nations to stop imminent hanging of Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar following Spureme Court’s rejection of his mercy petition, three international human rights NGOs have approached UN’s Special Rapporteur on Torture while also urging to send a special “fact finding mission” to investigate and save the “victim of torture”.

The urgent appeal to Juan Mendez, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, seeking immediate intervention, has been jointly filed by Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) a US based advocacy group, Canadian Sikh Coalition (CSC) – a Canada based NGO and Movement Against Atrocities and Repression (MAAR) a Swiss NGO.

These NGOs held that Bhullar’s conviction was based on torture which was in violation of Article 3 of the UN Convention Against Torture and urged the UN to issue notification to Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) asking them to stop the execution.

“Bhullar was convicted under TADA (Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act of India, a law that has been condemned as “disturbing and completely unacceptable” by Nigel Rodely, UN Rapporteur on Torture (1993-2001)”, the appeal states.

The representation to UN Rapporteour further pointed out that e ven the two out of three judges of the SC bench who upheld Bhullar’s conviction and death sentence also directed that the President should consider his mercy petition after seekina a report from the Presiding judge of the SC, Justice MB Shah who had acquitted Bhullar. However the mercy petition was decided without following this direction of the SC and did not seek opinion of Justice Shah.

It also pointed that Germany court had held his deportation from Germany as illegal and then Germany government even urged Indian government not to execute his death sentence.

Justifying UN intervention in Bhullar’s case, attorney Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, legal advisor to SFJ who practices international human rights law conviction and planned execution, violates fundamental principles of justice, principle of non-refoulment, endorses extracting of confessions through torture and his continuous detention for the past sixteen (18) years violates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and shocks human dignity, the appeal further states.

Spokesman of Swiss NGO MAARS stated that a delegation of international human rights activists will be meeting with Juan Mendez UN Special Rapporteur on Torture to apprise him of the impending threat of execution and medical condition of torture victim, Bhullar.

Source: TOI

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