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Amnesty dismayed at death sentence in Parliament case

Source: PTI
December 19, 2002 22:22 IST
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Human rights body Amnesty International on Thursday opposed the death penalty handed down to three convicts in the Parliament attack case.


A Special Court on Wednesday had sentenced to death S A R Geelani, Mohammed Afzal and Shaukat Hussain Guru in the December 13, 2001 attack on the Parliament.


"Death penalty is a violation of the right to life and the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment," it said adding, "we oppose the death penalty unconditionally, whether it is imposed on alleged criminals or so-called terrorists."


"The risk of executing innocent people is increased when international fair trial standards have not been implemented. In the present case, we are concerned that the trial of Abdul Rehman Geelani and two other men may have failed to meet international standards for fair trial," Amnesty International said.


The international human rights body had expressed concern regarding the right of fair trial of the accused in an open letter to the Union law minister.


Acknowledging that the Indian government has the right and the obligation to ensure law and order and to protect citizens from violence, the international human rights watchdog said that in the attempt to curb terrorism the government must not relegate human rights protection to second place and "security concerns must not override respect for human rights."

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