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Back Activities Alerts Action Alert: India/Israel – Write letters pressing for the release of Syed Kazmi

Action Alert: India/Israel – Write letters pressing for the release of Syed Kazmi

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Kazmi has been detained without charge for over 90 days.

Contents

1. Summary
2. Background
3. Action required
4. Sample letter
5. Addresses for sample letters

1. Summary

Syed Mohammad Ahmad Kazmi has been detained without charge since 6 March 2012. The courts have repeatedly extended his remand in order to build a case against him. On 2 June, it was decided that Mohammad would remain in police custody for a further ninety days.

Write to the Indian minister for home affairs, Chidambaram Palaniappan. Demand that the Indian government put an end to the discriminating treatment of Mohammad Kazmi, and that the courts use any evidence gathered to either prosecute or release him.

2. Background

Syed Mohammad Ahmad Kazmi – a well established journalist based in Delhi – was taken from the Indian Islamic Centre into police custody on 6 March. His son Shauzab was intimidated into signing his father’s arrest memo on 7 March, and Mohammad Kazmi has been under arrest since then.

He has faced allegation that he helped to coordinate a 13 February bombing which targeted the wife of the Israeli defence attaché. Yet no evidence has been produced against Mohammad that substantiates these claims.

The handling of Mohammad’s case has attracted widespread criticism from inside and outside of India. In June 2012, a Delhi magistrate extended his judicial custody by a staggering ninety days – despite Mohammad having been under police custody for over ninety days by this point. His defence team have challenged this decision.

Since he was initially detained by Delhi police without an arrest warrant on 6 March, Indian courts have repeatedly caved into pressure from the Delhi police in renewing Mohammad’s order of remand – in lieu of developments in his case.

Mohammad Kazmi has urged for the courts to review any evidence gathered so far to either press charges, or release him. He cannot continue to be held indefinitely in the absence of a strong case.

3. Action Required

IHRC requests its campaigners and supporters to write letters and emails to the Indian minister for home affairs, Chidambaram Palaniappan, and the Indian high commissioner or ambassador to your country. Demand that they do all in their power to ensure that Mohammad is either released or charged.

4. Sample letters
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Sample letters are given below for your convenience. Please note that model letters can be sent directly or adjusted as necessary to include further details. If you receive a reply to the letter you send, we request you to send a copy of the letter you sent and the reply you received to IHRC. This is very important as it helps IHRC to monitor the situation with regards to our campaigns and to improve upon the current model letters.

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a) Mr Chidambaram Palaniappan, Indian minister for home affairs.
Mr Chidambaram Palaniappan,
Union Minister of Home Affairs,
Ministry of Home Affairs,
104-107 North Block,
New Delhi 110 001
INDIA

Email: hm@nic.in

[Your name]
[Your address]

[Date]

Dear Mr Chidambaram Palaniappan,

Re: Violation of Habeas Corpus in State Vs Syed Mohammad Ahmad Kazmi.

I am writing to voice my opposition to the continued extension of judicial custody for Syed Mohammad Ahmad Kazmi, a journalist based in Delhi who has been detained without charge for over ninety days. The most recent decision by a Delhi magistrate to extend his detention for a further ninety days violates Habeas Corpus, and needs to be rectified immediately by the Indian judiciary and government.

Mohammad Kazmi has worked as a freelance journalist for almost thirty years, and is accredited by the Press Information Bureau (PIB). Based in Delhi, he has covered conflicts such as the Iran-Iraq war and the invasion of Iraq by US-led coalition forces for media outlets such as IRNA, IRIB, Doordarshan and BBC.

He has faced allegation that he helped to coordinate a 13 February bombing which targeted the wife of the Israeli defence attaché. Yet no evidence has been presented that implicates Mohammad in this attack.

He claims that he has been threatened by plain-clothed interrogators to be handed over to Israeli intelligence so that they may extract a forced confession. It is clear that Mohammad Kazmi’s case is not being handled justly and in accordance with Indian law, and has been heavily politicised.

Unless a charge can be brought to Mohammad Kazmi, he must be released immediately from police custody. As minister for home affairs, you must ensure that that Mohammad Kazmi receives due process, and that his indefinite detention without charge is put to an end.

I look forward to you reply.

Yours sincerely,

[Your signature]
[Your name]
b) Dr J. Bhagwati, Indian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.
Dr J. Bhagwati, High Commissioner,
High Commission of India,
India House
Aldwych
London
WC2B 4NA

Email: hc.office@hcilondon.in

[Your name]
[Your address]

[Date]

Dear Dr J. Bhagwati,

Re: Disregard for basic legal rights in treatment of Syed Mohammad Ahmad Kazmi by Indian authorities.

I am writing to voice my opposition to the continued extension of judicial custody for Syed Mohammad Ahmad Kazmi, a journalist based in Delhi who has been detained without charge for over ninety days. The most recent decision by a Delhi magistrate to extend his detention for a further ninety days violates Habeas Corpus, and needs to be rectified immediately by the Indian judiciary and government.

Mohammad Kazmi has worked as a freelance journalist for almost thirty years, and is accredited by the Press Information Bureau (PIB). Based in Delhi, he has covered conflicts such as the Iran-Iraq war and the invasion of Iraq by US-led coalition forces for media outlets such as IRNA, IRIB, Doordarshan and BBC.

He has faced allegation that he helped to coordinate a 13 February bombing which targeted the wife of the Israeli defence attaché. Yet no evidence has been presented that implicates Mohammad in this attack.

He claims that he has been threatened by plain-clothed interrogators to be handed over to Israeli intelligence so that they may extract a forced confession. It is clear that Mohammad Kazmi’s case is not being handled justly and in accordance with Indian law, and has been heavily politicised.

Unless a charge can be brought to Mohammad Kazmi, he must be released immediately from police custody. As Indian High Commissioner, please press your government to make sure that Mohammad Kazmi receives due process, and that his indefinite detention without charge is put to an end.

I look forward to you reply.

Yours sincerely,

[Your signature]
[Your name]
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5. Addresses for sample letters

a) Shri Gurjit Singh; Ambassador of India (designate) to Indonesia.
Embassy of India
JL HR Rasuna Said, Kav S-1
Kuningan, Jakarta Selatan, 12950
INDONESIA.

Email: ambasador@net-zap.com

b) Mr Vijay K. Gokhale; Indian High Commissioner to Malaysia.
Mr Vijay K. Gokhale,
High Commission of India,
No. 2 Jalan Taman Duta,
Off Jalan Duta,
50480 Kuala Lumpur,
MALAYSIA.

Email: hc@indianhighcommission.com.my

c) His Excellency Shashishekhar Madhukar Gavai; Indian High Commissioner to Canada.

High Commission for the Republic of India,
10 Springfield Road,
Ottawa,
Ontario,
K1M 1C9,
CANADA.

Email: hicomind@hciottawa.ca

d) Mr Biren Nanda; Indian High Commissioner to Australia (designate).

Mr Biren Nanda,
The High Commission of India,
3 - 5 Moonah Place,
Yarralumla, ACT – 2600,
AUSTRALIA.

Email: dhc@hcindia-au.org

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