Barrister A. Majid Tramboo, Chairman of ICHR – Kashmir Project and Professor Nazir A. Shawl, Chairman of Kashmir Centre London, have described Muhammad Afzal Guru’s hanging as “a murder of justice and against the collective conscience of the international community”. They deplored that “Guru was executed when more than 100 countries of the world during discussion on Universal Periodical Review India at UN Human Rights Council had asked New Delhi for complete elimination of capital punishment like hanging.”
Both Barrister Tramboo and Prof. Shawl expressed that: “this shocking development has taken place in spite of accepting the recommendation to place moratorium on the capital punishment at the forum of UN International Human Rights. We need to stress that no arrangements for a free and a fair trial were provided to Afzal Guru. India’s own rule of law suggests that the body of the victim should be handed over to his relatives, which has not been done in this case. This is yet another example in which India’s rule of law is not applied when it comes to Kashmir.”
Barrister Tramboo & Prof. Shawl emphasized that “the execution of Guru was also unacceptable within the framework of India’s judicial system. As Guru’s wife had lodged a petition with the Supreme Court of India seeking the removal of the death penalty on the grounds of eight year delay in the execution, and that petition is still pending with the superior court. Further, the indian legal system provides for a judicial review of the decision by the President of India where he rejects a mercy petition relating to a death sentence. Clearly, the murdered Muhammad Afzal Guru was denied this opportunity as well.”
All of Indian Held Kashmir has been under a 24-hour curfew for the last three days and it continues,. The entire Kashmiri leadership, both within the occupied territory and in India at large, has been arrested or detained in their homes. Meanwhile, the people of Kashmir are expressing their anguish and shock in response to the tragic hanging of Guru. Youths have taken to the streets to protest despite the curfew, resulting in the death of three young Kashmiris – Obur Mushtaq Rather of Sopor, Tariq Ahmed and Zameer Ahmed of Sumbal – by the Indian armed forces.
The International Council for Human Rights opposes the death penalty in all cases – without exception – regardless of the nature of crime, the characteristics of the offender, or the method used by the state to kill the prisoner.
The death penalty is the ultimate denial of human rights. It is the premeditated and cold-blooded killing of a human being by the state. This cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment is done in the name of justice but it violates the right to life as proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in December 1948, recognises each person’s right to life. It categorically states in Article 5 that: “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” . We firmly believe that the death penalty violates these rights.
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Source: Kashmir Centre London
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