Why hang Afzal Guru secretly? Amnesty questions India

Guru was sentenced to death in December 2002 after being convicted of conspiracy to attack Parliament of India, waging war against India and murder.

hidden February 10, 2013 10:53:31 IST
Why hang Afzal Guru secretly? Amnesty questions India

London: Global human rights group Amnesty International said the hanging of Mohammad Afzal Guru, convicted of conspiracy to attack Indian Parliament, indicates a "disturbing and regressive trend" towards executions shrouded in secrecy.

"We condemn the execution in the strongest possible terms. This very regrettably puts India in opposition to the global trend towards moving away from death penalty", said Shashikumar Velath, Programmes Director at Amnesty International India on Saturday.

Why hang Afzal Guru secretly Amnesty questions India

Mohammad Afzal Guru. AFP

"Serious questions have been raised about the fairness of Afzal Guru’s trial. He did not receive legal representation of his choice or a lawyer with adequate experience at the trial stage. These concerns were not addressed," he said.

"Before Ajmal Kasab’s execution in November, Indian authorities used to make information about the rejection of mercy petitions and dates of execution available to the public prior to any executions. The new practice of carrying out executions in secret is highly disturbing," said Velath.

The human rights body went on to ask if Afzal Guru was given the opportunity to seek a judicial review of the decision to reject his mercy petition.

In a statement that is available on its website, the Amnesty International said neither Guru’s family was informed of his imminent execution nor was his body returned as per international standards.

However, home secretary RK Singh on Saturday, said that Guru’s family was informed about the decision via speed post.

Amnesty International opposes death penalty in all cases without exception.

Guru was sentenced to death in December 2002 after being convicted of conspiracy to attack Parliament of India, waging war against India and murder in December 2001.

PTI

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