Sunday, March 10, 2013

India refused 11 recommendations made by UN Human Rights Council on the abolition of death penalty

NEW DELHI: In May last year, the UN Human Rights Council had made 11 recommendations related to the abolition of death penalty and the adoption of an official moratorium on death penalty to the Government of India but none of these recommendations were accepted. While no reason was given for turning down the recommendations, data generated by the Ministry of Home Affairs of India also supports the argument that death penalty has not been and is not a deterrent for murder. The murder rate in India has declined consistently in India over the last 20 years, despite the slowdown in the execution of death sentences since 1980.
In a press statement released by the Working Group on Human Rights in India and the UN (WGHR), a coalition of fourteen human rights organizations and independent experts, the organization has condemned "the indiscriminate and arbitrary use of state power for imposing capital punishment to Afzal Guru covertly, not allowing his family a last visit and not handing over his body to his family." WGHR stated that that death penalty embodies the idea of retribution which is as violent as the offence for which one is convicted, and is contrary to all civilized ideals of criminology and constitutionalism. "While none of the 11 recommendations made by the UNHCR were accepted by the Government of India, they nevertheless represent the growing concern in the international community against the continuation of death penalty in India... studies show that there is no scientific or empirical basis for claiming that death penalty has a deterrent effect on the incidence of crime," said the statement. Noted human rights expert Suhas Chakma, director of Asian Centre for Human Rights and a member of the WGHR said, "There is no law in the country which differentiates among the death-row convict to selectively fast track execution of certain persons. It is clear that the Government of India does not follow the inviolable principle of equality and non-discrimination with respect to the death-row convicts and the malafide intention of the Government stands exposed from the failure to inform the family and handover the dead body to the family." "What makes matters worse is that we have a President of the country who appears to be trigger happy and ready to rapidly comply with the government's wishes even if his actions are contrary to the humanistic traditions of Indian civilisation", said Miloon Kothari, convenor of WGHR and former Special Rapporteur of the UNHCR. Courtesy :

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