December 20, 2011 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
In reply to question raised by Jonathan Ashworth, MP from Leicester South, the Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Mr Jermery Browne said, on December 19, that he had “written to the Indian high commissioner, most recently on 7 November, reiterating the UK Government’s strong opposition to the death penalty and urging the Indian authorities not to break their seven-year de facto moratorium on the death penalty”.
“I have also raised our concerns with then Indian Foreign Secretary Rao on 28 June, and with Indian Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur on 5 July. We continue to urge the Government of India to establish a formal moratorium as a first step towards the abolition of the death penalty in India” the Mr. Browne has added.
Professor Devender Pal Singh Bhullar’s case had an European nexus, as he was deported from Germany due to lack of proper travel documents, in 1995. However, afterwards a Frankfurt Court held that German authorities were not fully aware of facts surrounding Professor DPS Bhullar, and he was deported without knowledge that it was him. Recently this year, in July, the European Parliament passed a resolution urging “the Government of India not to execute Davinder Pal Singh Bhullar, and to commute his death sentence”.
“An insight into British Parliamentary proceedings reveal that the issue of death penalty given to Professor Bhullar had been particular cause of concern and on numerous occasions during past decade the UK Government has made representations to Indian Government and authorities against proposed execution of Prof. DPS Bhullar” informed Parmjeet Singh Gazi, President of Sikh Students Federation, who is currently in UK to co-ordinate with representatives of various Sikh organizations to use diplomatic channels to prevent India from executing Bhullar.
He recently met British MPs at London on December 13 to discuss the various human rights issues in general, and Prof. Bhullar’s issue in particular, at a Lobby organized by Sikh Federation UK. Thirteen MPs were reported to have participated in the Lobby.
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