NEWSFLASH – INDIA – Resumption of Executions

21 November 2012

The Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network (ADPAN) condemns the execution of Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, a Pakistani national, who was hanged in Yerwada prison, in Pune City on 21 November.

Kasab was sentenced to death in May 2010. He was convicted of 80 charges including committing acts of terrorism and criminal conspiracy to commit murder. His final appeal for mercy was reportedly rejected by the President Pranab Mukherjee on 5 November.

This execution also ends an eight-year-long unofficial moratorium on executions in India; the last execution took place in August 2004. Yug Chaudhry a lawyer, who has been outspoken on Ajmal Kasab’s case, said, “Executing Kasab in the name of the Indian people will only feed a base instinct for retribution that will make our society more vengeful and violent.  It will not contribute to our safety or well-being in any way”.

There are currently over 300 people on death row in India and this latest execution is now a concern for 16 persons on death row whose appeals are awaiting clemency before the President.

This execution also comes only two days after the UN General Assembly’s Third Committee adopted a fourth draft resolution calling on all states to establish a moratorium on executions, with a view to abolishing it. The General Assembly will be voting on the resolution in December.

ADPAN, whose members in India includes MASUM, Lawyers for Human Rights International, The Peoples Union for Civil Liberty and Amnesty International India, opposes the death penalty in all cases, and calls upon the Indian  government to place an immediate moratorium on all executions, to commute all death sentences and to work toward full abolition of the death penalty for all crimes.