Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh
Urgent request to write to your MEPs: Balwant Singh Rajoana to be hanged on 31 March at 9am in Central Jail, Patiala
For those on email send the attached letter (reproduced below) to all MEPs in the region in which you live (there are 12 regions in the UK).
The SIkh Federation (UK) has already written to all 73 UK MEPs as we have regional contacts to cover all 12 regions.
To get contact deatails for your MEPs use your postcode by visiting: http://www.writetothem.com/ and write to ALL MEPs in your region
Alternatively use the following link:
This campaign will be more successful with your help as it is essential we have a very high volume of letters sent to MEPs as soon as possible.
PS. The SIkh Federation (UK) is co-ordinating similar actions of Sikhs wring to MEPs across mainland Europe.
Please note the five actions in the letter and in particular the last one: Peaceful protest outside the European Parliament in Brussels on Wednesday 28 March between 1-3pm. Please make travel arrangements for this protest.
Urgent Action: India to hang Balwant Singh on 31 March 2012
I am writing to express my deep concern that it was confirmed on 13 March that India is preparing to break its moratorium on the death penalty by hanging Balwant Singh on 31 March at 9am in Central Jail, Patiala.
Balwant Singh was a close friend of Dilawar Singh, a serving police officer in the Punjab Police who in 1995 killed the then Chief Minister of Punjab, Beant Singh, who was responsible for the mass genocide of the Sikhs in the 1980s and early 1990s.
In recent years Amnesty International has welcomed the lack of executions in India, with the last one taking place in 2004, but expressed its concern that at least 50 death sentences are passed each year by the Indian courts.
By making this announcement India is signalling to the world, including EU Member States, that when it comes to Sikh prisoners it is prepared to break the moratorium and reverse the trend to abolish the death penalty.
There is a real risk this may open the flood gates and allow India to execute the likes of Professor Davinderpal Singh Bhullar. His case has been highlighted by Amnesty International and raised with MEPs on a number of occasions as he was illegally deported from Germany. He has now been in prison for over 17 years and been on death row in Tihar Central Prison, New Delhi for over nine years.
This most recent announcement also comes on the back of the pre-mature release last month of Kishori Lal, who was awarded the death penalty in the murder of three Sikhs with a chopper knife on 1 November 1984. Many in the Sikh community feel the Indian authorities are blatantly targeting Sikhs and many countries around the world, including EU Member States may stay silent as they do not want to jeopardise trade with India.
I urge you to:
i) write to Baroness Catherine Ashton, the Vice President and European Commissioner for Foreign Affairs, for her to immediately raise with India the EU’s concern about the execution of Balwant Singh planned for 31 March;
ii) arrange for parliamentary questions to be raised in the European Parliament and for a strongly worded resolution to be passed in Parliament similar to that for Professor Davinderpal Singh Bhullar on 7 July 2011;
iii) write to the Indian High Commissioner in the European Parliament expressing your displeasure regarding their decision to break the moratorium on the death penalty by hanging Balwant Singh on 31 March;
iv) contact Amnesty International and other international organisations that oppose the death penalty to launch an urgent campaign on behalf of Balwant Singh; and
v) join Sikhs from across Europe for a peaceful protest outside the European Parliament in Brussels on Wednesday 28 March between 1-3pm.