Intervention of International Human Rights Group
Taking a serious note of the
undemocratic detention of Daljit Singh Bittu and Kulbir Singh Barapind,
Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), a Sikh NGO has approached international human
rights organizations seeking intervention and support.
In a letter to Amnesty
International (AI) and Human Rights Watch (HRW), world's leading human
rights groups, SFJ has requested that Bittu and Barapind be declared as
"Prisoners of Conscience (POC)" and an "APPEAL" be issued for their release.
Prisoner of conscience (POC) is an individual who is imprisoned because of
his race, religion, or political views and faces persecution for expression
of his conscientiously held beliefs.
Reminding AI and HRW of
widespread human rights abuses by security forces in Punjab during 1984-98,
SFJ's September 25th letter warns that if the current wave of implicating
political activists in the name of curbing "terrorism" goes unchecked, it
will result in another era of torture, illegal detentions, enforced
disappearances and extra judicial killings of Sikhs.
Lately India is attempting to
convince the world community of "revival of militancy and extremism among
Sikh groups"; actually this is in retaliation to the exposure of the Indian
Government's policy of impunity and denial of justice to the Sikh victims of
human rights abuses. "The recent detention of political activists on
seemingly made up charges is yet another attempt to silence the voices of
Sikh community which is becoming vocal about the denial of justice to the
Sikhs in India." We will not remain a silent spectator to denial of due
process to the Sikh activists and suppression of freedom of speech under the
disguise of "terrorism" and "militancy", stated attorney Gurpatwant Singh
Pannun, legal advisor to SFJ who practices human rights law in the United
Terming the recent actions of
Badal government against the political activists Bittu and Barapind as
utterly undemocratic, attorney Pannun stated that the Punjab government
headed by Parkash Badal is following the central government's policies of
suppressing the voices of Sikh activists. SFJ announced to launch an
international campaign demanding the release of Bittu and Barapind and urged
the world community to condemn India's recent crackdown on Sikh political
and human right.
Human Rights Watch