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Asia

2013-02-15

ASIA/INDIA - In ten years 1455 people sentenced to death: Civil society demands to stop the executioner

New Delhi (Agenzia Fides) - From the Indian civil society a cry to "stop the executioner" in India: during the years 2001-2011 1,455 people were sentenced to death, which means "a man condemned to death every three days" .
The application of the death penalty "has become routine,'' it is no longer the exception but the rule." The complaint comes from the new 2013 report. "The status of the death penalty in India, released by the Indian NGO " Asian Centre for Human Rights "in the aftermath of Afzal Guru’s execution, one of the terrorists responsible for the attack against the Parliament India in 2001, and sent to Fides Agency.
According to data provided by the Ministry of the Interior, during the ten years examined in the report, the death penalty was imposed on average to 132 inmates per year, for a total of 1,455 convictions. In terms of Geographic distribution in the different states of the federation, 370 convictions in Uttar Pradesh, 132 in Bihar, 125 in Maharashtra, 95 each in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, 87 in Madhya Pradesh, 81 in Jharkhand stand out, among others. Thousands of prisoners, notes the report sent to Fides, remain on death row, while between 2001 and 2011 convictions for 4,321 persons were commuted from death penalty to life imprisonment.
The Asian Centre for Human Rights has launched a National Campaign for the abolition of the death penalty in India which was signed by many associations of the Indian civil society and religious communities, associations and lay Christian movements (see Fides 13/2/2013 ).
"There is no scientific or empirical basis to suggest that the death penalty acts as a deterrent to crime," says the text, noting that in the case of Afzal Guru’s execution, his family had not been informed, and this "may undermine confidence in the rule of law." In fact, the family was denied the opportunity to seek pardon to the President of India. "India – asks the NGOs - must follow their own values of civilization", first of all, by abolishing the death penalty. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 15/02/2013)

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