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India, Human Rights, and the Bhullar Case

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The Supreme Court of India upheld the conviction and death sentence in a split decision of 2-1. The dissenting judge not only allowed the appeal against the death sentence but acquitted Bhullar of all charges due to a total lack of evidence--except the confessional statement, which was uncorroborated and obtained through torture and retracted by the accused."

Commenting on the conditions of imprisonment, Pannun emphasized, "Bhullar has been detained for the last eighteen years in appalling conditions, including solitary confinement. No legal and procedural safeguards against duration and circumstances for solitary confinement were applied in the case of Bhullar--wherein he was held in solitary confinement for no justifiable reason."

Like Dhami, Pannun is not encouraged by the legal process in India. He stressed his belief that "the case only shows the arbitrariness in the Indian judicial system and the double standards by which minorities like Sikhs are treated in India." Pannun contrasted how those identified as leading the 1984 Sikh genocide in India (a three-day killing spree), have been afforded impunity, while Bhullar has languished in jail "in appalling conditions for more than eighteen years."

Hopefully, in 2014, human-rights activists will press the court of world public opinion to give the unresolved Bhullar narrative the attention it deserves.

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Marcia G. Yerman Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter Page       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Marcia G. Yerman is a writer, activist, and artist based in New York City. Her articles--profiles, interviews, reporting and essays--focus on women's issues, the environment, human rights, the arts and culture. Her writing has been published by (more...)

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