Kasab death: Amnesty ‘faults’ India on 2 counts

Amnesty International has faulted India on two counts over the hanging of Ajmal Kasab, the lone Pakistani gunman sentenced to death for his role in the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

One, for having considered his mercy petition out of turn instead of respecting the order in which petitions were filed, and two, for having informed the public about it only after the execution.

In its report titled, “Death Penalty Report 2013”, that deals with executions all over the world has also commented on India where Kasab’s execution happened to be the first since 2004. The report says, “The process leading up to the Ajmal Kasab’s execution raised serious concerns. The authorities considered Ajmal Kasab’s mercy petition out of turn, instead of respecting the order in which the petitions have been filed.” The report also took exceptions to the announcement of the hanging after it was carried out. It says, “The execution was only announced to the public after it had been carried out, in violation of international standards.”

The report also pointed to the statement of the home ministry that said that the execution was carried out in secrecy only to avoid any intervention from human rights activists.

Amnesty International has also berated India for not having supported the recommendations of the UN Human Rights Council on May 24 that sought a moratorium on executions with a view to dispensing with death penalty; respect the moratorium on death penalty that had been in place since 2004 and consider adhering to the second optional protocol of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Campaigning for the abolition of the death penalty, Amnesty International opposes it in all cases irrespective of the nature of the crime or the character of the offender or the method adopted by the state to kill the offender.