Sikh Groups Seek UN Intervention
By Harpreet Bajwa | Published: 19th December 2013 08:00 AM |
With former Sikh militant Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa’s fast-unto-death, demanding the release of Sikh detainees who have completed their jail terms, still continuing, rights groups Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) and All India Sikh Students Federation (AISSF) have approached the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions to secure the release of Sikh detainees in India.
In a complaint and urgent appeal to Malick Sow, chair-rapporteur for the UN Working group on Arbitrary Detentions, and Ivan Šimonovic, Assistant Secretary General for Human Rights, the rights groups have urged the UN to push India to secure the release of Sikh prisoners and to save Gurbaksh’s life.
The complaint states that the actions of Indian Government related to continuous arbitrary detention of Sikh prisoners of conscience violated every norms of democracy, Universal Declaration of Human Rights and International laws.
Legal adviser to the SFJ Gurpatwant Singh Pannu said: “Continued arbitrary detention of Sikh prisoners beyond the sentence period exposes the bias towards Sikhs, who are minority in India.” “On the one hand Indian system failed to prosecute those who committed genocidal attacks on Sikhs during November 1984 while on the other hand Sikh activists continue to face arbitrary detentions without any charges,” he said.
However, Sikhs groups have initiated an ‘action alert’ on social media asking the Community to email the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions to push India for the release of sikh detainees.
Meanwhile, the Sikh political organisation Dal Khalsa has knocked the doors of Amnesty International urging it to intervene in the matter without delay.
The organisation head H S Dhami said: “Gurbakash has steadfastly maintaining his fast despite deteriorating health, but India seems to be waiting either to let him die or to force-feed him as they did some days back.”