Tuesday, January 10, 2006


17 JANUARY 2006


A Worldwide Day of Protest is being organised for 17 January 2006. Sikhs in cities around the world from London, to Paris, to Toronto and to New York are aiming on 17 January to show their opposition to the death penalty and call for the release of all Sikh political prisoners held in jails in India.

Candles will be lit in prominent places in cities throughout the world, including in India itself. Sikhs in more than 100 cities are expected to take part in the protest and will be joined by prominent non-Sikhs, such as politicians, human rights and trade union activists.
In Canada the protest will take place at BC, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec. The Canadian Organization of Sikh Students are coordinating these protests. In BC the protest will take place at UBC and SFU. In Ontario, the protests will take place in Toronto, Brampton, Mississauga, Kitchner/Waterloo, London, Ottawa and Kingston. In Alberta the protest will be at U of Calgary. In Quebec the protest will take place at McGil and Concordia.
In the Toronto the protest will take place at Nathan Phillip Square at the Peace Gardens between 5:30 - 7pm, Brampton at the Brampton City Hall, Mississauga City Hall. The protests are being supported by COSS, United Sikh Federation, Gurdwaras and the Sadh Sangat. The protests are being supported by Amnesty International and other members of the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty.

MPs, MPPs, City Councillors, and members of the public will join Sikhs in celebrating life, freedom and in the opposition to the death penalty.

The worldwide protests are taking place on 17 January to coincide with the 11th anniversary of one of the most controversial and highest profile death penalty cases in recent Indian history. 11 years earlier on 17 January 1995 Professor Davinderpal Singh Bhullar, a Sikh political activist, was illegally deported from Germany. Davinderpal Singh was handed over to the Indian authorities on the basis that he had nothing to fear on his return to India.

For 11 years Davinderpal Singh has been forced to live with the mistake by the German authorities. He was arrested and put in prison as soon as he landed in Delhi, tortured to obtain a false confession, charged and sentenced to death by hanging for a crime he did not commit.

When Germany deported Davinderpal Singh to a death-penalty prone country it violated the European Convention on Human Rights. After his deportation, the court of appeal in Frankfurt allowed his appeal and said that he should not have been deported as he would face torture, harassment and death in India and were he to re-enter Germany he would be given asylum.

The verdict of the court of appeal in Germany came too late for Davinderpal Singh. However, it has left Germany and the EU with a moral obligation to ensure the threat of the death penalty by India is removed and Davinderpal Singh and other political prisoners that are unnecessarily being held, either without trial or under false charges and without evidence, are released immediately.

Jasdev Singh

Vice President
Canadian Organization of Sikh Students (COSS)
“Uniting the Youth of Canada”

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