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Further information on UA 362/91 (ASA 20/45/91, 30 October) - India: death penalty: Raj Gopal Nayyar

, Index number: ASA 20/009/1992

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: ASA 20/09/92
Distr: UA/SC
10 January 1992
Further information on UA 362/91 (ASA 20/45/91, 30 October 1991) - Death Penalty
INDIA:Raj Gopal NAYYAR
On 24 December 1991 the Jammu and Kashmir High Court dismissed two petitions
brought on behalf of Raj Gopal Nayyar. However, the High Court stayed his
execution for one week to allow Raj Gopal Nayyar time to bring a petition before
the Supreme Court, which was on vacation at the time. As of 9 January, the
petition was about to be brought before the Supreme Court and the order of
execution had yet to be carried out. Amnesty International is concerned that
Raj Gopal Nayyar faces imminent execution.
FURTHER BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Raj Gopal Nayyar was sentenced to death on 24 April 1985 for the murder of
his father and step-brother in July 1982. His death sentence has been confirmed
at least six times in separate legal proceedings, and appeals and mercy petitions
have been rejected by the Supreme Court, the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir,
and the President of India. His execution, originally scheduled for 23 October
1991, was rescheduled three times after a succession of petitions were
considered by the Supreme Court and the Jammu and Kashmir High Court. Petitions
for commutation of the sentence have been based on the unconstitutionality
of the death penalty, and the length of imprisonment already undergone by Raj
Gopal Nayyar.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION:
- explaining that Amnesty International unconditionally opposes the death
penalty on the grounds that it violates the right to life and the right not
to be subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment as
proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
- urging that the death sentence of Raj Gopal Nayyar be commuted to life
imprisonment;
- stressing that the seven years Raj Gopal Nayyar has already spent awaiting
execution is a strong humanitarian reason to commute his death sentence;
- pointing out that the death penalty has never been shown to have a special
deterrent effect.
APPEALS TO:
1) His Excellency
President Ramaswamy Venkataraman
Office of the President
Rashtrapati Bhavan
New Delhi 110 004
India
Telegrams: President Venkataraman, New Delhi, India
Telexes: 31 66427 RBND IN
Salutation: Dear President
Page 2 of FU 362/91
2) His Excellency
Mr Girish Saxena
Governor of Jammu and Kashmir
Srinagar
Jammu and Kashmir
India
Telegrams: Governor Jammu and Kashmir, Srinagar, India
Salutation: Dear Governor
3) Mr M. M. Jacob
Minister of State for Home Affairs
Ministry of Home Affairs
North Block
New Delhi 110 001
India
Telegrams: Home Affairs Minister Jacob, New Delhi, India
Telexes: 3161879 FRGN IN ) via Ministry of
3161880 FRGN IN ) Foreign Affairs
Salutation: Dear Minister
COPIES TO: diplomatic representatives of India in your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat
or your section office if sending appeals after 21 February 1992.

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