April 14, 2007
London: South Asian human rights activists here are taking the case of Mohammed Afzal to the European parliament just in time for President A P J Kalam's visit to Brussels, in an attempt to put pressure on India not to hang him.
Afzal, who was sentenced to death five years ago for plotting the 2001 attack on the Indian parliament and whose mercy petition is pending before the President of India, has become the new focus of South Asian civil liberties campaigners here, who say there are ugly parallels between India's blasé attitude to a clear miscarriage of justice for an alleged terrorist and the US war on terror.
At the first ever meeting here to champion Afzal's cause, Moazzam Begg, one of nine Britons detained at Guantanamo Bay for unspecified crimes, drew parallels with Afzal.
Beg, who was released after three years of incarceration, said: "In India and Pakistan the authorities use torture daily to extract false confessions – this is taken for granted. It needs to be challenged because it has huge repercussions both for the individual concerned and on a wider political scale. The United States' war on terror has given this use of inhuman torture a new legitimacy."
Beg added that Afzal's case merely underlined the international nature of the problem and said there was an urgent need for an international campaign to save him.
Activists and legal experts decided that the international campaign for Afzal would kick off with an urgent move to bring details of his case and the miscarriage of justice before the European Parliament.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Activists_taking_Afzal_case_to_the_European_Parliament/articleshow/1907108.cms Realated HJS Campaign
> Hang Terrorist Afzal campaign
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