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British MPs demand 'justice' for Afzal

Source: PTI
January 27, 2007 17:52 IST
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Some British Labour parliamentarians joined supporters of a rights group in holding protest demonstration in front of the Indian House in London, demanding 'justice' for Mohammed Afzal Guru, who is facing death sentence in the 2001 Indian Parliament attack case.

Parliamentarians Roger Godsiff and Jeremy Corbyn joined demonstrators of the South Asia Solidarity Group on Friday to urge President A P J Abdul Kalam to protect the 'human rights' of Afzal.

Godsiff's Birmingham constituency has a large Muslim population, with roots in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. The demonstration, held by about 20 to 30 people holding anti-India placards on India's Republic Day, was ignored by all of Britain's Asian-origin parliamentarians and many others, whose constituencies have large number of Muslims and Kashmiri voters.

The demonstrators said that under international human rights standards people charged with crimes punishable by death are entitled to the observance of strictest fair trial guarantees in view of the irreversible and most extreme nature of the penalty.

Guru, 35, a resident of Sopore, in Jammu and Kashmir was arrested in December 2001 in connection with a militant attack on Parliament on December 13 was sentenced to death by the Supreme Court. His mercy plea is pending with Kalam.

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