K. Girish Kumar, Convener, Organizing Committee, People’s convention Against Death Penalty, writes:
A people’s convention demanding moratorium on death penalty will be held on 28 November 2011 at VJT hall, Thiruvananthapuram. Various civil society groups, intellectuals and political activists will attend the convention.
Local level meetings and campaigns are also planned in different districts.
Following the Tamil Nadu legislative Assembly's adoption of a resolution demanding commutation of the death sentence awarded to the convicts in the Rajeev Gandhi assassination case, a resolution also came before the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly with a similar demand regarding the death sentence awarded to Afsal Guru in the Parliament attack case. This is quite an unprecedented development in the country.
The land of Kerala has the legacy of abolishing death penalty in 1940s. In continuity with this step, members from here had also voiced, in the Constituent Assembly the demand for enactment of a progressive law for the nationwide abolition of death penalty.
In 2005, the Vadhasiksha Virudha Samithi (Council Against Capital Punishment) submitted a mass representation, ‘human rights memorial’ before the central and state governments , urging them to abolish the death penalty and take legal and policy measures to protect the human rights of prisoners, including the right to life.
Though the demand that the Kerala Legislative Assembly adopt a resolution against death penalty is yet to materialize, campaigns and protests have succeeded in ensuring many rights of prisoners, like restoration of the precedence of releasing prisoners after serving a certain period of life imprisonment.
As mentioned above, a new scenario is evolving in the country. Political parties, legislative assemblies, states and people are joining the protest bloc created by human rights activists and civil rights activists against death penalty in connection with particular cases.
We request all political parties, social organizations, groups and individuals to take part in the convention
Mr Girish Kumar can be contacted at 09947787523