Request for the intercession with the Indian government for the release of all Sikh political leaders, including Sirdar Simranjit Singh Mann, who were arrested, on June 14, 2005, for demanding the right to self-determination for the Sikhs and who have bee sign now

Petition to request for the intercession with the Indian government for
the release of all Sikh political leaders, including Sirdar Simranjit
Singh Mann, who were arrested, on June 14, 2005, for demanding the right
to self-determination for the Sikhs and who have been tortured, starved
and abused whilst in police custody.

June 26, 2005
To: List of Nations and Human Rights Organizations.
(Available at
http://66.221.45.104/index.asp?c2=/current_petition/n_hr_list.asp)

Dear Sir/Madam,
We the undersigned urgently request you to intercede with the Indian
government to seek the release of former member of the Indian Parliament,
Mr Simranjit Singh Mann and other Sikh leaders who were arrested and
charged on 14 June 2005 for expressing their Right to Self determination
at a public rally to commemorate the 21st Anniversary of the June 1984
attack by the Indian army on the holiest Sikh shrine of Darbar Sahib,
known in the West as the 'Golden Temple', Amritsar, Panjab.

We respectfully ask you to take notice:


That, the health and well being of Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, who suffers
from a heart condition, has been under serious threat after he was
tortured, starved and abused when he was illegally removed from judicial
custody for interrogation at the Ropar police station on 15 June 2005. He
continues to be refused medical attention when his medical condition
requires a periodic blood test. The details of the treatment and
condition of the other Sikh leaders are hitherto undeterminable.

That, Mr Simranjit Singh Mann and the other Sikh leaders have been
charged with sedition under section 124A of the Indian Penal Code and with
disrupting communal harmony under section 153A of the Indian Penal
Code, for making speeches during the 21st anniversary functions, in which
they expressed their Right to Self-determination for the Sikhs. Both
charges carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

That, The Right to Self-Determination is enshrined in the UN Covenant
on Civil and Political Rights and the Covenant on Economic, Social, and
Cultural Rights. Further, articles 18 & 19 of the Universal Declaration
of Human Rights-1948 provide for the right for free speech. Article 19
states:- "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression;
this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and
to seek, receive and impart information and ideas, through any
media...". This right is also provided under article 19 of the Indian
Constitution.

That, under section 124A, sedition is any act which creates
disaffection towards the government established by law. According to the
dictionary, sedition means "the stirring up of a rebellion or revolt against the
government in power." The arrested Sikh leader's speeches were focused
on the tragic events of June 1984 and the right to self-determination
for the 25 million strong Sikh people - 22 million living in India and 3
million in the diaspora. The speeches did not call for any unlawful act
to be committed. The Supreme Court of India, when quashing a conviction
in Balwant Singh vs State of Punjab (1995) held that the mere asking
for Khalistan is not an offence.

That, in their speeches Mr Simranjit Singh Mann and the other Sikh
leaders made no reference to any other communal groups or religions hence
their speeches cannot constitute a disruption of communal harmony under
section 153A of the Indian Penal Code.

That, the levelling of the two charges under the Indian Penal Code
against Mr Simranjit Singh Mann and the other Sikh leaders amount to an
abuse of process.

That, we respectfully urge your excellency to intercede with the Indian
government to release Mr Simranjit Singh Mann and other arrested Sikh
leaders who are being punished for expressing their lawful Right to Self
Determination.


End

To see the dates when and where the petition will be presented: See the
URL below
http://66.221.45.104/index.asp?c2=/current_petition/petition_date.asp

Created by Ranjit Singh:Voices For Freedom
(http://www.voicesforfreedom.org)

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Gina GayBy:
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All Justice loving Nations and Human Rights Organizations

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