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Burney to file fresh mercy plea for Sarabjit

Press Trust Of India
Jun 25, 2009 at 10:12am IST

New Delhi: Human Rights activist Ansar Burney will file a fresh mercy petition on Thursday to Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari on behalf of

Sarabjit Singh, an Indian facing the gallows in that country.

Sarabjit's petition to review his death sentence was rejected by Pakistan's Supreme Court on Wednesday.

NOT RIGHT: Ansar Burney says Sarabjit Singh was treated as a non-Muslim and Indian national.

"Now, I am going to file a fresh Mercy petition before the President of Pakistan tomorrow, June 25, and from my side I am confident that I will not allow Pakistan Government to hang an innocent person only on the basis that he is Non-Muslim or Indian national," Burney said.

Sarabjit, 43, has been on death row in Pakistan since he was convicted for his alleged involvement in four bomb blasts 18 years ago. The blasts, which took place in 1990, killed 14 people but Sarabjit's family insists that he was wrongly convicted.

Burney, former Pakistani federal minister for human rights, condemned the decision of the Supreme Court on the review petition. “Sarabjit was to be hanged on April 1 last year but the mercy appeal by Ansar Burney Trust put off his execution indefinitely,” the activist said.

"How a court, if there is any justice in that court, can punish a person to hang without providing him any lawyer and in a case where the prisoner already spent 18 long years in a death cell that is more than a life sentence?" Burney questioned.

An expert advisor on human rights in the United Nations at Geneva, Burney said that the apex court treated Sarabjit Singh not as prisoner but as non-Muslim (kafir) and Indian national, and that "is a murder of justice".

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