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Sikh News 17 Indians Mostly Sikhs On Death Row In Sharjah

Discussion in 'Breaking News' started by kds1980, Apr 1, 2010.

  1. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    Seventeen Indians have been sentenced to death for killing a Pakistani national in Sharjah in January last year in a scuffle over illegal liquor in which one person died and three others were injured. Kuldeep Singh and Ravinder Singh from Punjab are among the 17 on death row.

    The Sharjah courts have awarded the death sentence based on DNA reports and eyewitness accounts. Their families say they are innocent. They want the Indian government to intervene and help them get their sons back.

    Kuldeep Singh who is one of the Indians on death row in Dubai is from Khukhrana village in Punjab and who went to the UAE to shore up his family's meager income. Kuldeep's family says he never mentioned the incident and they got to know about it through the media.

    They believe he is innocent and want the Indian government to help them.

    Kuldeep's mother, Jaswinder Kaur says, "My child is not capable of doing this. He has not killed anyone. He has been accused wrongly. Someone has framed him. He can't do this. I just want my child to come home safely."

    "We are poor. After collecting money from relatives and friends, we had sent him abroad to Dubai", adds Nachhatar Singh, Kuldeep's uncle.

    Ravinder Singh, another accused was arrested by UAE police while he was trying to leave for India. His family, also, feels that he has been wrongly accused and is now worried for his life.

    Manjinder Kaur, Ravinder's sister says, "Only we know what we have been through after hearing about this sentence. We appeal to the government to help us. My brother has been wrongly accused."

    Foreign minister S M Krishna has promised to give the Indians accused consular assistance and other ways to appeal in higher court. (Read: Govt promises help to Indians on death row)
     

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  3. Admin Singh

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    Families of 17 facing death in Sharjah seek New Delhi's aid

    DUBAI The families of 17 Indian men sentenced to death in Sharjah made a collective appeal yesterday for their release as their government faced mounting pressure to intervene.

    Relatives of 16 of the men gathered in Jalandhar, in the northern state of Punjab, to protest against the death sentences handed down by the Sharjah Sharia Court of First Instance last Sunday.

    They demanded immediate action from their government and asked why the Indian mission in the UAE had apparently been unaware of the men’s arrest for so long.

    Sukhbir Badal, the deputy chief minister of Punjab, urged India’s prime minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, to send a team from the Ministry of External Affairs to the UAE to negotiate the sentences, it was reported. Mr Badal met briefly with the families yesterday.

    The families plan to travel to New Delhi today to appeal directly to the prime minister’s office.

    Sixteen of the men, aged in their 20s, are from Punjab. It is not yet clear where the 17th is from.

    The Sharjah court found them guilty of beating a Pakistani man to death and wounding three others when a fight involving dozens of so-called bootleggers broke out in the Saaja industrial area in January last year.

    A panel of judges, led by Judge Yaqoub al Hammadi, ruled that the 17 men all played a part in the killing by beating the victim with metal bars. His skull was fractured and he died before the police arrived at the scene.

    Three other Pakistani men were beaten in the attack and were taken to hospital with serious injuries.

    Police initially arrested 50 people over the brawl, which, they said, was the result of a turf dispute between members of rival gangs selling alcohol illegally in and around labour camps.

    Court officials say no other case in Sharjah has resulted in as many death sentences.

    Speaking from Jalandhar yesterday, families desperate to see their loved ones said the verdict was completely unexpected.

    Jasbeet Singh, the brother of one of the accused, Dharampal Singh, said: “We have not seen him for three years and now we are told that he has been given a death sentence.” Dharampal had gone to Sharjah three years ago to work as a builder.

    Jasbeet said his brother’s wife and two young children had been in a “terrible state” since the verdict.

    “We got a call from him earlier from the jail saying that he was fine and would be let off soon. However, the family was in shock when they heard about the death sentence.

    “We just want him back here safely. We will appeal to the prime minister and everyone else possible. We all feel that the Indian Embassy there did not do enough for them earlier.”

    Indian consulate officials in Dubai said they visited the 17 men this week.

    “We visited them two days ago and can report that all the men are in good health,” said Sanjay Verma, the Consul General of India.

    “We are working towards providing legal assistance to the men for an appeal in the case.”

    An appeal is automatic for a death sentence verdict.

    Sandhu Jatt, the brother of Sukhjinder Singh, another of the accused, said his brother was innocent.

    “He is the provider for the family and would never do such a thing. We were all under the hope that they would realise it’s a mistake and release him soon. We can’t believe that he is facing death now.”

    Mr Jatt said members of his community were planning to send lawyers to the UAE to help the men.

    Territorial disputes between rival bootleg gangs often flare into violence.

    Sunday’s verdict came a week after Sharjah Police arrested a gang of 18 Indians allegedly involved in the illegal alcohol trade on suspicion of kidnapping and killing rivals.

    In another ongoing court case in Dubai, 13 bootleggers are accused of kidnapping two members of a rival gang and burying them alive.
     
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  4. Mai Harinder Kaur

    Mai Harinder Kaur
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    50 of us were tortured, 17 confessed...’
    Lucky to be back home, Jalandhar youth narrates Sharjah horror

    The Tribune, Chandigarh, India - Main News

    Jalandhar, April 2
    Arvinder Singh cannot forget the dreadful night in January last year when the Sharjah Police swooped down on him and 49 other Indian youths while they were sleeping. They were taken into custody and brutally tortured without saying what wrong they had committed.

    Singh (21) was lucky. He was among the 33 men who were released later. Seventeen others, including his cousin Sukhjinder Singh, have now been sentenced to death for the murder of a Pakistani.
    “I was in Sharjah for a year and a half. My cousin and I worked as labourers. That night, at around 2.30 am, the police arrested us. We weren’t told why and even worse, were asked to be silent. Later, we learnt that a case was registered against us. I was imprisoned for three months and then released,” Arvinder said. As many as 50 Indian youths were arrested while they were sleeping in their accommodation.
    “All were brutally tortured. We were given lashes and electric current and the 17 youths who broke down due to intensive torture were finally booked in the case while the rest of the 33 were released and sent back to India,” Arvinder said. He said that statements of the released boys should also be recorded to save the convicted youths through an appeal in the higher court in Sharjah.
    Appealing to the Centre to immediately intervene to rescue the 17 “innocent” youths, Arvinder said, “We would wait for a response today, otherwise we will be forced to organise a protest march in front of the Prime Minister’s House in New Delhi.” He said that the 33 released youths would also join the planned protest.
    Ranjit Kaur, who came to know about her husband Dharam Pal’s conviction through a newspaper, said that he had gone to Dubai to earn his livelihood and could never harm anybody.
    An inconsolable Ranjit Kaur, mother of two young children and resident of Chowk Tehal Singh of Ferozepur district, said Pal went to Dubai about two years back to work as a labourer. The money for sending him was arranged by selling the lone trolley owned by the family, she said. “It is big shock to the family,” Ranjit Kaur said.
    Relatives of Kuldeep Singh, another Indian on death row, alleged that the trial was a farce. Ravinder Singh’s family too claims that he has been framed and that the trial was “illegal”.
    Most of the 17 youths facing death sentence are in their 20s and all of them come from poor families in rural Punjab. The families exhausted their savings to send their breadwinners to the Middle East, counting on the money they would have sent home. — PTI
     
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  5. Bmandur

    Bmandur
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    I am shocked.

    What to say after reading this. Can we do anything for those young 17 boys. This is unfair. I have no word to write
    only one thing Some thing is behind.

    Waheguru Sab da Bhla ker

    Binder Mandur
     
  6. Mai Harinder Kaur

    Mai Harinder Kaur
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    We can say Ardaas, of course. Beyond that, I haven't heard of any petitions or the like. I suppose it would be possible to send an e-mail or letter to whoever rules/governs the UAE or to their embassy in our respective countries. Otherwise, there's little a lone individual can do.
     
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  7. Taranjeet singh

    Taranjeet singh India
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    Thanks Mai ji for your comments. I do share with you that has been stated. This is a very sad incident. After making a small search on 'net' few facts are evident:

    1. This is thought to be the largest number of people sentenced to death at one time in the UAE in the lower courts.

    2. Indian consulate has already approached the Government for having access to the Nationals.

    However , if we look into it with cool, it shall be found that this is a case of murder and the law of land should ,generally, prevail irrespective of caste, creed and nationality.Sympathy goes in for because they were Indian or sikhs. But if they have taken life of someone they should be treated like ordinary criminals. This is the law and law has only one language that is justice that is balanced and just. We cannot make comparison with those found guilty in the 26.11 Incident at Bombay where All the attackers/terrorists were from Pakistan and had seized the life of the city of few days. Life had come to a grind halt and almost every one was watching the live action on TV

    Indian Police had captured one terrorist[Ajmal Kasab] and he is in prison. He had killed more than a dozen persons and there are eye witness as well. But he is being tried in the Court of Law. Chances are remote that he would be given Death penalty. It may be life imprisonment. Indian Government has spent more than 30 Crore [About 6-7million US Dollar] and almost similar amount may be spent on Him for another year or so.

    Our system is too lenient or the system of UAE more biased or quick is matter that needs to be comprehended and properly understood in the context that they were involved in illicit liquor trading /carrying.

    Indian government can do nothing in these cases where guilt has been proved and verdict stands announced.There cannot be any reciprocal arrangements with any country in this regard as we are talking of ordinary criminals who happen to be Indian sikhs.

    All that can be done is to see whether they were provided with necessary legal assistance during the trial. If no legal assistance was provided then the order can be challenged in appeal.

    Given below are comments[to this news ]of a readers of a paper that would give some inkling of what the ordinary people think about the incidence.

    1.
    you pity those 17....what about the person murdered and his family,
    let it be decided by the court according to the law of the land ( we all should know it very well before we move to a country (UK, USA, UAE or any where else in the world ) its quite simple if you have issues with the laws of that country don't move there or leave its never to late.

    2.
    The killing of a human being for illegal/prohibited business is more barbaric than this verdict. India, a democratic country which values the life of a humanbeing and stand against breaking of any countrys law and illegal busniess should not interfere in this verdict. no double standards.

    -
    May Justice prevail and May sikhs learn to lead a life that we all should be proud of.
     
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  8. Harry Rakhraj

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    Govt of India must do its utmost to help these unfortunates. Unfortunates because no one can believe that 17 men, Sikhs at that, could conspire to murder a single man. Unfortunates because the criminal justice system in the Gulf states is highly suspect. Unfortunates because the search for 'roti, rozi' has landed these young men into a living hell.
    We appeal to all right thinking Indians in the Gulf to do their mite for these unfortunates.
     
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  9. Mai Harinder Kaur

    Mai Harinder Kaur
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    Taranjeet Singh ji,

    If you read the above articles, you will see that the 17 "confessed" under torture. This is barbaric treatment, nothing like justice. If there really was a fair trial and 17 men attacked and killed one, injured 4, the attackers would deserve, I suppose, whatever they got. This is clearly not the case here.

    The use of torture is highly suspect as a means of arriving at the truth, whatever that may be. Might not a person confess merely to stop the beatings and the electrical shocks and burns? If I believed these men had gotten a fair trial and were justly convicted, I would be sad for them and also for their victim's family, but I would not feel justified in raising an international hue and cry.

    I admit, the fact that most, if not all, of these men are Sikh does influence my passion somewhat. This is a family matter. However, my record of activism is not merely proSikh. I have championed many causes down through the years that didn't directly concern Sikhs. Just recently, I have been working very long hours raising aid for Haiti. Unnecessary pain and injustice anywhere is my cause.
     
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  10. Taranjeet singh

    Taranjeet singh India
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    Respected Mai ji,

    We are told that in criminal reporting there are always chances of getting distorted picture unless it is from a very reliable source. Media has some advantages of bringing in distortions. Some reliable source is always preferred in these kinds of issues. I had referred to BBC.UK and had put forth the comments. Infact, in one of the link given below you would kindly observe that the exercise of DNA matching has been done.

    2.You would kindly agree that the decisions of Courts are not functions of as to how the statement was obtained by the Police. Court is not to challenge the Police enquiry suo- moto.

    3.Courts, it is presumed, and presumed very rightly, follow the procedural fairness and full opportunity is provided to the accused to state that is to be stated in order to defend themselves.You would also agree that It is not a case of a Talibani killing sikhs that great injustice has occurred against the 'kaum'.We are talking of ordinary gangsters and criminals and as they say murder is not committed by the criminals, but by the law-abiding persons.

    4.Having stated this it can be concluded, and you would also agree, that the accused had all the time to state that they had to act under coercion, duress or threat of some sort. Courts do listen to these facts.

    5.You would also very kindly agree that today, this world is treated as a Global village and no country will venture into the affairs of foreign nationals, that these men were, unnecessarily.All that was left for the court was to see as to how the prosecution substantiate its claim against the accused. Fair trial is presumed in every court of justice.

    6.There is another important aspect that is seen in criminal cases and that is called as Mens Re i.e the intention of the accused. If they wanted to kill or not becomes the deciding factor.The matters that you have raised would be heard properly in the appeal only. That is the proper forum for raising the issues that you have stated

    In nutshell the men concerned must have been given the opportunity to say that they had not testified of their own volition and further they would again get the chance to state all these things and prove that they were forced to do certain things. In absence of details it shall not make much sense to speculate on various things involved in the case.

    Rest assured, my heart also goes out for the parents of those poor kids who are undergoing this trauma of the tragedy. Let us wait till the details are available and we may discuss it again.

    Thanks and Regards

    BBC News - Death penalty for 17 Indians in UAE

    17 Sentenced to Death for Murder


    E&OE
     
  11. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    It has been hard for me to gather my thoughts and state them succinctly, but rakhra ji has helped me along with that. His comments should be taken seriously.

    United Arab Emirates have worked very hard to use publicity engines to promote themselves as a picture of progressive states in a traditional Arab world. That is not true. There are a few truly suspicious themes in this story.

    1. A police round-up of 55 which is then narrowed to 17. This tells me that initially the police did not know who to arrest, and in the end they did not know who to charge. So they piled on ignorance with ignorance.


    2. A report that 17 broke under torture

    If this was a drunken brawl as depicted -- whose account of the facts can be trusted? It appears that anyone who succumbed to torture was guilty by default. This is like dipping a witch in a pond. If she drowns she is guilty, and if she survives she is surely still guilty.

    3. These were all contract workers from India. As such they live in shanty towns, work horrendous hours, live in filthy and unsanitary conditions, and were brought to the emirates to work at low wages in order to develop an emerging economy. Don't forget this is a country that needs to diversify its own economy because oil reserves are running low. If they don't get on the fast-track, their own poor will turn against the rich.

    This is a time-tested approach in which the desperately poor contract workers will accept any arrangement in order to feed their families and escape from economic suffering in their homeland. This is a story that every immigrant group in the developed world is familiar with. This is a group who are easy to hate -- they look sweaty, dirty, rumpled don't they? -- if you are on the receiving end of their labor. They are so easy to hate that they are easy prey if authorities are looking for scapegoats. Who is going to stand up for them, such a sorry and disgusting lot?

    4. Police over-charging. Again at the risk of repeating myself. This seems to have been a drunken brawl. Maybe not. However, how does the death penalty get applied when even if one person was surely guilty the rest were of diminished capacity because of these circumstances? In a "civilized" country this would be manslaughter not murder, and the "death penalty" would be moot. But this is UAE, which believes itself to be civilized. And after all, they were only contract workers from India, so why be stuck on boring legal details.

    5. The Sharia Law card was played as a public relations stunt. 42 out of 55 were released because they could not be kept in jail indefinitely without a lot of people asking embarrassing questions.

    The GOI needs to think about its obligations to contract workers who are being lured by the unscrupulous for economic gain. These people are victims before they even set a foot into countries that hire them. Advocacy has to become a standing policy and pursued aggressively. We are reading about only 55 here. There is story after story about workers gone missing, or later found enslaved, dead, in jail.


    And a fair minded person will not say, They were driven by greed themselves, they were drunk, let's point fingers!!!!!!

    How can they be blamed when they are victims, before during and after they enter into abusive economic arrangements?
     
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  12. Bmandur

    Bmandur
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    The suspects had attempted to kill three of the victim’s compatriots, but they managed to escape their attackers and were rushed to Kuwaiti Hospital for treatment.
    The convicted men are aged between 17 and 30 years.<?"urn:<img src=" />
    According to the three Pakistanis who survived, 50 people set upon them with knives on that fateful day last year.
    Police rushed to the area and arrested the 17 Indians, who allegedly led the attack. The others were let off due to lack of evidence.
    Police round-up of 55 which are then narrowed to 17. This tells me that initially the police did not know who to arrest, and in the end they did not know who to charge. So they piled on ignorance with ignorance.

    A report that 17 broke under torture. These were all contract workers from India. As such they live in shanty towns, work horrendous hours, live in filthy and unsanitary conditions, and were brought to the emirates to work at low wages in order to develop an emerging economy. Don't forget this is an economy that needs to diversify its own economy because oil reserves are running low. If they don't get on the fast-track, their own poor will turn against the rich.
    As I mention before some thing doesn’t make any sense. If there was a fare trail, from both sides than out come could be different but UAE doesn’t want any one to be in there boundary.
    I do not believe at all these men’s are guilty………..
    We should sign some petition for there release of Death Sentence
    Gurfateh
     
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    #11 Bmandur, Apr 3, 2010
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  13. GURSIKHNAM

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    Wahe Guruji Ka Khalsa Wahe Guruji Ki Fateh,
    It is a sad to know that some Indians are at the mercy of the UAE authorities especially our SIKH brothers. We sympathize with their families and pray that those innocent ones are spared by the grace of Waheguru. However I noted that what ever happened was due to some "illegal alcohol trade" issue.
    Why? Does not our religion forbade us to consume alcohol and why are SIKHS related to the illegal alcohol trade issue?
    IF ONLY, we SIKHS had stuck fast to the instructions of our 10th Guru, today nobody in this whole wide world would dare accused a SIKH of anything that has to do with alcohol, so who is to blame? I believe that no real SIKH should ever consume alcohol or have anything to do with it. But sad to say, we so called SIKHS are one of the highest consumers of alcohol, at least where I come from, you can observe that in almost all weddings or special functions, in the day they bow before SRI GURU GRANTH SAHIB JI and at night they merry with drinks. [SIZE=-1]"A Sikh must not take hemp (cannabis), opium, liquor, tobacco, in short, any intoxicant. His only routine intake should be food." -
    (SIKH REHT MARYADA[/SIZE]
    )
    Coming back to the issue at hand, it is difficult to obtain justice in a country like UAE, if going by what happened, that is they chose to charge anybody at their convenience.
    However, our prayers for those who have been falsely charged. SAT-SRI-AKAL
     
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    #12 GURSIKHNAM, Apr 4, 2010
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  14. Mai Harinder Kaur

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    I think this is the latest. This news story says that these boys and men convicted lived in a room formerly occupied by the real culprits and are totally innocent.

    Our dear young brothers and their families are very low on chardi kala; we need to revive their spirits, as well as save their lives. I urge every Sikh to say Ardaas for these.

    Read on, please...


    <table class="contentpaneopen"><tbody><tr><td class="contentheading" width="100%">UAE Indians on death row: Kins turn to religious leaders </td> <td class="buttonheading" align="right" width="100%"> [​IMG] </td> <td class="buttonheading" align="right" width="100%"> [​IMG] </td> </tr> </tbody></table> <table class="contentpaneopen"><tbody><tr> <td colspan="2" align="left" valign="top" width="70%"> Punjab Newsline Network </td> </tr> <tr> <td colspan="2" class="createdate" valign="top"> Friday, 02 April 2010 </td> </tr> <tr><td style="vertical-align: top;">
    </td><td style="vertical-align: top;">
    </td></tr><tr> <td colspan="2" valign="top"> By Parminder Singh Bariana and Alkesh Sharma
    JALANDHAR:
    The families of the 17 Indians sentenced to death in Sharjah will approach Muslim religious leaders and organisations in India and Sikh organisations all across the world to intervene with the United Arab Emirates and save their lives.

    Family members of 16 of the youth, who hail from Punjab and Haryana, got together Thursday in this Punjab town, around 150 km from Chandigarh, and met former union minister and Lok Bhalai Party (LBP) leader Balwant Singh Ramoowalia to seek his help in securing their release.
    "Sentencing 17 people to death in the absence of concrete proof and evidence is totally intolerable. They were not a threat for their national security and we strongly condemn this verdict. We appeal Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to himself intervene in this issue to ensure justice," Ramoowalia told IANS.

    "This is a very sensitive issue. Therefore, we have also appealed to all Sikh organisations and gurdwaras, across the world, to come out on a single platform on this issue. We will take these 16 families to Ajmer Sharif and we will meet Muslim organisations there and urge them to take up this issue with the UAE (United Arab Emirates)."

    The LBP, which is working to help Indian youth stranded abroad for the last many years, is also sending its own delegation to Dubai.

    "There is nobody to fight their case in Dubai and we cannot let our children languish like this in any part of the world. We will also send our own delegation to Dubai to appeal against this verdict," Ramoowalia said.

    Seventeen Indians have been sentenced to death by a court in Sharjah for killing a Pakistani man and injuring three others in January 2009 following a fight over illegal liquor business, a media report said Monday.

    The murder took place in Al Sajaa area of Sharjah in the UAE. The victim died of stab wounds and also suffered brain damage, police said.
    The convicted men are between 17 and 30 years of age.
    Paramjit Singh, brother of Taranjit Singh, who is among the 17, told IANS: "I was also in Dubai at the time when police had arrested these youth. They all are innocent and police have unknowingly committed a big blunder."

    "Police had arrested them from a room, where the original culprits used to stay in the past. But after committing the crime, they fled to some unknown place. These Indian youth had taken the room just a few days back and during a raid, police arrested all of them without any proof," he alleged.

    He said that the 17 are lodged in jail in the most inhuman conditions and police did not allow anybody to meet them.
    "During my stay in Dubai, I tried for at least 20 times to meet them but I could meet them for only four times. All of them had turned very weak and had lost all hope," he recalled.

    Taranjit's inconsolable mother Sukhwinder Kaur said: "I do not know what is going on and why they are targeting my son. For over last one year, I have not even heard his voice."

    A majority of these families are from lower middle class backgrounds and engaged in agriculture.

    "My son is innocent. He cannot kill anybody. Although we have lost all hopes but still I appeal to Congress leader Sonia Gandhi to take up this issue with UAE," Gurmeet Kaur, mother of Ravinder who is also among the 17, told IANS.
    </td></tr></tbody></table>
     
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  15. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    Death sentence to 17 Indians subject to appeal: UAE
    April 05, 2010 10:48 IST

    Amid concerns in New Delhi [ Images ] over the capital punishment given to 17 Indians in Sharjah, the United Arab Emirates [ Images ] on Monday said its legal system guarantees a fair trial and the death sentence is subject to appeal and annulment by the rule of law, without any interference from the parties concerned.

    "The UAE embassy in New Delhi has been following press reports with regard to convicted Indian nationals in Sharjah. Death penalty in the UAE's legal system is subject to appeal by the rule of law without any interference from the parties. We fully trust our legal system and its procedures and we are sure that it will provide and guarantee a fair trial to the convicted," the UAE embassy in New Delhi said in a statement.

    Moreover, the court (in UAE) provides lawyers for those unable to get legal help themselves and gives them the right and the means to defend themselves in court, the embassy said.

    Seventeen Indians were sentenced to death on March 29 by a Sharjah Shariah court for allegedly killing a Pakistani and leaving three others injured in an attack last year.

    External Affairs Minister S M Krishna [ Images ] has termed as 'very unfortunate' the death sentence given to 17 Indians and has instructed his ministry to assist them in filing an appeal and also bear all the expenses involved.
     
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