Press release for immediate use : 29-August
End death penalty inIndia
Protest outside the Indian High Commissions inLondon, Holborn
Tuesday 30 August, 4-7pm
Three activists, imprisoned for their alleged part in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination in May 1991, are scheduled to be hanged by 9 September.
But Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan were among a number of people arrested following the former prime minister’s death and it is widely believed that their case has not been handled fairly and their connection to the Rajiv Gandhi death is strongly disputed.
A campaign to save Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan has now intensified in Tamil Nadu and among the Tamil Diaspora. Various activists came together to form the Stop Death Penalty in India campaign which has now attracted the support of many internationally known names such as Noam Chomsky, Arundhati Roy, Paul Murphy MEP, Desmond Tutu etc.
The Tamil Solidarity campaign is also part of Stop Death Penalty and has organised a protest outside the Indian High Commissions inLondonandBrussels. This will take place on Tuesday 30 August from 4pm to 7pm outside the Indian Embassy in Holborn.
Manny Thain, national coordinator for Tamil Solidarity in theUK, said: “Capital punishment is barbaric and the sentence should not be carried out against these three men. The decision to go ahead with their execution is for political reasons. The Indian government continues to support the Sri Lankan president, Rajapaksa, who has gallons of blood on his hands and many outstanding allegations of war crimes against him. This is gross hypocrisy.
‘Tamil Solidarity vehemently opposes the death penalty and demands that it be abolished immediately.”
In Tamil Nadu the Indian government’s involvement in the recent war inSri Lankahas been widely publicised. That war, ending in May 2009, saw at least 40,000 killed in the last weeks alone.
The enormous anger against the Congress-led government in Tamil Nadu state was reflected in the recent state election when Congress suffered a humiliating defeat. Now the government is accused of trying to deter the anger with a hurried decision to hang these activists. However this will further fuel the anger and demand for a pardon has widespread support.
Protest will take place outside the Indian high commission
Nearest station holborn.London
High Commission of India
for more detals contact Tamilsolidarity at firstname.lastname@example.org /or call 0044 7908050217