Amnesty International on Friday called for an investigation into allegations of “abuses and torture” of 17 Indian men facing death penalty in the United Arab Emirates for “murdering” a Pakistani national.

“The migrant workers, sentenced to death on 29 March, are alleged to have been tortured by police over nine days while in custody in a bid to make them ‘confess' to the crime,” it said in a statement.

Torture

It quoted Lawyers For Human Rights International (LFHRI), an Indian NGO campaigning for the condemned men, as alleging that they were beaten with clubs, subjected to electric shocks, deprived of sleep and forced to stand on one leg for prolonged periods.

“Navkiran Singh, of the LFHRI says that a month after their arrest they were taken to the scene of the killing and forced to re-enact it. They were made to beat up a policeman posing as the dead man. The scene was videotaped and later presented at their trial as genuine CCTV footage of the killing,” the statement said calling it a “mockery of justice”.

Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International's deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa, demanded an investigation into the allegations.

The workers, all from Punjab and aged between 21 and 25, were arrested in January 2009 after a Pakistani man died following a fight believed to be between rival gangs for control of an illegal alcohol business in Sharjah.

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