An NRI British lawyer has set up a website and launched an international campaign to secure the immediate release of Indian citizen Sarabjit Singh, who is sentenced to death in Pakistan.
Jas Uppal said she was inspired to launch the campaign to secure the release of Sarabjit Singh after reading about his plight on the BBC News website.
Sarabjit Singh has reportedly been sentenced to death for allegedly spying and carrying out four bomb attacks that killed 14 people in Lahore and Faisalabad in 1990.
Pakistani officials claim Sarabjit Singh is actually an Indian spy Manjit Singh, who was arrested while trying to slip back into India.
Ms. Uppal told the BBC: “I had never heard about this man before then, but was immediately interested in the case because my parents come from Punjab, as does Sarabjit Singh.”
She has set up a website - www.freesarabjitsingh.com - to highlight his plight and is lobbying human rights groups and lawyers around the world, asking them to intervene.
She said: “After reading about the case on the BBC website I then made a few inquiries of my own. It did not take me long to discover that this man was prosecuted and convicted in English - when he speaks only Punjabi and Urdu - and that there are other serious questions over the fairness of his trial, including allegations that he was tortured in custody and forced to confess.”
“While his family have been pleading with Indian and Pakistani politicians over the last 19 years to raise awareness of his case, the fact is that officials in both countries are callously indifferent to his plight,” she said.
Stating that Sarbjit Singh’s solitary confinement for 19 years was “shocking”, Ms. Uppal said that there were many questions surrounding his case.
His identity was never verified or proved in court and no forensic evidence was provided at his trial to link him to the bomb attacks, she said.
“Publicly it appears that the Indian government has done very little to help Sarabjit Singh since his conviction, while the Pakistani authorities do little to alleviate his suffering by constantly deferring his death penalty by a few months.”