Far-reaching procedural and institutional reform, and not the death penalty, is what is needed to tackle the endemic problem of violence against women in the country, Amnesty International India said on Friday opposing the death sentence awarded by a Delhi court to the four convicts in the December 2012 case of gang rape and murder of a physiotherapy student.
It was a “horrific crime and our deepest sympathy goes out to the victim’s family. Those responsible must be punished, but the death penalty is never the answer,” said Director Tara Rao.
“Sending these four men to the gallows will accomplish nothing except short-term revenge. While the widespread anger over this case is understandable, authorities must avoid using the death penalty as a ‘quick-fix’ solution. There is no evidence that the death penalty is a particular deterrent to crime, and its use will not eradicate violence against women in India.”
Human Rights Watch urged the Indian government to announce an official moratorium on the death penalty and work towards abolishing it altogether.
About rape incidents, HRW said: “We need systemic reforms, a trained and accountable police force, and end to the culture of blaming the victim more often than the perpetrator by commenting on lifestyle choices of women.”