Markus Löning, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy, issued the following statement in Berlin today (21 November):
I am appalled at the news that India has today carried out an execution for the first time in eight years.
I call upon the Indian Government to reinstate the moratorium, thus preventing further executions. Furthermore, I urge India to remove the death penalty from its penal code once and for all. The death penalty is an anachronism in the 21st century!
We are vehemently opposed to the death penalty and will continue to campaign with our European partners for its worldwide abolition.
Ajmal Amir Qasab, the sole surviving gunman from the November 2008 Mumbai attacks, was executed this morning (21 November). The death sentence against Qasab was confirmed by the Supreme Court in August. President Mukherjee had rejected Qasab’s plea for clemency.
This is the first time since 2004 that the death penalty has been carried out in India. In several cases, pleas for clemency or appeals against rejected pleas for clemency are currently pending.