"Read Afzal's story in his words and choose what kind of society you want to live in." - Nandita Haksar.
1. Foreword 3
2. Mohammad Afzal's Letter to All India 9
Defence Committee for SAR Geelani
3. Mohammad Afzal's Letter to his Lawyer, 13
Sushil Kumar, Sr. Advocate, Supreme Court
4. Afzal's wife's Appeal 25
5. Resolution passed jointly by Kashmiri Leaders 29
6. Afzal's Letter to SPDPR. 33
7. How Can You Help 34
8. Mission Statement 3523
"The quality of a nation's civilization can be largely measured by
the method it uses in the enforcement of its criminal law."
"The first obligation of the criminal justice system is to secure justice
by seeking and substanting truth through proof. Of course the
means must be as good as the ends and the dignity of the individual
and freedom of the human person cannot be sacrificed by resort
to improper means, however, worthy the ends… Safety of society
and the worth of the human person may co-exist in peace."
… Quoted in the Supreme Court judgement in
Parliament attack case.
I believe that if Mohammad Afzal is hanged it will be a severe blow
to the future of Indian democracy. Why do I say this? Because the
hanging would further institutionalize the growing lawlessness of
the police; it would strengthen the growing authoritarianism of the
Indian state; it would undermine the peace process in Kashmir
and give fillip to the Hindu fascist forces. Let me substantiate each
of these points with hard facts and then you, the reader can judge
for yourself whether you want to allow Mohammad Afzal to be
hanged in the name of your country.
It is true that the attack on the Indian Parliament was the most
serious challenge to our democracy and if it had been successful
it would have had very long term consequences for the entire
region. Precisely for this reason it was imperative that the police
and investigation agencies should have carried out an honest and
vigorous investigation into the crime. Instead, the investigation
agencies did a shoddy investigation, fabricated evidence and
manipulated the nation's sentiments by telling lies through the
The investigating agencies failed to arrest the three people who
they said had masterminded the conspiracy to attack the
Parliament: Masood Ahzar, Ghazi Baba and Tariq Ahmad. Then
the police try to say that one of the five men who attacked our
Parliament was the same man who had hijacked the Indian Airlines
plane to Afghanistan. However, it was soon discovered that this4
was not true. In fact we still do not know the identities of the five
men who attacked the Parliament and they were all killed.
The investigating agencies along with the Special Cell of the Delhi
Police picked up four persons and charged them with the offence
of conspiring to attack the Parliament. And after the arrest they
carried out a media trial to make up for the deficiencies in their
investigation. They held a media conference on December 20, 2001
in the Special Cell, Lodi Road where they made Mohammad Afzal
incriminate himself on the national media. Then in the court under
oath the DCP Ashok Chand denied having had such a conference.
The Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court noted that this senior
police officer told lies on oath in the court.
The Courts also noted that the police lied about the time and place
of arrest of the accused; they fabricated evidence including the
arrest memos and used torture to extract false confessions from
the accused. The result of this shoddy investigation was that two
of the accused that the police had tried to frame in the case were
acquitted because there was no evidence against them at all. The
two acquitted are S A R Geelani and Navjot Sandhu wife of Shaukat
Guru. Supreme Court also reduced the sentence of Shaukat Guru
from death to ten years rigorous imprisonment.
The Supreme Court upheld the death sentence against Afzal Guru
despite the fact the court held that there was no direct evidence
No direct evidence
The Supreme Court categorically stated that there was no evidence
to show that Mohammad Afzal was a member of any banned
organization. In fact the Court acquitted Afzal of the charges under
POTA. They held: "The conviction under section 3 (2) of POTA is
set aside. The conviction under section 3 (5) of POTA is also set
aside because there is no evidence that he is a member of a terrorist
organization, once the confessional statement is excluded.
Incidentally, we may mention that even going by confessional
statement, it is doubtful whether the membership of a terrorist gang
or organization is established."
None of the 80 prosecution witnesses ever even alleged that Afzal
was in any way associated or belonged to any terrorist organization.
Despite these facts the police and a section of the media still refer
to Afzal as a "JeM activist".
Does Mohammad Afzal have to pay the price for the shoddy and5
illegal investigation by the corrupt and communal officers of the
Special cell? And the main Investigating Officer, ACP Rajbir Singh
is facing serious corruption charges and has been removed from
the Special cell. Another officer was himself arrested on corruption
Rarest of rare cases
Under Indian law death sentence can be awarded only in rarest of
rare cases. There is no doubt that the offence Afzal has been
accused of is serious. It is very serious indeed. But the question is
not the seriousness of the offence but what role, if any Afzal played
and whether the death sentence is in accordance with the principles
of natural justice and equity.
The Supreme Court has not passed any strictures against the
corrupt officers for their shoddy and illegal investigation and has
held there is no direct evidence against Afzal. However, they have
confirmed the death sentence because they believe that his death
is necessary to assuage the feeling of Indian citizens.
I quote from the judgement: "The incident, which resulted in heavy
casualties, has shaken the entire nation and the collective
conscience of the society will be satisfied if the capital punishment
is awarded to the offender. The challenge to the unity, integrity
and sovereignty of India by these acts of terrorists and conspirators
can only be compensated by giving the maximum punishment to
the person who is proved to be a conspirator in this treacherous
act. The appellant, who is a surrendered militant and who was
bent upon repeating the acts of treason against the nation, is a
menace to the society should become extinct. Accordingly we
uphold the death sentence."
Can the collective conscience of the Indian people be satisfied if a
fellow citizen is hanged without even allowing him to defend
The Supreme Court noted that Afzal was denied access to any
lawyer at the stage of interrogation. The Court held: "The access
to a lawyer at the stage of interrogation serves as a sort of
counterweight to the intimidating atmosphere that surrounds the
detenu and gives him certain amount of guidance as to his rights
and obligations of the police."
Afzal denied legal assistance
Afzal comes from an economically poor family and did not have
the means to engage a lawyer. He was the only one of the four6
accused who had no lawyer even though he was the most
vulnerable. Afzal asked the Designated Court to appoint a lawyer
for him and even gave a list of at least eight lawyers. However, the
lawyers refused to represent him out of fear of being dubbed antinational. When Mr Ram Jethmalani, senior counsel and Member
of Parliament offered to defend Geelani the Shiv Sena goons
ransacked his office in Mumbai. Such is the patriotism of the Hindu
Finally, the designated judge passed an order on July 12, 2002
appointing a junior lawyer as his amicus curiae and gave Afzal the
right to cross examine the witnesses. Everyone knows that a
criminal trial requires knowledge of criminal law procedures and it
is impossible for a layman to conduct a proper cross examination
without legal assistance.
Afzal tried to get legal assistance and if you read his letter to the
All India Defence Committee for SAR Geelani and to his lawyer at
the Supreme Court you will know how cruelly Afzal was denied an
opportunity to defend himself.
A section of the media and the Hindu fascist forces think that by
hanging Mohammad Afzal without even listening to his story is a
legitimate assertion of nationalism. They are indeed victims of the
ideology of Islamophobia spawned by the US war against terrorism.
But even in the USA the jury trying Zacarias Moussaoui for
committing acts of terror transcending national boundaries was
more compassionate than our courts. Zacarias was not given death
penalty even though he was involved in the conspiracy to attack
the twin towers on September 11, 2001. The reason why he was
not given death penalty was because he has an "unstable childhood
and dysfunctional family resulted in his being placed in orphanages
and having a home life without structure and emotional and financial
support eventually resulting in his leaving home due to his hostile
relationship with his mother."
If the courts had heard Afzal's story they would have realized that
his case cannot be judged or separated from the story of Kashmir
Valley and its tortured history of oppression and domination. There
is no way to judge Mohammad Afzal without understanding and
taking into account the political context of the conflict between the
Indian state and people of Kashmir.7
On October 21, 2004 the Kashmir Times carried Afzal's wife's
Appeal. It was reproduced in the Asian Age on Novemeber 4, 2004.
The letter is reproduced in this pamphlet and from Tabassum's
story you will understand the tragedy facing the people of Kashmir.
Afzal has corroborated the facts in his long letter to Sushil Kumar
the senior advocate who appeared for him in the Supreme Court.
However, the facts in the letter were never put on record before
It is only when we read about the lives of Afzal and Tabassum that
we begin to understand the outrage of the people of Kashmir against
the death sentence awarded to Afzal. The people of Kashmir have
been pouring out in the streets to vent their anger, resentment and
anguish not only against a death sentence but for them Mohammad
Afzal is a symbol of Kashmiri people's resistance to Indian state's
Kashmir policy. A Resolution passed and signed by all the Kashmiri
leaders included in this collection of documents reflects the feelings
of Kashmiri people.
The death sentence on Afzal reminds the people of Kashmir of
how the Indian State hanged Maqbul Bhatt in the 1980s. It was
soon after that the Kashmiris took to armed resistance. Afzal's
death sentence has united all Kashmiris across ideological lines.
Would it not be wise to learn from past mistakes and understand
that judicial murder and state revenge can never lead to justice or
bring peace to Kashmir Valley or to our region? The fight for
Mohammad Afzal's life is a fight for all that is good and meaningful
in Indian democracy; the cry for revenge and his death represents
the dehumanized and authoritarian aspects of the Indian State
and civil society.
Read Afzal's story in his words and choose what kind of society
you want to live in.
Mohammad Afzal's Letter to All India Defence
Committee for SAR Geelani
All India Defence Committee
For S.A.R. Geelani
With respect and esteem I would like to inform your honorary
Committee that in The Trial of Parliament attack Case in the
designated session court Patiala house I (Mohammad AFZAL)
accused was not given defence aid / Amicus curie in spite of giving
Three applications for the lawyer of my own choice. Throughout
The Trial I was not allowed To most of the witness, Police and
others To cross-question to Their Statements recorded by the
seesion court. Not a single witness was cross-questioned on behalf
of me by any legal aid. There were most of the witnesses which I
have seen for the first time in court and the court went on recording
their one-sided fabricated and self designed statements without
any argument or cross-questioning. I remained speechless mute
helpless spectator as I was not allowed to speak except few times.
When I was allowed to cross-question one of the media interviewer
of National T.V. Channel Aaj Tak named Shams Tahir, he
confirmed and replied that I (AFZAL) was under duress and threat
at the time of interview as I was threatened by the A.C.P Rajbeer
Singh before mediamen on replying to one of the questions which
infact proved the complete innocence of S.A.R Geelani.
The Court did not also gave me the recorded statements of The
Trial, which was going on, so it was impossible for me to know
what the court had recorded.
Being in high-security ward of Tihar Jail where it is too difficult to
communicate with outer people like lawyer etc., in a week, I had
seen a news Through Indian Express daily that my lawyer had
Told the High Court on behalf of me that I ( AFZAL) had accepted
the death sentence and I want only that method / way of killing /
hanging should be changed by injecting the Powerful Toxic injection
So as to reduce the pain of dying. I object and challenge this false
statement which has been actually given by lawyer himself without1011
my knowledge and consent making my whole process of Appeal
The magnitude and the gravity of my unknowing , unwilling and
inintentional involvement in the Parliament attack case was from
the beginning emotionalized and magnified by Police Through all
possible means due to my helplessness, ignorance of law (legal
process) and unability to manage The suitable legal aid. Thus the
police made me a scapegoat so as to mask their unability and
failure to trace out the mastermind of Parliament attack and to
make people fool. Keeping all these points and facts in view I am
requesting to your honorary that the reality of my fabricated
involvement in Parliament attack case should come out / exposed
before the people and Supreme Court of India. I hope that your
honourable committee will consider my humble request with
sympathy and I will be highly obliged .
S /o Late Habibullah Guru
Ward No7 High-security ward
Jail No. 2 Tihar , New Delhi
Dated : 26 / 01 / 2004
Place : Jail No. 2
Tihar, N. Delhi1213
Mohammad Afzal's Letter to his Lawyer,
Sushil Kumar, Sr. Advocate, Supreme Court
Respected Shri Sushil Kumar;
I am extremely thankful and feel very much obligated to you that
you have taken up my case and decided to defend me. From the
beginning of this case I was neglected and had never been given
a chance to reveal the truth before media or in court. The designated
court did not provided me the lawyer inspite of giving three
applications. In the high court one human rights lawyer asked the
court that Afzal had expressed his desire that he want to be killed
by toxic injection rather by hanging which is absolutely false. I
never told this to my lawyer. Since that lawyer was not of my own
choice (or my family) but it was due to my helplessness and nonaccessibility to proper lawyer. Being locked up in high security jail
and without being in communication with that human rights lawyer
I could not change him or to convey my objection regarding my
death desire to highcourt as I came to know this after high court's
In the parliament attack case I was entrapped by Special Task
Force of Kashmir. Here in Delhi the designated court sentenced
me to death on the basis of special police version which workes in
nexus with STF, and also came under the influence of mass media
in which I was made to accept the crime under duress and threat
by special police A.C.P. Rajbir Singh. That threat even get
confirmed to designated court by T.V. interviewer (Shams Tahir
When I was arrested in Srinagar bus stand I was taken to STF
Headquarter from here the special police along with STF brought
me to Delhi. In Srinagar at Parompora Police Station everything of
my belongings was seized and then they beated me and threatened
me of dire consequences regarding my wife and family if I reveal
or disclose the reality before anybody. Even my younger brother
Hilal Ahmad Guru he was taken into police custody without any1415
warrant etc. and was kept there for 2-3 months. This was first told
to me by A.C.P. Rajbir Singh. Special police told me that if I will
speak according to their wishes they will not harm my family
members and also gave me false assurance that they will make
my case weak so that after sometime I will get released.
The most important priority I gave to safety of my family. As I know
from last seven years how the STF men kill, the Kashmiris, how
they had made youth invisible and had disappeared them while
killing them in custody. I am living and organic eye-witness to
various tortures and custodial killings and I am myself the victim of
STF terror and torture. Being an surrendered militant of JKLF I
was constantly harassed, threatened and agonized by various
security agencies like Army. B.S.F. and S.T. F., But since S.T.F.
is unorganized, without being accountable a band and gang of
renegades patronised by state government. They intrude every
house, every family everywhere in Kashmir anytime day or night.
If anybody is picked up by STF and his family came to know this,
then family members only wait to get his dead body which they
hope. But usually they never came to know his whereabouts. 6000
youthes have disappeared. Under these circumstances and under
this fearful environment persons like me are always ready to play
any dirty game in the hands of S.T.F. Just for the survival. The
people who are able to pay in terms of cash are not forced to do
the diryt things the way I did as I was not able to pay. Even one of
the policeman of the same police station of Parimpora named
Akbar had extorted 5000 Rs. Long brfore attack and threatened
me that he will charge me as selling duplicate medicines and
surgical items of which I was doing business at Sopore, in 2000.
He came here in designated court and became a witness against
me. He was knowing me before parliament attack. In the court
room he told me in Kashmiri that my family is o.k. indirectly it was
a hidden threat which the designated court hardly could realise
otherwise in court I would have questioned him but before court
started recording his statement he told me this. Throughout the
trial I remained mute and helpless spectator as witnesses, police
and even judge they all became a single force against me. I1617
remained a frustrate bewildered and confused between the security
and safety of myself and my family. I protected and saved my
family. That is how I am lying in deathrow.
II. In 1997-98 I started a business of medicines and surgical
instruments on commission basis as I could not get a govt. job
due to the reason of being an surrendered militant. Because
surrendered militants were not given jobs. They were either to work
as SPOs or STF or to join the renegades under the patronage of
security forces or police. Everyday SPOs were get killed by
militants. In these conditions I started my commission based
business earning 4000Rs. – 5000Rs. per month. But since the
police informers (SPOs) usually harass those surrendered militants
who do not work with S.T.F. etc. From 98-2000 I usually used to
pay 300Rs. sometimes 500 Rs. to local SPO so as to keep myself
in business otherwise these SPO make us to present us before
security agencies. Even one of the SPO one day told me that they
too have to pay their bosses. As I was working hard in my business
my business flourished. One day at 10 AM I was on my Two wheeler
scooter that I had purchased just before two months. I was whisked
away by STF men in bullet proof gypsy to Palhallan camp. There
the D.S.P. Vinay Gupta tortured me, electrified me—put me in cold
water – used petrol—chillies and other techniques. He told me
that I possess weapons but at evening time one of his inspector
Farooq told me that if I can pay 1000,000 Rs. to him (D.S.P) I will
be released or they will kill me. Then they took me to Humhama
STF camp where D.S.P. Dravinder Singh also tortured me. One of
his torture inspector as they called him Shanty Singh electrified
me naked for 3 hours and made me drink water while giving electric
shocks through telephone instrument. Ultimately I accepted to pay
them 1000000Rs. for which my family sold the gold of my wife.
Even after this they could manage only 80000 Rs. Then they took
the scooter too which was just 2-3 months old which I bought for
24000Rs. Thus after getting 1lakh rupees they let me free. But
now I was a broken person. In the same Humhama STF camp
there was one more victim named Tariq. He suggested me that I
should always co-operate with STF otherwise they will always1819
harass and will not let me to live normal—free life. This was a
turning point of my life . I decided to live the way Tariq told me.
Since from 1990-1996 I had studied in Delhi University I was also
giving tuitions in different coaching centres and also home tuitions.
This fact reached to the man named Altaf Hussain who is brotherin-law of S.S.P. Ashaq Hussain of Budgam. Since it was this Altaf
Hussain who managed my family rather he became the broker
between my family and D.S.P. Humhama Dravinder Singh. Altaf
told me that I should teach his two children one on 12
one] in 10
class as his children were not able to go outside for
tuition due to militant threat. Thus I became very close to Altaf's
and Altaf also. One day Altaf took me to Dravinder Singh (D.S.P.).
D.S. told me that I had to do a small job for him that has to took
one man to delhi as I was well aware about Delhi and has to manage
a rented house for him. Since I was not knowing the man but I
suspected that this man is not Kashmiri as he did not speak in
Kashmiri but I was helpless to do what Dravinder told me . I took
him to Delhi. One day he told me that he want to purchase a car.
Thus I went with him to Karol Bagh. He purchased the car. Then in
Delhi he used to meet different persons and both of us he
Mohammad and me used to get the different phone calls from
Dravinder Singh. One day Mohammad told me that if he want to
go back to Kashmir he can. He also gave me 35000Rs. and told
me that this gift is for you. 6 days or 8 days before I took a rented
room at Indra Vihar for my family as I decided to live in Delhi with
my family because I was not satisfied with my this life. I left the
keys of rented house to my land lady and told her that I will be
back after Eid festival on 14
Dec. after parliament attack about
which there was a lot of tension. I contacted Tariq in Sgr. [Srinagar].
At evening he told me when I came back from Delhi. I replied just
one hour before. Next morning when I was about to leave to Sopore
from bus stand Sgr. police caught me and took me to Parampora
police station . Tariq was there also with STF. They took 35000
Rs. from my pocket, beated me and directly took me STF Head
Quarter. From there I was taken to Delhi. My eyes were blind folded.
Here I found myself in special police torture cell.2021
In special cell custody I told them everything regarding Mohammad
etc. but they told me that I Showkat his wife Navjot (Afshan) Geelani
are the people behind parliament attack. They too threatened me
regarding my family and one of the inspector told me that my
younger brother Hilal Ahmad Guru is in STF custody. They can lift
the other family members too if I don't co-operate with them. They
tried me and forced me to implicate Showkat his wife and Geelani
but I did not yield. I told them this is not possible. Then they told
me that I should not say anything about Geelani (be about his
innocence). After some days I was presented before media handcuffed. There were NDTV, Aaj tak, Zee news, Sahara TV etc.
Rajbeer Singh (A.C.P.) was also there. When one of the interviewer
Shams tahir told me what is the role of Geelani in parliament attack,
I just said that Geelani is innocent. This moment A.C.P. Rajbeer
Singh got up from his moving chair he shouted at me and told me
that he had already said me not to speak about Geelani in front of
everybody (Media-personnel). Rajbeer Singh's behaviour exposed
my helplessness and media personnel atleast came to know that
what Afzal is saying under threat or duress. Then Rajbir Singh
(A.C.P.) requested T.V. personel that the question regarding
Geelani should be washed away or not to be shown before public.
At evening time Rajbir Singh told me that if I want to talk [to] my
family. I replied in yes. Then I talked to my wife. After finishing my
phone he told me if I want to see my wife & family alive I must cooperate [with] them at every step. They took me to various places
in delhi. From where they showed that Mohammad had purchased
different things. They took me to Kashmir from where we came
back without doing anything. They made me to sign on atleast
200-300 blank pages.
I was never given an [a] chance in [the] designated court to tell the
real story. The judge told me that I will be given full opportunity to
speak at the end of case but at the end he even did not recorded
my all statements neither the court gave me whatever even court
recorded. If phone numbers recorded will be seen carefully the
court would have come to know the phone numbers of STF.2223
Now I hope that the Supreme Court will consider my helplessness
and the reality through which I had passed. STF made an [a]
scapegoat in all this criminal act which was designed and directed
by STF and others which I don't know. Special Police is definitely
the part of this game because every time they forced me to remain
silent. I hope my forced silence will be heard and justice will prevail.
I once again pay heart felt thanks to your good self for defending
my case. May truth prevail!
S/O Habibullah Guru
Ward No. 6(High Security Ward)
Jail No. 1, Tihar
New Delhi 1100642425
A Wife's Appeal
Asian Age: 04.11.04
I am the wife of Mohammad Afzal, the man accused of conspiring
to attack the Indian Parliament on December 13, 2001. Afzal has
been condemned to death by the Sessions Court judge, SN Dhingra
and his death sentence has been confirmed by the Hon'ble High
Court of Delhi. Now the case has come up before the Hon'ble
Supreme Court of India.
All over India people have condemned the attack on Parliament.
And I agree that it was a terrorist attack and must be condemned.
However, it is also important that the people accused of such a
serious crime be given a fair trial and their story be fully heard
before they are punished. I believe that no one has heard my
husband's story and he has so far never been represented in the
I appeal to you to hear our story and then decide for yourselves
whether justice has been done. Afzal and my story is the story of
many young Kashmiri couples. Our story represents the tragedy
facing our people.
In 1990 Afzal was attracted to the movement led by the JKLF, like
thousands of other youth. He went to Pakistan for training and
stayed there for a little while. However, he was disillusioned by
the differences between different groups and he did not support
pro-Pakistan groups. He stayed there only three months without
getting ant training. Afzal returned to Kashmir and he went to Delhi
to pursue his studies. He always wanted to study and before he
joined the movement he was doing his MBBS.
My husband wanted to return to normal life and with that intention
he surrendered to the BSF. The BSF commandant refused to give
him his certificate till he had motivated two others to surrender.
And Afzal motivated two other militants to surrender. He was given
a certificate stating that he was a surrendered militant. You will not
perhaps realize that it is very difficult to live as a surrendered militant
in Kashmir. But he decided to live with his family in Kashmir. In
1997 he started a small business of medicines and surgical
instruments in Kashmir. The next year we were married. He was
28 years old and I was 18 years.26
Throughout the period that he lived in Kashmir the Indian security
forces continuously harassed Afzal and told him to spy on people
they suspected of being militants. One Major Ram Mohan Roy of
22 Rashtriya Rifles tortured Afzal and gave him electric shocks to
his private parts. He was humiliated and abused.
The Indian security forces used to regularly take Afzal to their
camps and torture him. They wanted to extract information from
him. One night the Indian security forces came to our home and
abused all of us and took away Afzal to their camp another time he
was taken to the STF (State Task Force) camp Palhalan Pattan.
Some days later they took him to the Humhama STF camp. In that
camp the officers, DSP Vinay Gupta and DSP Darinder Singh
demanded Rs one lakh. We are not a rich family and we had to
sell everything, including the little gold I got on my marriage to
save Afzal from the torture.
Afzal was kept in freezing water and petrol was into his anus. One
officer Shanti Singh hanged him upside down for hours naked and
in the cold. They gave electric shocks in his penis and he had to
have treatment for days.
You will think that Afzal must be involved in some militant activities
that is why the security forces were torturing him to extract
information. But you must understand the situation in Kashmir.
Every man, woman and child has some information on the
movement even if they are not involved. By making people into
informers they turn brother against brother, wife against husband
and children against parents. Afzal wanted to live quietly with his
family but the STF would not allow him.
You should also know that the STF force is notorious in Kashmir
for extorting money from the people and they have become so
infamous that when Mufti Saeed became the Chief Minister he
promised in his election manifesto to disband the entire force. The
STF is known for human rights violations including killing people
in their custody and brutal, senseless, inhuman torture.
It was under these conditions that forced Afzal to leave his home,
family and settle in Delhi. He struggled hard to earn a living and he
had decided to bring me and our four year old son, Ghalib, to Delhi.
Like any other family we dreamed of living together peacefully and27
bringing up our children, giving them a good education and seeing
them to grow up to be good human beings. That dream was cut
short when once again the STF got hold of my husband in Delhi.
The STF told my husband to bring one Mohammad to Delhi from
Kashmir. He met Mohammad and one other man Tariq there at
the STF camp. He did not know anything about the men and he
had no idea why he being asked to do the job. He has told all this
to the court but the court chose to believe half his statement about
bringing Mohammad but not the bit that he was told to do so by the
There was no one to represent Afzal in the lower court. The court
appointed a lawyer who never took instructions from Afzal, or cross
examined the prosecution witnesses. That lawyer was communal
and showed his hatred for my husband. When my husband told
Judge Dhingra that he did not want that lawyer the judge ignored
him. In fact my husband went totally undefended in the trial court.
When ever my husband wished to say something the judge would
not hear him out and the judge showed his communal bias in open
In the High Court one human rights lawyer offered to represent
Afzal and my husband accepted. But instead of defending Afzal
the lawyer began by asking the court not to hang Afzal but to kill
him by a lethal injection. My husband never expressed any desire
to die. He has maintained that he has been entrapped by the STF.
My husband was shocked but he had no way of changing his lawyer
while being locked up in the high security jail.
It was only after the High Court judgement was pronounced he got
to know about the way the lawyer had represented him. Afzal
refused to accept the same lawyer for his appeal in the Supreme
Court. I had no way of getting Afzal a lawyer. I do not know anyone
in Delhi. Finally Afzal wrote to the Defence Committee set up for
Mr. Geelani. I am annexing his letter. And the Defence Committee
helped Afzal get a senior lawyer, Sushil Kumar, However, the
Supreme Court cannot go into the evidence and so I do not know
what will happen.
I appeal to you to ensure that my husband is not condemned to
death and he is ensured a fair trial. Surely your conscience will not
allow you to be a party to the death of a fellow human being who28
has not been represented in the court and who has not had a
chance to tell his story? The police have made him falsely confess
before the media even before the trial started. They humiliated
him, beat him, tortured him and even urinated in his mouth. I feel
deep shame to talk about these things in public but circumstances
have forced me. It has taken a lot of courage for me to put all this
on paper but I do so for the sake of my child who is now six years
Will you speak out at the injustice my husband has faced? Will
you speak out on my behalf? I am of course fighting for my
husband's life, for the life of my son's father. But I also speak as a
Kashmiri woman who is losing faith in Indian democracy and its
ability to be fair to Kashmiri Muslims.
Srinagar: September 200429
Resolution Passed jointly by Kashmiri Leaders
At a meeting of the Society for the Protection of Detainees' and
Prisoners' Rights on Saturday, September 24, 2005 at Taj Hotel
Budshah Chok Srinagar, we were deeply shocked to learn that
Mohammad Afzal has been sentenced to death by the supreme
court of India without having an opportunity to defend himself. This
is one more example of how the Indian courts are used for making
political statements at the cost of lives of Kashmiri people. On the
one hand the Indian political leaders talk about peace process in
Kashmir and taking confidence building measures on the other
hand Kashmiris like Afzal are sentenced to death without even a
The judgement of the Supreme court states that the attck on the
Indian Parliament resulted in heavy casualties and has " shaken
the entire nation and the coolective conscience of the socity will
only e satisfied if capital punishment is awarded to the offender."
We the people of Kashmir ask why the collective conscience of
Indians is not shaken by the fact that a Kashmiri has been
sentenced to death without a fair trial, without a chance to represent
himself? Throughout the trial at the sessions court Mohammad
Afzal asked the judge to appoint a lawyer. He even named various
lawyers but they all refused to represent him. Is it his fault that the
Indian lawyers think that it is more patriotic to allow a Kashmiri to
die rather than ensure he gets a fair trial?
At the High court an Indian human rights lawyer who volunteered
to represent Afzal actually asked the court that Afzal wanted to be
killed by a lethal injection instead of by hanging. Afzal did not know
that his lawyer had filed such a petition on his behalf till after the
case was over and he had been given three death sentences.
At the Supreme Court the senior lawyer and former Law Minister,
Shantibhushanji, who was representing another co-accused told3031
the court that Afzal was guilty and deserved to die. He made such
statements throughout, both inside the court and in the print media.
In Sarabjeet Sigh's case the Indian Prime Minister and Indian media
has been campaigning with the Pakistan authorities to spare his
life. And for the sake of the Indo-Pak friendship process Sarabjeet
Singh's life will be spared but is it not a contradiction that the same
leaders think that Azal's life needs to be
Sacrificed at the altar of false notion of national security.
We resolve to launch a Kashmir-wide signature campaign in
support of our demand that the death sentence on Afzal be
Syed Ali Geelani
Shabir Ahmad Shah
Mohammad Yaseen Malik
Mian Abdul Qayyoom
Afzal's Letter to SPDPR
The Society For protection oF
Detenues and Prisoners Rights (SPDPR)
Respected Sir, I would like to inform your SPDPR regarding the
13,Dec.2001, parliament attack case, Some Facts as below;
1: after Few days of my arrest at Srinagar(Kashmir)bus Stand, I
was Forced under duress and threat by special-cell police (Delhi).
To present myself before media.This unwanted or unwilling media
presentation which was done at special police Station Delhi was
confirmed by one the interviewersor reporter of Aaj-Tak + v
Channel. When he was summoned by session court.
2:- The Session court systemically Silenced my voice by.
a) Not providing me the Advocate of my own Choice
b) Not giving the recorded Statements of Trial proceedings
c) The different Statements and objections raised by me were
never recorded by the Court, regarding the various
witnesses and their False Statements against me.
3:- I was repreented by one Human rights activist Colin
Gonzalves.(Advocate) in High court. I was shocked when I came
to know that from news paper Indian Express. That my Advocate
has requested the court that AFZAL wants that he should be killed
by Lethal Injection rather by hanging. When I contacted From High
Security ward of Tihar Jail to my Lawyer He neither came to meet
me nor informed me regarding this False request which I never
4:- In S.Court the lawyer of my co-accused brought the different
allegations concerned me to such an thresh-hold where natural
Justice Fail to make out anything For me.
Thus under these circumstances it is natural that I can get any
Justice. I hope that SDPDR will consider the above Facts and
Take up the cause. Thank You
Mohammad AFZAL Guru.
W.No. 9-Jail No 5,
How can you help?
If you want to support SPDPR's campaign and show
solidarity with Afzal you may :
A. Contribute generously to SPDPR by sending cheques
or drafts to our office address:
163, Vasant Enclave, New Delhi-110057
B. Organise meetings and take the information regarding
the facts about Afzal's case to the people.
C. If you want any further information or our literature
then you may contact us at:
firstname.lastname@example.org ; Tel. : 011-2615268035
The Society for the Protection of Detainees' And Prisoners' Rights
(SPDPR) has been formed by a group of men and women who
came together while campaigning for the acquittal of Syed Abdur
Rahman Geelani, the Delhi University teacher framed in the
parliament attack case. In the course of our campaign we became
aware of the complex political issues relating to the question of
political prisoners in Indian jails.
The question of political prisoners has a direct bearing on the future
of Indian democracy. The most disturbing fact is that many
democratic sections of our society failed to respond to the demands
of our campaign because they were afraid to openly declare Mr.
Geelani as a political prisoner for fear of being called antinational.This overwhelming fear forced many to remain silent even
when Mr. Geelani was sentenced to death without a shred of
We see this as a reflection of the success of the so-called war
against terror in which national security doctrine undermines basic
democratic norms and values. We want to expose the fact that
hundreds of people have been incarcerated only because they
belong to a religious community, a particular geographical area or
are sympathetic to a particular movement. A growing number of
these prisoners are Muslims, victims of Islamophobia, the main
ideology of the war against terror.
The fight for the rights of political prisoners is integral to the fight
for the preservation of democratic norms. We firmly believe that
all of us who are committed to making Indian democracy vibrant
and meaningful must fight to free all political prisoners and
detainees in the jails all over the country.36
The incident which resulted in heavy casualties, had shaken the
entire nation and the collective conscience of the society will only
be satisfied if the capital punishment is awarded to the offender.
—Supreme Court Judgement p.204
For there to be equivalence, the death penalty would have to punish
a criminal who had warned his victim of the date at which he would
inflict a horrible death on him and who, from that moment onward,
had confined him at his mercy for months. Such a monster is not
encountered in private life
The deliberate institutionalized taking of human life by the state is
the greatest conceivable degradation to the dignity of the human
—Arthur J. Goldberg, former Supreme Court Justice,
The Boston Globe, 8/16/1976, p.17