|JOINT STATEMENT OF MUSLIM ORGANIZATIONS
FOR A FAIR TRIAL FOR SYED ABDUR RAHMAN GEELANI
New Delhi, 20 September, 2003:
Mr. Syed Abdur Rahman Geelani who has been a Lecturer in Zakir Husain College and Research Scholar of Delhi University for many years and is highly thought of by his colleagues and students, was detained on 14 December, 2001 for suspected complicity in the terrorist attack on the Parliament on 13 December, 2001.
Mr. Geelani has all along pleaded innocence and has resisted all efforts by the CBI to extract a confession from him under torture. Neither the other two co-accused nor any of the 80 witnesses produced by the CBI have implicated him. Nothing was found in his possession or in his residence.
Under detention since 21 December, 200, he was tried under POTA by the Special Court, New Delhi. The only piece of evidence on which the prosecution relied was his 2.16 minutes phone conversion with his brother in Baramulla in Kashmir on 14 December, 2001 and its incorrect translation by a semi-literate sabzifarosh. However, on this specious evidence, the POTA Court has sentenced him to death. The sentence is under review by the Delhi High Court. The hearing is over and the judgement stands reserved.
We support the continuing campaign of the All India Syed Abdur Rahman Geelani Defence Committee, headed by Prof. Rajni Kothari and including eminent personalities like Aruna Roy, Surendra Mohan, Prabhash Joshi, Arundhati Roy, Y.P. Chhibber and Nandita Haksar, which has effectively mobilized the academic community of the Delhi University, the JNU and the JMI as well as the legal fraternity and the mass media.
We appreciate the gesture of Mr. Ram Jethmalani, the eminent lawyer, who has defended Mr. Geelani in the High Court without charging any fee.
We admire the solidarity of the academic community.
We condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations but we strongly feel that sentencing an innocent person to death without any evidence and without following due procedure will be a blot on our judicial system!
We regard the Geelani trial as a trial of the Rule of Law.
We demand nothing but a fair trial."
Syed Shahabuddin, President, A.I. Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat
Saiyid Hamid, President, Movement for Empowerment of Muslim Indians
Mohammad Yahya, President, Jamiat Ahl-e-Hadith
Mohd. Jafar, Gen.Secy., Jamaat-e-Islami Hind
A.W. Khilji, Dy. Sec.Gen., A.I. Milli Council
Dr. Zafarul Islam Khan, Editor, The Milli Gazette
Dr.S.Q.R. Ilyas, Editor, The Afkar-e-Milli
INDIA MUSLIM MAJLIS-e-MUSHAWARAT
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