INDIA

India’s secret executions raise concerns

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 23 February, 2013, 6:39pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 23 February, 2013, 7:21pm

For 11 years the family of a convicted terrorist waited and wondered about his fate as he sat on death row. Two weeks ago they found out - from television. Mohammad Afzal Guru had been hanged in secrecy in a faraway jail in New Delhi. A government letter informing them of the imminent hanging arrived at their home in Kashmir two days after he was dead.

India has hanged two men in the past three months, its first executions in eight years. In a departure from past practice, both were done in secrecy. Rights activists worry the government has set a precedent that could impact the nearly 500 people on death row in India, including four men whose mercy pleas were rejected by India’s president last week.