Rights activist welcomes Lanka's pardon to Indian fishermen

Noted human rights activist Avadhash Kaushal on Friday welcomed Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapkasa's pardon to five Indian fishermen on death row for alleged drug trafficking but urged him to give the same treatment to the three?fishermen from his own country sentenced to death along with them for the same crime.

PTI| Updated: Nov 21, 2014, 22:52 PM IST

Dehradun: Noted human rights activist Avadhash Kaushal on Friday welcomed Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapkasa's pardon to five Indian fishermen on death row for alleged drug trafficking but urged him to give the same treatment to the three?fishermen from his own country sentenced to death along with them for the same crime.

"Pardoning and releasing the five Indian fishermen is a welcome step by the President but he should also release and pardon the three Sri Lankan fishermen handed capital punishment along with them by the High court of Sri Lanka for the same crime," Kaushal, a Padmashree awardee, said in a statement here.

He also said he was against capital punishment and wants its abolition from all over the world.

A renowned human rights activist and a member of the International Commission to probe missing persons and war crimes done by Srilankan forces as well as LTTE, Kaushal is based in Dehradun and runs an NGO called Rural Litigation and Entitlement Kendra.

The five Indian fishermen on death row in Sri Lanka on drug-trafficking charges, walked free on Wednesday, after President Mahinda Rajapaksa used his executive powers to commute their death penalty.