Rights body seeks general amnesty for WB political prisoners
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Last Updated: Monday, May 23, 2011, 21:04
Kolkata: A human rights body on Monday urged West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to consider for general amnesty for political prisoners instead of a case by case review.

"There should be a general amnesty for political prisoners and that the chief minister's announcement of forming a review committee for political prisoners is far short of our demand and expectations," Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR) secretary Ranjit Sur said in a release.

Urging the state government to order the Advocate- General to take steps for the release of all such prisoners, he pointed out that the first Left Front government under Jyoti Basu did not form any committee though their number was much higher than the present.

"We, therefore, appeal to the government to reconsider its decision and announce general amnesty for political prisoners as a policy guideline in the second cabinet meeting," Sur said.

He said in 1977, there was no legal definition of political prisoner, but now the West Bengal Correctional Services Act 1992 clearly defined political prisoners.

APDR, he said, was also opposed to categorising political prisoners on the basis of charges of violence.

"No review committee is necessary for the release of political prisoners. What is needed is a political will of the new government," he added.


First Published: Monday, May 23, 2011, 21:04

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