07 Jun 2012

A Glasgow MSP will tonight lead a Scottish Parliament Members’ debate against reintroducing the death penalty in India and elsewhere in the world.

John Mason, SNP Member of the Scottish Parliament for Glasgow Shettleston, will use the debate to call upon the Indian Government not to reintroduce the death penalty and not proceed with the execution of Balwant Singh Rojoana whose execution was put on hold in March 2012 following a mercy petition to India’s President.

Commenting, John Mason MSP, who will lead the cross-party debate, said:

“I felt it was necessary to raise the specific issue of Balwant Singh Rojoana in India but also the wider issue of the use of the death penalty in countries as widespread as the United States and China. We in no way condone any crimes that have been committed but we are focussing on the sentence that may or may not be carried out.

“As a Parliament we do not seek to lecture other countries. But we are part of a family of nations and just as others have the right to challenge us on our decisions, so we have both the right and the responsibility to speak out on human rights issues on the international stage.

“I hope we can have agreement in Parliament tonight – and send out a message to India and the rest of the world. Regardless of the crime, the death penalty is simply wrong.”