Friday, November 14, 2014

Now criminal case in Australia against Modi for Gujarat "genocide", coinciding with visit for G-20 summit

By Our Representative
The American Justice Center (AJC), the New York-based organization which moved an American court against Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of his visit to the US for his “complicity” in Gujarat communal riots, has now "announced" that it has filed of a “criminal complaint” in Australia against visiting Modi for his role in “aiding, abetting and inciting” organized attacks against the minorities of Gujarat before and during the “horrific genocide” of 2002. “The lawsuit is being brought under the aegis of AJC, by Asif Vahora, a survivor of the 2002 massacres, in which over 2,000 people were killed and over 150,000 displaced”, a AJC statement said.
The complaint, which also refers to the destruction of “20,000 Muslim homes and businesses and 360 places of worship”, has been lodged under Australia’s The Criminal Code Act 1995 which provides Australian courts jurisdiction over cases involving crimes against humanity worldwide (Id. §§ 268.117(1) & 15.4). Justifying the prosecution of Modi in Australian Courts, the complaint states that “Modi’s actions during February-March 2002 violate sections 268.3,4,5,8 & 9 of Australia’s Criminal Code Act of 1995.”
The complaint, lodged with Robert Bromwich SC, Director Commonwealth Public Prosecutions, Australia, charges Modi with “crimes against humanity and genocide resulting in the killing of more than 2,000 Muslims and displacement of several hundred thousand.” Joseph Whittington, Jr, President of AJC, and also the 2nd Ward Alderman of Harvey, Illinois, has been quoted as saying, “Our relentless pursuit of justice has now taken us to the Australian shores, where Mr. Modi will have to account for his criminal misdeeds in Gujarat.”
AJC statement says, “Modi’s rise to power comes in the backdrop of increasing persecution of religious minorities in India. In August this year, India’s Christian population, numbering about 24 million, marked the sixth anniversary of horrific anti-Christian massacres in the state of Odisha, considered the worst anti-Christian pogrom of the 21st century.”
It adds, “Prominent watch-dog group International Christian Concern, reported an alarming rise in the attacks on rural churches in recent months. In May 2014, several villages in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh passed local ordinances banning all non-Hindu religious activities, in effect banning Christianity. Vatican Radio, the Holy See’s official news outlet, reported on the possibility of Christians being ‘purged’, from villages across three states.”
The statement says, “AJC spearheaded an Alien Tort case against Modi during his visit to the United States in September. Following the AJC complaint, a US federal court issued a summons against the visiting PM. The case is currently under review by the US Federal Court. As in the Tort case brought against Modi in the US, AJC is providing legal support and advice to the survivors in their effort to hold Modi accountable for the loss of lives and property that was caused by his complicity in the Gujarat massacres.”
“Under Australia’s criminal code, mere presence of the accused foreigner in Australia is a sufficient basis for jurisdiction over acts of genocide and crimes against humanity committed abroad,” Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, legal advisor to AJC, has been quoted as saying. “Thus it adopts a mode of jurisdiction equivalent to universal jurisdiction.”
Calling the Gujarat genocide of 2002 as “one of the worst episodes of sectarian violence in independent India”, AJC says, it was marked with “horrific crimes against humanity, including the rape of several hundred women.” It adds, “Many of the victims were subsequently burned alive. Although the Special Investigation Team (SIT) investigating the mass violence did not prosecute Modi, an amicus curiae appointed by the Supreme Court had recommended Modi’s prosecution. A case filed by Zakia Jafri, widow of slain Parliamentarian Ehsan Jafri, is pending against Modi in the Gujarat High Court.”

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