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India: Urgent investigation needed after rape suspects 'extrajudicially executed'

Amnesty International is calling for a full, independent and impartial criminal investigation into the alleged extrajudicial execution of four rape suspects by police in India earlier today.

In a shocking incident, four men suspected of raping and killing a 25-year old female veterinarian in Hyderabad last week were reportedly shot dead this morning. The killings occurred when police in the southern state of Telangana had taken the men to the site where the rape was carried out as part of an ongoing investigation.

Police have alleged that the men attempted to grab their firearms, attack them and try to flee, which then led to the police firing at them and subsequently killing them.

Avinash Kumar, Executive Director of Amnesty International India, said:

“Extrajudicial killings are not a solution to preventing rape.

“In a modern and rights-respecting society, using extrajudicial executions to offer justice to victims of rape is not only unconstitutional, but circumvents the Indian legal system and sets a grossly-wrong precedent. An independent investigation is essential.

“The reported delay in filing the First Information Report by the Telangana Police in this case, coupled with the shoddy investigation and the general low conviction rate for those accused of rape, raises deeply disturbing questions about the state of justice in India.”

Under international law, extrajudicial, arbitrary or summary executions and enforced disappearances are strictly forbidden. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which India is a party, prohibits arbitrary deprivation of life and guarantees the right to a fair trial.

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