Sikhs have a ‘good, arguable case’ to stake a claim for an independent state in Punjab, an international human rights lawyers told a Sikh gathering in London.
“In my view, there is a good, arguable case. Yes, you do. You fall under two of the exceptions,” Richard Rogers told the London Declaration 2020 gathering at Trafalgar Square on 12 Aug 2018.
The event was organised by Sikhs For Justice, the human rights advocacy group which plans to hold a global referendum in 2020 to give the global Sikh community the chance to vote for the creation of an independent sovereign state of Khalistan.
When looked at from international law standpoint, Rogers said it recognises three exceptions where ‘peoples are allowed to break away from their parent state’.
He said the key questions for Sikhs at this stage is to determine if they fall under any of the exceptions that would allow them to lawfully succeed from India and create an independent state.
Rogers said he felt that Sikhs fall under two of the exceptions.
“First, the independent Sikh state was conquered by the British in 1849 and it was handed over to the Indians. Ever since that, it has been subjugated, it has been dominated, and it has been exploited.
“Second, Sikhs have tried everything that they can do to create their own internal self determination within India but it has always been met with persecution and violence,” he said.
In his eight minute speech, Rogers said that the Sikhs deserve a chance to development as a people free from intimidation, persecution and violence.
“And if the only possible way to do that is by breaking away and creating a new state, then they have the international law on their side.
“India, as the world’s largest democracy, should have the wisdom, maturity and humility to sit down and negotiate an independent Khalistan,” he said.
An expert in international human rights and international criminal law, Richard advises governments, businesses, international organisations, or individuals facing legal challenges stemming from armed conflict or unstable environments, according to information at his firm website.
SFJ describes itself as a human rights organisation, striving to disseminate true and correct information, statistics, figures and data regarding the Genocide of Sikhs (1984-1997) that took place in India with particular emphasis on the genocidal events of November 1984.
With the support of Sikh community, SFJ is working to bring international community, international human organisations and governments to recognise the attacks on Sikhs (1984-98) as “Genocide” defined in Article 2 of U.N. Convention on Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
SFJ believes in and adheres to Universal Declaration of Human Rights and endeavors to create an environment in which minorities – regardless of race, religion, language, gender, or ethnicity – can freely exercise their right to “self determination” as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and United Nations Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, according to information at its Facebook page.
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