Page last updated at 16:57 GMT, Thursday, 7 June 2012 17:57 UK

Death penalty in India debate

SNP MSP John Mason called on the Scottish government to make representations to India about its plans for the reintroduction of the death penalty.

Mr Mason was leading a member's debate, with members of the Sikh community from Shettleston in the gallery on 7 June 2012.

The Sikh campaigners had held a rally outside Holyrood on 29 March 2012 following the death sentence being imposed on Balwant Singh Rajoana, who had been in prison in India since 2007.

However following a mercy petition to the President of India, the death sentence on Balwant Singh Rajoana has been postponed.

Mr Mason said Scotland should appeal to India "almost like a younger brother", to abandon the death penalty.

He praised Amnesty International for its "tireless campaigning against the death penalty and other human rights abuses".

Culture and External Affairs Minister Fiona Hyslop welcomed the member's debate from John Mason and the efforts by the Sikh community in Scotland to raise the issue with its rally in Edinburgh.

Ms Hyslop said the Scottish government "strongly opposes the death penalty in all circumstances" and said it called on all states who have the death penalty to impose a moratorium on this practice before abolishing the death penalty completely.

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