BRUSSELS – The International Court of Justice on Thursday urged Pakistan to suspend the execution of an Indian man who was sentenced to death over spying charges.
The court, based in The Hague in the Netherlands, approved India’s petition filed on May 8 to stop the execution of Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav, as a precautionary measure.
The same day, India initiated court proceedings against Pakistan over alleged violations of Article 36 of the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, which states that foreign nationals who are arrested have the right to have their embassies or consulates notified of the detention.
In early March 2016, Jadhav was detained in the conflicted region of Balochistan in southern Pakistan after the country’s army broadcasted footage of his alleged confession to being an Indian spy on television.
On April 10, 2017, the Pakistani army said that the military court had sentenced him to death for having carried out espionage and sabotage in the country.
According to Pakistan, the Indian man confessed in court that India’s RAW had ordered him to coordinate and organize spying and sabotage activities in order to destabilize Pakistan and start a war.
India, on the other hand, accused Pakistan of having denied Jadhav access to consulate authorities as per the Vienna convention.
In a report published Thursday on the ICJ’s web page, the United Nations court said it would examine the case, as such a dispute “falls within the scope of the Vienna Convention.”
Additionally, the court considered that India’s human rights argument was valid and said there was a risk of irreparable prejudice and urgency because of the death sentence.
Although Pakistan said that the prisoner would not be executed before Aug,, the ICJ said there was “a risk that an execution could take place at any moment thereafter, before the Court has given its final decision in the case.”
“The Court also notes that Pakistan has given no assurance that Jadhav will not be executed before the Court has rendered its final decision,” added the report.
Therefore, the court demanded that Pakistan adopt all available measures to assure that the convict was not executed until its final decision on the matter.
India and Pakistan, both armed with nuclear weapons, maintain tense relations and have fought several wars since the independence and partition of the subcontinent in 1947.