A network of human rights groups in India called Avaaz spoke out Saturday against the execution of four gang rapists convicted of fatally raping a woman on a New Delhi bus.
A judge ruled Friday that the four men should be “hanged by the neck til they are dead” for the rape that left a 23-year-old dead last December.
Avaaz believes India’s “rape crisis” will not be solved by sending a message of intolerance. Instead, the online activist network says, the government should launch a mass public education campaign.
“Executing these men won’t bring back the woman they raped or reverse India’s rape crisis. The only way to stop rape before it starts is with a massive public education campaign,” Avaaz said on its website.
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Indian newspapers Friday also speculated as to weather executing Vinay Sharma, Akshay Thakur, Pawan Gupta, and Mukesh Singh would make the country safer for women.
An editorial in The Hindu said the sentence only serves as a “false comfort of retribution.”
"In meting out the hangman's justice ... the sessions court has regrettably missed an opportunity to turn the discourse away from retributive punishment to constructive dialogue on policing and legal reforms," the editor wrote, "Crimes death can't wish away.”
Human Rights Watch said the verdict was “troubling.”
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"It may have a popular appeal and seem like the easy option, but the government should abolish this inhumane measure and get down to the harder task of institutional reform," said Meenakashi Ganguly, the group's regional director. "That would be the way to really protect women and girls from future attacks.”
According to a government report, there were nearly 25,000 rapes reported in India in 2012. Experts believe the number is probably much higher because there is a great deal of stigma surrounding filing such a complaint.