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Human rights group urges witness protection in India riot case

[JURIST] Human Rights Watch called on the Indian government Friday to offer protection for witnesses and lawyers involved in a trial of Hindu extremists accused of killing 12 Muslims in a 2002 riot. According to a report by the human rights group, witnesses and lawyers in the trial have been threatened, and the Gujarat state government, which has been accused of inaction in the aftermath, has used tax pressure on Muslim groups to push for the withdrawal of charges. The Gujarat government disputed the allegations.

After many charged in the riots were initially acquitted, the Supreme Court ordered the first retrial of suspects outside Gujarat on Wednesday. Review the full HRW report [PDF]. HRW has background and previous reports here. AP has more.

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