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Extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Report of the Special Rapporteur, Asma Jahangir

E/CN.4/2004/7

          
          UNIItL )
          NATIONS
          Economic and Social Distr.
          Council
          GENERAL
          E/CN.4/2004/7
          22 December 2003
          Original: ENGLISH
          COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
          Sixtieth session
          Item 11(b) of the provisional agenda
          CIVIL AND POLITICAL RIGHTS, INCLUDING THE QUESTION
          OF DISAPPEARANCES AND SUMMARY EXECUTIONS
          Extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions
          Report of the Special Rapporteur, Asma Jahangir
          C
          GE.03-17260 (E) 190104
        
          
          E/CN. 4/2004/7
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          Summary
          The present report, which is submitted pursuant to Commission on Human Rights
          resolution 2003/53, covers information received and communications sent by the Special
          Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions in the period from
          2 December 2002 to 1 December 2003, unless otherwise stated. OEe report is divided into
          ffive sections, focusing on diLerent aspects of the problem of extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary
          executions, and contains the Special Rapporteur's observations on issues falling within the
          purview of her mandate.
          Section I of the report provides a summary of the mandate entrusted to the Special
          Rapporteur. In section lIthe Special Rapporteur presents the main activities she has undertaken
          in the framework of her mandate during the period under review. Section III gives an overview
          of the various situations involving violations of the right to life relevant to the Special
          Rapporteur's mandate, including observations regarding violations of the right to life of special
          groups and issues of special focus. Section IV provides an overview of developments, in
          follow-up to the Special Rapporteur's country visits. Finally, section V is devoted to the Special
          Rapporteur's conclusions and recommendations.
          This report should be read in conjunction with addendum 1 (E/CN.4/2004/7/Add. 1),
          which presents a summary of all urgent appeals and letters of allegation sent during the reporting
          period, as well as summaries of replies from Governments.
          The Special Rapporteur's report briefly describes action taken in regard to various forms
          of violations of the right to life, including deaths in custody, deaths due to excessive use of force
          by law enforcement agents, killings by security forces or paramilitary groups, and death threats.
          The report also discusses the issue of capital punishment and makes reference to death penalty
          cases in which the Special Rapporteur has intervened in reaction to reports that the sentences
          concerned had been passed in violation of international restrictions and human rights standards.
          In her report, the Special Rapporteur also discusses the situation of a number of speciffic
          categories of victims, who are particularly vulnerable or have been directly targeted for
          extrajudicial execution. OEese groups include human rights defenders, lawyers, journalists,
          demonstrators, members of national, ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities, internally
          displaced people, women, children, members of indigenous communities.
          The report additionally includes a section devoted to follow-up in relation to missions
          undertaken by the Special Rapporteur.
          The Special Rapporteur concludes her report by emphasizing that it will be her last report
          to the Commission on Human Rights. She expresses appreciation of Governments which
          cooperated with her while carrying out her mandate. She also highlights some disturbing trends
          identiffied during the reporting period, and presents recommendations, including the following (to
          be considered and read in conjunction with the recommendations previously issued in her report
          E/CN.4/2002/74):
          — The United Nations is urged to strengthen early-warning mechanisms so that acts of
          genocide and crimes against humanity can be avoided;
        
          
          E/CN. 4/2004/7
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          — Governments must not resort to aerial bombing, use of snipers or pre-emptive strikes.
          OEe international community should take note of this growing tendency, and the use
          of excessive force;
          — All orders to shoot on sight” must only be given as a measure of very last resort to
          protect lives;
          — Law enforcement personnel should receive in-depth training on human rights;
          — Governments should respect the people's right to freedom of association and
          expression. Force should not be used to silence those who raise their voices against
          the arbitrary use of power by Governments;
          — Governments should maintain data banks with precise information on reports of
          extrajudicial killings;
          — Governments must end systematic and institutional impunity for those who kill
          women in the name of honour and so-called morality; and
          — Safeguards and restrictions contained in international guidelines and customary law
          must be respected in each and every case when imposing or executing the death
          penalty.
        
          
          Introduction .
          THE MANDATE .
          A. Terms of reference
          B. Violations of the right to life upon which
          the Special Rapporteur takes action
          C. Legal fflamework and methods of work
          II. ACTIVITIES
          A. General remarks
          B. Communications
          C. Visits
          III. OVERVIEW OF SITUATIONS INVOLVING VIOLATIONS
          OF THE RIGHT TO LIFE
          A. Genocide and crimes against humanity
          B. Violations of the right to life during armed conflict
          C. Deaths in custody
          D. Deaths due to the use of force
          E. Capital punishment
          F. Death threats and violations of the right to life of
          persons carrying out peaceful activities in defence
          of human rights
          G. Expulsion, return of persons to a country or place
          where their lives are in danger (refoulement), and
          violations of the right to life concerning refugees
          and internally displaced persons
          E/CN. 4/2004/7
          page 4
          CONTENTS
          Paragraphs
          1-4
          5- 11
          5 -6
          7
          8-11
          12-23
          12
          13 - 19
          20 - 23
          Page
          6
          6
          6
          7
          7
          8
          8
          8
          10
          24-83 10
          24-25 10
          26-32 11
          33-37 12
          38-45 13
          46 -56 15
          57-63 17
          64 -65 18
        
          
          CONTENT S (continued)
          E/CN. 4/2004/7
          page 5
          H. Violations of the right to life of women
          I. Violations of the right to life of children
          J. Violations of the right to life of persons belonging to
          national, ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities
          K. Impunity, compensation and the rights of victims
          IV. FOLLOW-UP TO RECOMMENDATIONS
          V. CONCLUDING REMARKS AND RECOMMENDATIONS ....
          Paragraphs
          66-71
          72 - 73
          Page
          19
          21
          74-76 21
          77-83 21
          84-86 23
          87-96 23
        
          
          E/CN. 4/2004/7
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          Introduction
          1. This report is submitted pursuant to Commission on Human Rights resolution 2003/53.
          It is the sixth annual report submitted to the Commission by Asma Jahangir, and the twenty-first
          submitted since the mandate on summary and arbitrary executions was established by Economic
          and Social Council resolution 1982/3 5.
          2. Unless otherwise stated, the present report covers information received and
          communications sent in the period from 2 December 2002 to 1 December 2003, and is divided
          into ffive sections. Section I provides a summary of the mandate entrusted to the Special
          Rapporteur. In section II, the Special Rapporteur presents the main activities she has undertaken
          in the framework of her mandate during the period under review. Section III gives an overview
          of the various situations involving violations of the right to life relevant to the Special
          Rapporteur's mandate, including brief observations regarding violations of the right to life of
          special groups and issues of special focus. Section IV provides an overview of developments in
          follow-up to the Special Rapporteur's country visits. Finally, section V is devoted to the Special
          Rapporteur's conclusions and recommendations.
          3. As in previous years the Special Rapporteur has presented the Commission with an
          addendum summarizing the information transmitted and received by the Special Rapporteur, as
          well as her observations where required and considered appropriate (E/CN.4/2004/7/Add. 1).
          The Special Rapporteur notes with regret that due to cuts in the resources of the secretariat it has
          not been possible to issue the addendum in all off cial languages, but only as a mixed” unedited
          document in English, French and Spanish.
          4. In addition, the Special Rapporteur has submitted two reports concerning country visits
          which were carried out during 2003. Addendum 2 to the present report relates to the mission to
          Jamaica while addendum 3 relates to her recent mission to Brazil.
          I. THE MANDATE
          A. Terms of reference
          5. In resolution 2003/53, the Commission on Human Rights encouraged the Special
          Rapporteur to continue to collect information from all concerned, to respond effectively to
          reliable information and to follow-up on communications and country visits as well as to seek
          the views and comments of Governments and to reflect them as appropriate in her report she was
          to work according to the deffinition of her mandate given in the Commission resolution 2001/45.
          6. Her terms of reference therefore include the following:
          (a) To continue to examine situations of extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary
          executions and to submit her ffindings on an annual basis, together with conclusions and
          recommendations, to the Commission, as well as such other reports as the Special Rapporteur
          deems necessary in order to keep the Commission informed about serious situations of
          extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions that warrant its immediate attention;
        
          
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          (b) To respond effectively to information which comes before her, in particular when
          an extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary execution is imminent or seriously threatened or when
          such an execution has occurred;
          (c) To enhance further her dialogue with Governments, as well as to follow-up
          recommendations made aifier visits to particular countries;
          (d) To continue to pay special attention to extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary
          executions of children and to allegations concerning violations of the right to life in the context
          of violence against participants in demonstrations and other peaceful public manifestations or
          against persons belonging to minorities;
          (e) To pay special attention to extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions where
          the victims are individuals carrying out peaceful activities in defence of human rights and
          fundamental freedoms;
          (f) To continue monitoring the implementation of existing international standards on
          safeguards and restrictions relating to the imposition of capital punishment, bearing in mind the
          comments made by the Human Rights Committee in its interpretation of article 6 of the
          International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well as the Second Optional Protocol
          thereto; and
          (g) To apply a gender perspective in her work.
          B. Violations of the right to life upon which
          the Special Rapporteur takes action
          7. The Special Rapporteur continues to follow the guidelines detailed in her general report
          (E/CN.4/2002/74, para. 8) issued on 9 January 2002.
          C. Legal framework and methods of work
          8. The main source of law under which the Special Rapporteur works is the Universal
          Declaration of Human Rights and articles 6, 14 and 15 of the International Covenant on Civil
          and Political Rights. In addition the Special Rapporteur is guided by the Convention on the
          Rights of the Child and other treaties, resolutions, conventions and declarations adopted by
          competent United Nations bodies containing provisions relating to speciffic types of violations of
          the right to life.
          9. The legal framework includes principles and guidelines speciffied in:
          (a) Principles on the ELective Prevention and Investigation of Extra-legal, Arbitrary
          and Summary Executions, adopted by the Economic and Social Council in its resolution 1989/65
          of 24 May 1989;
          (b) Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Off cials,
          adopted by the Eighth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of
          OLenders, held in Havana, Cuba, 1990;
        
          
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          (c) OEe Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court adopted on 17 July 1998
          and entered into force on 1 July 2002;
          (d) Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of
          Power, adopted by the General Assembly in its resolution 40/43 of 29 November 1985.
          10. The working methods of the Special Rapporteur are based on reliable information
          brought to her notice. She responds to individual complaints by communicating these to
          Governments. In cases of emergency Urgent Appeals” are sent to Governments. Other
          allegations are communicated through letters giving a summary of the cases. OEe Special
          Rapporteur has prepared model forms for receiving precise information and only acts where
          there are suffcient details and the source is either well known or found to be credible. In
          extraordinary situations, she also issues press statements.
          11. She continues to follow-up on replies received by Governments. OEese are particularly
          helpful in guiding the work of the mandate. The Special Rapporteur considers on-site visits to
          countries an essential component to her mandate. OEis allows her to work in a spirit of
          cooperation with Governments. She receives ffirst-hand information and is able to capture the
          atmosphere of the situation.
          II. ACTIVITIES
          A. General remarks
          12. During the reporting period, the Special Rapporteur held a number of consultations with
          OHCHR in Geneva. She met with the High Commissioner and staL, as well as with a number of
          other Special Rapporteurs, representatives and experts of the Commission on Human Rights.
          The Special Rapporteur presented her previous report (E/CN.4/2003/3) to the Commission at its
          ffiifiy-ninth session. In June 2003, she participated in the tenth annual meeting of special
          rapporteurs/representatives, independent experts and chairpersons of the special mechanisms of
          the Commission on Human Rights, held in Geneva. In addition, the Special Rapporteur met on
          several occasions with diplomats and other government representatives who had comments on
          her reports and her work in general. The Special Rapporteur also attended a number of seminars
          and expert round tables throughout the reporting period.
          B. Communications
          13. The information received by the Special Rapporteur is overwhelming. It has increased
          over the years. OEere appears to be more awareness of the United Nations special procedures
          system. During the visits, she noted that Governments and civil society paid more attention to
          the work of these procedures. At the same time, there is very little information from countries,
          where civil society is less organized and isolated. OEus lack of information on a country does
          not necessarily indicate that the situation of human rights is one of satisfaction.
          14. A summary of all cases transmitted to Governments as well as summaries of replies
          received can be found in addendum ito this report.
          15. During the period under review, the Special Rapporteur transmitted 97 urgent appeals on
          behalf of several hundred individuals to the following countries: Argentina (4), Azerbaijan (1),
        
          
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          Bangladesh (2), Bolivia (3), Brazil (2), Colombia (9), Democratic Republic of the Congo (1),
          Ecuador (2), El Salvador (2), Guinea-Bissau (1), Guatemala (2), Haiti (5), Honduras (5),
          India (5), Indonesia (1), Iran (Islamic Republic of) (4), Jamaica (1), Kyrgyzstan (1),
          Libyan Arab Jamahiriya (1), Mexico (5), Nepal (2), Pakistan (1), Saudi Arabia (2), Peru (1),
          Singapore (1), Sri Lanka (3), Sudan (6), OEailand (1), Turkey (1), Turkmenistan (2),
          United States of America (10), Uzbekistan (6), Venezuela (3), Yemen (2) and Zimbabwe (1).
          She also sent ajoint urgent appeal to the Palestinian Authority.
          16. Among those urgent appeals a total of 45 were transmitted jointly with other mechanisms
          of the Commission on Human Rights, such as the Special Rapporteur on the question of torture,
          the Special Rapporteur on the independence ofjudges and lawyers, the Special Rapporteur on
          freedom of opinion and expression, the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, the
          Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, the Chairman-Rapporteur of the Working
          Group on Arbitrary Detention and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on human
          rights defenders. As in previous years, the Special Rapporteur welcomes this development,
          which to a large extent is due to the enhanced coordination between the various mechanisms of
          the Commission as facilitated by the Quick Response Desk in OHCHR.
          17. The Special Rapporteur further transmitted 61 letters of allegations, 35 of which were
          joint communications, regarding violations of the right to life of a large number of individuals
          and groups to the Governments of the following countries: Angola (2), Argentina (1),
          Azerbaijan (1), Belgium (1), Bolivia (3), Brazil (1), Bulgaria (1), Cambodia (2), Chad (1),
          China (2), Colombia (2), C6te d'Ivoire (2), Democratic Republic of the Congo (1), Egypt (1),
          Equatorial Guinea (1), Gambia (1), Guyana (1), Haiti (1), Honduras (1), India (3), Indonesia (2),
          Iran (Islamic Republic of) (2), Iraq (1), Israel (4), Jamaica (1), Kenya (1), Malaysia (1),
          Mexico (2), Myanmar (1), Nigeria (1), Pakistan (3), Russian Federation (1), Serbia and
          Montenegro (1), Sri Lanka (1), Sudan (1), Swaziland (1), Sweden (1), Uganda (1), Ukraine (1),
          United States of America (1), Viet Nam (2), Yemen (1) and Zimbabwe (3).
          18. During the period under review, the following Governments sent replies to urgent appeals
          or communications addressed to them by the Special Rapporteur during or prior to the reporting
          period: Algeria, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bolivia, Bulgaria, China,
          Colombia, Egypt, Ghana, Guinea, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic
          Republic of), Iraq, Jamaica, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Myanmar, Pakistan, Peru,
          Saudi Arabia, Serbia and Montenegro, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sweden,
          Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United States of America, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen
          and Zimbabwe. OEe Special Rapporteur wishes to express her appreciation to those
          Governments which have provided comprehensive replies to her communications for their
          cooperation. Regrettably, some Governments have replied only in part or on an irregular basis to
          her enquiries.
          19. She is concerned that the Governments of Angola, Cambodia, Chad, C6te d'Ivoire,
          Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau,
          Guyana, Israel, Kenya, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Nepal, Nigeria, Russian Federation, Swaziland,
          Turkmenistan, Uganda, and Uruguay did not reply to any of her communications and requests
          for information during the reporting period. The Palestinian Authority did not reply to the
          communications sent.
        
          
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          C. Visits
          20. Since her appointment, the Special Rapporteur has written to a number of Governments
          expressing her interest in visiting their countries. At the time of writing, the Government of
          Sierra Leone had responded positively to her communication. She is planning to undertake a
          mission to this country in the near future. OEe Special Rapporteur has requests pending with the
          Governments of Algeria, Liberia, Nigeria, and Turkmenistan. As time passes, the requests for
          visits will need to be re-prioritized in the coming year. OEe Special Rapporteur will
          communicate with Governments with which requests for visits are pending.
          21. From 17 to 27 February 2003, the Special Rapporteur conducted a mission to Jamaica
          (see E/CN.4/2004/7/Add.2). OEe visit was prompted by a number of reports over the years citing
          allegations of extrajudicial executions by Jamaican security and police forces as well as by
          information received regarding Jamaica and the international standards on safeguards and
          restrictions relating to the imposition of capital punishment.
          22. At the invitation of the Government, the Special Rapporteur conducted a mission to
          Brazil from 16 September to 8 October 2003 (see E/CN.4/2004/7/Add.3). The visit was aimed at
          allowing the Special Rapporteur to investigate in situ allegations she had received over the last
          few years relating to violations of the right to life, including extrajudicial executions by the
          police and death in custody. OEe Special Rapporteur wishes to acknowledge the unprecedented
          cooperation given by the Government of Brazil during the mission.
          23. Field missions to speciffic countries are of crucial importance when analysing patterns of
          human rights abuses and the root causes which give rise to and perpetuate violations of the right
          to life. It gives the Special Rapporteur an opportunity to exchange views with Governments and
          lends support to the work of civil society. The decision to seek an invitation to visit a particular
          country is based on a variety of considerations, inter alia a thorough analysis of the human rights
          situation in the country concerned, the likely or expected impact of a visit, and practical factors
          determining the feasibility of a field mission.
          III. OVERVIEW OF SITUATIONS INVOLVING
          VIOLATIONS OF THE RIGHT TO LIFE
          A. Genocide and crimes against humanity
          24. The Special Rapporteur believes that the crime of genocide must be regarded as a threat
          to international peace and security, thereby placing greater responsibility on the international
          community to ensure that human rights violations of such scale are investigated and those
          responsible brought to justice, without exception.
          25. In this regard, the Special Rapporteur wishes to stress that she is mandated to draw to the
          attention of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights such situations of
          extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary execution as are of particular concern to her or where early
          action might prevent further deterioration. Ten years aifier the tragic genocide in Rwanda, where
          hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians lost their lives, she wishes to recall the role of her
        
          
          E/CN. 4/2004/7
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          predecessor in raising international awareness prior to that crisis. She further encourages the
          international community and the United Nations to strengthen global early warning mechanisms
          which would allow avoiding any further large scale indiscriminate massacre.
          B. Violations of the right to life during armed conffct
          26. The Special Rapporteur has continued to receive alarming reports of civilians and
          persons hors de combat killed in situations of armed conflict and internal strife in various regions
          of the world. OEese violations of international humanitarian law are oifien due to attacks by
          security forces of the State, or by paramilitary groups, death squads or other private forces
          cooperating with or tolerated by the State. During the period under review, the Special
          Rapporteur transmitted allegations of violations to the right to life to the Governments of
          Angola, Burundi, Colombia, C6te d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia,
          Indonesia, Iraq, Israel, Liberia and Russia.
          1. Violations of the right to life during armed conffct
          contrary to international humanitarian law
          27. The Special Rapporteur has continued to follow the situation in the occupied territories
          and Israel with deepening concern. OEe allegations transmitted to the Government of Israel
          describe indiscriminate killing of civilians, more speciffically during the incursions by Israeli
          Defence Forces in Jenin in April and June 2002, as well as in the Nablus refugee camp from
          February to March 2002. According to the information received by the Special Rapporteur,
          civilians as well as clearly identiffied aid workers were allegedly targeted by Israeli Defence
          Forces either while taking shelter in their homes, or when trying to provide ffirst medical aid to
          injured victims hors de combat. OEe Special Rapporteur also received reports of civilians,
          including children, shot in the streets by snipers or shot from helicopters although they were
          trying to replenish vital food and supplies, and despite the fact that the curfew was offcially
          liified. Another worrying practice is the demolition by bulldozers of family dwellings in
          so-called pre-emptive” strikes by Israeli forces, regardless of warnings by residents to wait until
          they evacuate their habitation. hi this regard, the Special Rapporteur sent several
          communications to the Government of Israel where invalids, mentally impaired and disabled
          persons were trapped at home and subsequently died in the rubble, despite the supplications by
          family members to stop destroying their house.
          28. The situation in Iraq is also of great concern to the Special Rapporteur. OEe information
          received indicates reports of civilians, including children, allegedly shot inside their residence or
          in their vehicle by United States soldiers in the course of their daily operations. The Special
          Rapporteur was deeply disturbed by information received in May 2003 alleging that new rules
          were being established according to which United States military forces in Iraq would have the
          authority to shoot looters on sight.
          29. In this context, the Special Rapporteur reminds all parties to an armed conflict that they
          must respect the rights of the civilian population in accordance with international humanitarian
          and human rights law. The Special Rapporteur also wishes to emphasize that the right to life of
          civilians and persons hors de combat allows for no derogation, even in time of public emergency
          or in the context of a ffight against terrorism.
        
          
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          2. Deaths due to attacks or killings by security forces of the State,
          or by paramiftary groups, death squads or other private forces
          cooperating with or tolerated by the State
          30. A cause for deepening concern for the Special Rapporteur is the increasing incidence of
          large-scale extrajudicial killings carried out by security forces and armed groups reported to be
          sponsored, supported or tolerated by Governments. Atrocities committed by such elements have
          become particularly common in the context of internal disturbances and conflicts but such
          incidents have also been reported in relation to conflicts with international dimensions. It is
          alarming that in some countries, the unoffcial use of irregular forces appears to have become
          part of government policies and counter-insurgency campaigns.
          31. With regard to the situation in Colombia, the Special Rapporteur has continued to
          intervene in cases in which paramilitary groups, reportedly tolerated or supported by the
          Government, continue to carry out large-scale extrajudicial killings of civilians. In most
          instances, the paramilitary group Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia is responsible for summarily
          executing ordinary citizens as well as political leaders, trade unionists or human rights defenders
          whom they accuse of collaborating with guerrilla movements. In general, these killings take
          place unabated and without any intervention, even in instances where army camps are reportedly
          located nearby. Consequently, entire communities live in a worrying state of apprehension,
          fearing an incursion of the Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia, as a result of which large portions
          of the local population are sometimes forcibly displaced. OEe Special Rapporteur wishes to
          reiterate her call to the Government of Colombia to take immediate steps to fulffil its international
          legal obligation to protect the population in the aLected areas from more violence and suLering.
          32. Although her mandate does not allow her to intervene in situations where atrocities are
          committed by non-State actors, the Special Rapporteur wishes to point out that she is receiving
          an increasing number of reports of violence and extrajudicial killings attributed to rebel groups,
          private security forces, militia elements or other non-State actors in various regions of the world.
          The issue finds mentioned in this report as it contributes to giving a broader picture of violations
          to the right to life contrary to international humanitarian law. OEe Special Rapporteur wishes to
          emphasize that there should not be any impunity for these crimes which constitute serious
          violations of basic humanitarian and human rights principles. The Special Rapporteur reiterates
          that it is the responsibility of the States to protect their citizens against the excesses of non-State
          actors and to prosecute and try, in accordance with international standards, such perpetrators.
          C. Deaths in custody
          33. During the period under review, a very large proportion of cases the Special Rapporteur
          has received relate to deaths in custody. In this regard the Special Rapporteur transmitted
          allegations to the Government of the following countries: Argentina, Azerbaijan, Belgium,
          China, Colombia, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, India, han, Iraq, Israel,
          Kenya, Malaysia, Pakistan, Serbia and Montenegro, Sudan, Sweden, Turkmenistan, Uganda,
          Uzbekistan, Viet Nam and Zimbabwe.
          34. In most instances, reports indicate that these deaths occur as a result of severe
          ill-treatment or neglect. When investigations are initiated, they allegedly oifien fall short of
          minimum requirements or their results are reportedly suppressed. Alleged suspects held in
        
          
          E/CN. 4/2004/7
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          pre-trial detention are tortured to death by law enforcement agents who are seeking to obtain
          self-incriminating confessions. Of particular concern is a case sent to the Government of
          Azerbaijan on 4 June 2003 jointly with the Special Rapporteur on the question of torture relating
          to a resident of Baku who was reportedly subjected to ill-treatment by a prosecutor along with
          police offcers from the 19th Nasimi district police station on 28 May 2003. OEe victim was
          allegedly tortured to death in order to make him confess a crime he claimed he had not
          committed.
          35. Other cases indicate deaths within prison precincts either as a result of torture by
          wardens, or due to negligence by prison authorities. OEe Special Rapporteur also received many
          cases of death in custody alleging lack of medical attention. In this connection, the Special
          Rapporteur wishes to express her particular concern over the case of Boris Shikhmuradov, the
          former Minister for Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan for whom she intervened by sending an
          urgent appeal to the Government of Turkmenistan in June 2003. According to the information
          received, serious fears were expressed for the safety and life of Mr. Shikhmuradov, who was
          reportedly arrested in December 2002 in relation with the attempted assassination of
          President Saparmurad Niazov, and held in incommunicado detention. It was alleged that since
          his arrest, Mr. Shikbmuradov's health had seriously deteriorated as he was allegedly
          administered psychoactive and paralytic drug injections.
          36. The Special Rapporteur also sent several urgent appeals to the Government of Uzbekistan
          expressing concerns for the safety of persons in detention and requesting immediate medical
          attention. OEe Special Rapporteur notes with appreciation that the Government of Uzbekistan
          started responding to some of her communications and hopes to receive more information
          relating to earlier cases.
          37. The Special Rapporteur continues to be alarmed by deaths in custody in China. Reports
          describe harrowing scenes in which detainees, many of whom are followers of the Falun Gong
          movement, die as a result of severe ill-treatment, neglect or medical attention. The cruelty and
          brutality of these alleged acts of torture defy description. In this connection, the Special
          Rapporteur wishes to reiterate her call to the Government of China, voiced in so many letters of
          allegations and urgent appeals, to take immediate steps to protect the lives and integrity of its
          detainees in accordance with the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners
          approved by the Economic and Social Council by its resolutions 663 C (XXIV) of3l July 1957
          and 2076 (LXII) of 13 May 1977.
          D. Deaths due to the use of force by law enforcement off cials
          or persons acting in direct or indirect compliance with
          the State, when the use of force is inconsistent with
          the criteria of absolute necessity and proportionality
          38. During the period under review, the Special Rapporteur has received numerous accounts
          of excessive use of force by the police or by army soldiers, which has led to a number of deaths
          in connection with the repression of peaceful demonstrations or killings as a result of shoot-outs
          with law enforcement agents. In this connection, the Special Rapporteur transmitted
          communications to the Governments of the following countries: Angola, Bolivia, Brazil,
          Bulgaria, Cambodia, Colombia, Gambia, Guyana, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Mexico,
          Myanmar, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Thailand and Zimbabwe.
        
          
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          39. The Special Rapporteur is disturbed at reports received from at least ffive countries,
          namely Angola, Ethiopia, Israel, Yemen and Afghanistan, where aerial bombardment or firing
          has been used to kill civilians. In this connection, the Special Rapporteur sent
          on 15 December 2003 a communication to Afghanistan regarding the killing of nine children
          on 7 December 2003, in Ghazni, as a result of an air strike carried out by coalition forces
          allegedly targeting a Taliban leader.
          40. The Special Rapporteur has also acted in a number of reported killings of villagers,
          including children, by Indonesian soldiers who accused them of being members of the Free Aceh
          Movement. In this connection, the Special Rapporteur drew the attention of the Government of
          Indonesia to the fact that, even if this was true, this assumption did not justify the execution of
          the villagers.
          41. The Special Rapporteur also intervened in relation to the situation in Myanmar where
          ordinary peasants, including women and children, allegedly accused of supporting Shan soldiers
          are summarily executed by regular State Peace and Development Council troops in the course of
          regular patrols. Reports describe harrowing scenes in which government soldiers summarily
          execute or torture civilians, and gang-rape women before shooting them dead.
          42. On 15 May 2003, the Special Rapporteur issued a statement expressing her deep concern
          about a potentially dangerous situation developing at military-controlled farms in Okara,
          Pakistan. According to the information received, a group of Rangers, a unit under the direct
          control of the Pakistani military, shot at a crowd, killing one person, which was demonstrating
          against the Rangers' excessive use of force on previous occasions. OEe Special Rapporteur
          urged the Government of Pakistan to stop resorting to further violence and to fully investigate
          the killing in order to bring its perpetrators to justice.
          43. The Special Rapporteur issued a press release, jointly with the Special Rapporteur on the
          question of torture, the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to
          freedom of expression, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights of indigenous
          people and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the situation of human rights
          defenders, expressing concern over allegations of excessive use of force by the Bolivian army
          and the police during law enforcement operations. OEe Special Rapporteur expressed concerns
          over the killing of at least 50 persons, many of them belonging to indigenous communities,
          during several protests in the area of the Alto in October 2003, where demonstrators urged the
          Government to abandon a project of gas selling and to approve a programme that would beneffit
          the local inhabitants. In their statement, the Special Rapporteur stressed, inter alia, that it was
          imperative that these cases be promptly and thoroughly investigated, so that the norms ofjustice
          are observed. They also urged the Government of Bolivia to take immediate steps to ensure that
          the right to life of participants to demonstrations is protected and to ensure that law enforcement
          offcials engaged in those operations carry out their duties in strict compliance with human rights
          standards.
          44. The situation in Azerbaijan following the presidential elections of 15 October 2003, and
          in particular events in Baku on the night of the polls and the day that followed, also held the
          Special Rapporteur's attention. In a joint press statement with the Special Rapporteur on the
          question of torture, the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to
          freedom of expression and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the situation
        
          
          E/CN. 4/2004/7
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          of human rights defenders, the Special Rapporteur expressed concern at reports alleging that
          hundreds of demonstrators were harassed, attacked and arrested by security forces, who have
          apparently used excessive use of force to disperse demonstrations, leading to the death of at least
          one person and to many others being injured. In light of this serious situation, the Special
          Rapporteurs urged the Government of Azerbaijan, inter alia, to undertake transparent and
          independent investigations into each individual allegation of death in order to assess the
          accountability of law enforcement and security offcials, in accordance with international
          human rights standards.
          45. On 12 May 2003, the Special Rapporteur transmitted a communication to the
          Government of the United States of America expressing concern regarding incidents in the town
          of Fajullah, west of Baghdad, during which a number of civilians were allegedly shot dead by
          United States military forces during demonstrations. OEe Special Rapporteur also received
          reports of new rules according to which United States forces in Iraq were given the authority to
          shoot looters on sight. As reported later, similar orders to shoot on sight were given by the
          Government of Bangladesh during the operation clean heart”.
          E. Capital punishment
          46. In its resolution 2003/53, the Commission on Human Rights requested the Special
          Rapporteur to continue monitoring the implementation of existing standards on safeguards and
          restrictions relating to the imposition of capital punishment, bearing in mind the comments made
          by the Human Rights Committee in its interpretation of article 6 of the International Covenant on
          Civil and Political Rights, as well as the Second Optional Protocol thereto.
          47. The Special Rapporteur wishes to emphasize that the death penalty must under all
          circumstances be regarded as an extreme exception to the fundamental right to life, and must as
          such be interpreted in the most restrictive manner possible. It is also indispensable that all
          restrictions and fair trial standards pertaining to capital punishment contained in international
          human rights instruments are fully respected in proceedings relating to capital oLences.
          48. The Special Rapporteur takes action in cases where there is reason to believe that
          international restrictions are not respected. hi such cases, the carrying out of a death sentence
          may constitute a form of summary or arbitrary execution. It is worth noting that it is diffcult to
          obtain accurate statistics on the death penalty as the countries which continue to carry out
          executions do not make these ffigures offcial. hi this context, the Special Rapporteur transmitted
          communications to the following Governments with regard to capital punishment: China,
          Democratic Republic of Congo, han (Islamic Republic of), Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sudan,
          United States of America, Uzbekistan and Yemen. She also sent an urgent appeal to the
          Palestinian Authority.
          49. During the period under review, the Special Rapporteur transmitted a number of
          communications alleging that there were reasons to believe that the restrictions on the use of the
          death penalty as well as safeguards guaranteeing the right to a fair trial were not being respected.
          50. The Special Rapporteur is deeply concerned that in a number of countries the death
          penalty is imposed for crimes which do not fall within the category of the most serious crimes”
          as stipulated in article 6, paragraph 2, of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
        
          
          E/CN. 4/2004/7
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          and paragraph 1 of the Safeguards guaranteeing protection of the rights of those facing the death
          penalty. In this connection, the Special Rapporteur jointly with the Special Rapporteur on the
          question of torture sent an urgent appeal to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran
          regarding summary executions that allegedly occurred and at risk of occurring, aifier a riot started
          on 9 February in a prison in Esfahan. Reports indicated that since the riot, a number of
          prisoners, including Seyed Mahmoud Mirsaffian and Seyed Atta Naser Mirsaffian, were
          reportedly executed although they were originally imprisoned for drug-related oLences.
          51. Furthermore, on 19 September 2003, the Special Rapporteur sent an urgent appeal to the
          Government of Singapore concerning the situation of Vignes s/o Mourthi, a 23-year-old
          Malaysian national who was facing imminent execution. According to the information received,
          Vignes s/o Mourthi was sentenced to death for drug traLicking, but a number of irregularities
          during the trial proceedings were reported. In reply to the Special Rapporteur's urgent appeal in
          the case of Vignes s/o Mourthi, the Government of Singapore afffirmed that the allegations of
          apparent irregularities were not true and that it would continue to use the death penalty for such
          crimes as serious as drug traffcking.
          52. The Special Rapporteur intervened in two cases in Saudi Arabia in which the defendants
          were reported to have been sentenced to death in trials falling short of international fair trial
          standards. According to reports, the ffirst person accused, a citizen from the Philippines
          condemned to death for bludgeoning to death the wife of her employer, did not have access to a
          lawyer nor to an interpreter during the proceedings. In the second case, the defendant was
          reportedly sentenced to death for murder without legal representation during a secret trial.
          53. Another cause for concern is the manner in which death sentences are executed. Public
          hangings and other inhuman forms of execution continue to be practised in many countries. In
          this connection, on 20 October 2003, the Special Rapporteur sent an allegation to the
          Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran regarding the case of four Iranian prisoners who
          were allegedly hanged in public in diLerent locations in the city of Arak on 30 January 2003.
          One of them was reportedly executed in front of the university's main entrance, allegedly to
          create a climate of fear after recent demonstrations staged by Arak University students. OEe
          Special Rapporteur wishes to recall that paragraph 9 of the Safeguards guaranteeing protection of
          the rights of those facing the death penalty stipulates that where capital punishment occurs, it
          shall be carried out so as to inflict the minimum possible suLering”.
          54. The Special Rapporteur is also concerned at the situation in Uzbekistan where she
          intervened on behalf of persons who had allegedly been sentenced to death aifier having been
          tortured during interrogation and deprived of their right to a fair trial. OEe Special Rapporteur is
          particularly disturbed by reports according to which several executions were carried out in secret
          by the Government of Uzbekistan despite the intervention of the United Nations Human Rights
          Committee requesting the Government to stay the executions while the case was being
          considered. While the Special Rapporteur welcomes the fact that the Government has started
          replying to some of her communications, she is still awaiting clarification on the
          above-mentioned allegations.
          55. The Special Rapporteur sent urgent appeals to the United States on behalf of four persons
          who were facing execution aifier having been sentenced to death despite indications that they
        
          
          E/CN. 4/2004/7
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          were suLering from mental illness or disability. In this regard, the Special Rapporteur wishes to
          recall resolution 1989/64 of the Economic and Social Council recommending that States
          strengthen the protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty by eliminating the death
          penalty for persons suLering from mental retardation or extremely limited mental competence.
          Moreover the safeguards guaranteeing protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty
          stipulate that it should not be carried out on persons who have become insane. Lastly, the
          Special Rapporteur deplores the fact that the Government of the United States has only replied
          to 5 out of the 35 communications transmitted over the last two years.
          56. Despite the prohibition under international law of capital punishment for juvenile
          oLenders, the Special Rapporteur intervened with the Governments of Sudan and of the
          Democratic Republic of Congo on behalf of individuals who were sentenced to death for crimes
          committed when they were 16 years of age. In this regard, the Special Rapporteur is concerned
          that at least seven children oLenders are currently under sentence of death in the Philippines
          although they were reportedly under the age of 18 at the time their alleged crimes were
          committed.
          F. Death threats and violations of the right to life of persons carrying out
          peaceful activities in defence of human rights
          1. Death threats
          57. The Special Rapporteur transmitted urgent appeals aimed at preventing loss of life aifier
          having received reports of situations where the lives and physical integrity of persons were
          feared to be in danger. The Special Rapporteur only intervenes in cases where there are reasons
          to believe that Government-controlled actors are involved, or when it appears that the
          government authorities have failed to provide appropriate protection. OEe targets of such death
          threats are usually persons who are exercising their right to freedom of expression or who are
          acting in defence of human rights.
          58. In this context, the Special Rapporteur sent urgent appeals to the Governments of the
          following countries, and requested the Government concerned to take necessary measures to
          protect these persons' right to life: Argentina, Azerbaijan, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador,
          El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Kyrgystan, Mexico, Sri Lanka, Sudan,
          Turkey and Venezuela.
          59. Of particular concern to the Special Rapporteur is the situation of two human rights
          defenders on behalf of whom she intervened on 2 May 2003, who were reportedly the victims of
          a series of attacks aifier a formal public offcial from Baku city publicly accused the two
          human rights activists of being enemies of the people during a television show on
          channel ANS”. OEeir phone number was allegedly broadcast on TV and the audience was
          asked to take action. It is reported that a wave of attacks against the premises of the
          human rights organizations where the two activists worked took place aifier this television show
          without any intervention from the police.
          60. The Special Rapporteur is particularly concerned by the situation in Colombia where all
          sectors of the civil society are aLected by similar death threats, including State offcials working
          on human rights issues. OEe Special Rapporteur notes that certain groups are more targeted than
        
          
          E/CN. 4/2004/7
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          others, for example, trade unionists, human rights defenders or indigenous leaders. Furthermore,
          entire rural communities, composed of hundreds of individuals, are also reportedly at risk aifier
          death threats are issued against them by paramilitary groups which accuse them of collaborating
          with members of guerrilla groups.
          2. Violations of the right to life of persons carrying out peaceful
          activities in defence of human rights and freedoms,
          and persons who have cooperated with representatives
          of the United Nations human rights bodies
          61. The Special Rapporteur has continued to receive reports of extrajudicial killings directed
          against human rights activists, lawyers, community workers, teachers, journalists and other
          persons engaged in activities aimed at promoting human rights or publicizing human rights
          violations. During the period under review, the Special Rapporteur took action on behalf of
          human rights defenders in the following countries: Colombia, C6te d'Ivoire, Democratic
          Republic of Congo, Gambia, Haiti, India, Islamic Republic of han, Israel, Mexico, Myanmar,
          Nigeria and Sudan.
          62. In this connection, the Special Rapporteur wishes to take note of an allegation sent to the
          Government of Israel relating to the case of Rachel Conic, a 23-year-old member of the
          International Solidarity Movement who was reportedly killed in Jenin on 16 March 2003 while
          she participated in a peaceful demonstration with other activists against the demolition of a
          Palestinian building in the Rafah refugee camp. According to the information received, although
          she was wearing an orange fluorescent jacket clearly labelled ISM” in order to alert the
          bulldozer drivers of her presence, she was allegedly hit by an armoured Israeli army bulldozer
          and reportedly died from the injuries she suLered.
          63. The Special Rapporteur deeply deplores the killing of two of the witnesses she
          interviewed during her mission to Brazil from 16 September to 8 October 2003 and who
          provided her with valuable information pertaining to her mandate. The Special Rapporteur
          expresses serious concerns over what could be considered as acts of reprisals and encourages the
          Government of Brazil to take all necessary measures to protect victims and witnesses of
          human rights abuses, in conformity with agreed terms of reference for fact-ffinding missions by
          Special Rapporteurs.
          G. Expulsion, return of persons to a country or place where their lives
          are in danger (refoulement), and violations of the right to life
          concerning refugees and internally displaced persons
          64. The Special Rapporteur notes that extrajudicial killings in the context of migrations have
          become an increasing concern. OEe issue is increasingly highlighted as people ffind it necessary
          to move both inside and outside their countries, for political, economic, social or other reasons.
          The Special Rapporteur wishes to recall that the right to life applies to all human beings, and that
          Governments have a responsibility to protect this right in territories under their jurisdiction
          regardless of the citizenship of the persons concerned. In this connection, the Special
          Rapporteur, jointly with the Special Rapporteur on the question of torture, addressed urgent
        
          
          E/CN. 4/2004/7
          page 19
          appeals to the Governments of India and of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya regarding individuals
          who were at risk of being forcibly returned to their countries of origin where they could face
          torture as well as possible extrajudicial execution.
          65. The Special Rapporteur is deeply concerned at reports of deliberate attacks against
          refugees and internally displaced persons (IDP5). Such incidents are particularly common in
          situations of internal conflict and unrest, where the direct targeting of civilians has increasingly
          become part of the tactics employed by the parties involved. In this regard, the Special
          Rapporteur wishes to recall that the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement is an important
          document that sets out the rights and guarantees relevant to the protection of IDPs in all phases
          of displacement.
          H. Violations of the right to life of women
          66. In the period under review, the Special Rapporteur has continued to receive reports of
          so-called OEonour killings” of women. In this regard, the Special Rapporteur wishes to recall
          that she is monitoring incidents of OEonour killings” where the State either approves of and
          supports these acts, or extends a form of impunity to the perpetrators by inaction. In this
          connection, she transmitted to the Government of Pakistan a communication relating to the
          murder of some 200 victims. It is worth mentioning that, although women and girls are the main
          targets of these brutal killings, men and boys - either relatives, alleged partners or considered as
          accomplice” of the female victim - can sometimes be targeted by such killings. The
          perpetrators of these crimes are always male family members or persons acting at their behest.
          The rationale for killing is to preserve a misconceived notion of family honour” allegedly put in
          jeopardy by the victim herself In the great majority of cases sent by the Special Rapporteur to
          the Government of Pakistan, the information received indicates that the murderers remain
          unpunished either because no complaint was ever ffiled by relatives of the victims, or because the
          police investigation is allegedly ongoing without any concrete result. In some cases, it is
          reported that the police refused to ffile a complaint claiming that the victims' relatives should
          forgive the perpetrator who is considered to have acted in all fairness. According to the
          information received, there are some cases where murderers reportedly surrender themselves to
          the police with the murder weapon. Nevertheless, no action was ever taken against them.
          67. Information received indicates that OEonour killings” can take many forms. OEe Special
          Rapporteur submitted to the Government of Pakistan horrifying cases where women and young
          girls are set ablaze, strangled, shot at, clubbed, stabbed, tortured, axed or stoned to death. OEeir
          bodies are found mutilated with their throat slit, or they are chopped into pieces and thrown in a
          ditch. OEe Special Rapporteur was particularly disturbed by the case of a 16-year-old girl who
          was reportedly electrocuted to death aifier being drugged with sleeping pills and being tied to a
          wooden bed with iron chains by members of the Rajput Toors, a powerful community in
          Duniyapur, allegedly for having married outside her community.
          68. In November 2003, the President of Pakistan ordered an investigation into the murder of
          a young woman, Afsheen Musarat. Her body was exhumed aifier local human rights groups
          alleged that she was murdered for refusing to marry a cousin and eloped with another relative.
        
          
          E/CN. 4/2004/7
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          The post-mortem indicated that she was strangled and the perpetrators were arrested. While the
          Special Rapporteur welcomes this step, she urges the Government to amend the law and to take
          steps which will bring about institutional reforms. Action in 1 case out of over 200 remains at
          best symbolic.
          69. In this regard, the Special Rapporteur wishes to remind that Governments are obliged to
          protect the right to every individual to life, liberty and security by law and to adopt all
          appropriate measures, including legislation, to modify and abolish existing law regulations,
          customs and practices that are in violation of the human rights of women. She further refers to
          article 2 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women,
          which makes it obligatory for State parties to condemn discrimination against women in all its
          forms, agree to pursue by all appropriate means and without delay a policy of eliminating
          discrimination against women” and, to this end, undertake to make legislative changes, including
          sanctions, prohibiting discrimination against women. State parties are obliged to refrain from
          engaging in any act or practice of discrimination against women and to ensure that public
          authorities and institutions shall act in conformity with this obligation”. OEey are required to
          take all appropriate measures [ .1 to modify or abolish [ .1 customs and practices which
          constitute discrimination against women”.
          70. The Special Rapporteur welcomes the decision by the Shariah Court of Appeal of
          Katsina State, in northern Nigeria, to quash Amina Lawal's sentence to death by stoning handed
          down on 22 March 2002. OEe Special Rapporteur, jointly with the Special Rapporteur on the
          question of torture, the Special Rapporteur on violence against women and the Special
          Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers intervened twice in this case in 2002.
          According to the information received, under new Shariah penal legislations in force in several
          northern Nigerian States since 1999, Amina Lawal was found guilty of adultery aifier bearing a
          child outside marriage, a charge which carries the mandatory punishment of death by stoning.
          While Amina Lawal's conviction was quashed, the Special Rapporteur regrets that another
          similar case in still pending in another Shariah court of appeal in Minna, Niger State. OEe
          Special Rapporteur will continue to follow the developments in this case.
          71. Another issue of concern is the case of Afsnaneh Nozouri for whom the Special
          Rapporteur intervened by sending an urgent appeal to the Government of the Islamic Republic of
          Iran on 30 September 2003. According to the information received, Ms. Nozouri was sentenced
          to death for having stabbed to death the head of police intelligence in Kish, southern han. She
          allegedly acted in self-defence in order to prevent being raped, thereby meeting the conditions
          laid in article 61 of the Islamic Criminal Code, which stops prosecution and punishment if a
          person acts in self-defence to defend one's life, honour or chastity. Under the existing Islamic
          statute, it is reported that had she not defended herself from being raped, she would have most
          likely been accused and tried for adultery and faced death by stoning. The Special Rapporteur
          welcomes the initial response from the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran reporting that
          the head of the judiciary ordered that the implementation of the sentence be postponed for further
          consideration, and is awaiting more information regarding this case.
        
          
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          I. Violations of the right to life of children
          72. During the period under review, the Special Rapporteur transmitted communications on
          behalf of minors to the Governments of Indonesia, the Islamic Republic of Iran and Israel
          expressing concerns over deliberate attacks by armed forces against unarmed children.
          73. The Special Rapporteur has continued to receive reports of extrajudicial killings of
          children dwelling in disadvantaged communities in Brazil, Guatemala, Honduras and Jamaica.
          While the problem is not exclusive to these countries, it appears that minors in some developing
          countries are becoming the targets of extrajudicial killings by vigilante groups of oifien oL-duty
          law enforcement agents as they are usually stigmatized and considered as being socially
          undesirable.
          J. Violations of the right to life of persons belonging to national,
          etimic, religious or linguistic minorities
          74. The Special Rapporteur acted on behalf of a variety of persons belonging to national,
          ethnic, religious and/or linguistic minorities in their respective countries. Communications were
          sent to the Governments of Bolivia, Brazil, China, Colombia, Honduras, India, Ukraine and
          Viet Nam.
          75. A cause for continuing concern is the situation of indigenous communities in various
          parts of Latin America. While on mission in Brazil, the Special Rapporteur also heard
          testimonies of killings and threats directed against indigenous leaders and members of their
          community. She will present her ffindings from this mission in a separate report to the
          Commission (E/CN.4/2004/7/Add.3).
          76. The Special Rapporteur is increasingly concerned about the situation of the Falun Gong
          in China, who are allegedly detained solely for belonging to this movement and are victims of
          severe ill-treatment or extrajudicial executions while in custody.
          K. Impunity, compensation and the rights of victims
          77. For a more detailed discussion regarding the issue of impunity, compensation and the
          right of victims, the Special Rapporteur refers to her earlier reports, in which she addressed these
          questions at length (e.g. E/CN.4/2000/3, sect. V.E, and E/CN.4/2001/9, sect. V.C).
          78. It is a cause of great concern that in some countries impunity for serious human rights
          violations, including extrajudicial killings, has become systematic and institutionalized. This is
          particularly the case when impunity is the direct product of amnesty laws passed in the interest
          of national reconciliation, explicitly exempting public oLicials, parliamentarians, paramilitary
          groups tolerated by the State, or certain categories of State agents from accountability or
          prosecution for grave human rights abuses.
          79. During the period under review, the Special Rapporteur, jointly with the Special
          Rapporteur on the question of torture, transmitted an urgent appeal to the Government of
          Bangladesh concerning a Joint Drive Indemnity Ordinance 2003”, which was to be approved by
          the Parliament in the form of a bill on 26 January 2003. OEis ordinance was reported to give
          immunity from prosecution to armed forces and government off cials for their involvement in
        
          
          E/CN. 4/2004/7
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          any casualty, damage to life and property, violation of rights, physical or mental damage”
          which reportedly took place during a crackdown on crime, known as Operation Clean Heart”
          between 16 October 2001 and 9 January 2002. It was further reported that at least 40 people
          died as a result of alleged torture in army custody aifier arrest. Further information indicated that
          if the Parliament did not pass the bill within 30 days, the ordinance would be automatically
          repealed. The Special Rapporteur regrets that she did not receive a reply on this particular issue
          from the Government of Bangladesh.
          80. On 29 July 2003, the Special Rapporteur, jointly with the Special Rapporteur on the
          promotion of the right to freedom of opinion and expression and the Special Rapporteur on the
          question of torture, transmitted a communication to the Government of Gambia in connection
          with information received according to which at least 14 people, including minors as well as a
          Gambia Red Cross volunteer wearing a Red Cross insignia, had been killed, and dozens
          injured, some severely, by security forces. They allegedly made excessive and indiscriminate
          use of force to break up demonstrations organized by the Gambian Students Union held
          on 10 and 11 April 2000 in Banjul, Brikama and other towns. These demonstrations were
          allegedly held in protest against the death of Ebrima Barry, a student allegedly tortured to death
          by members of the Brikama Fire Service and the rape of a 13-year-old schoolgirl by a police
          offcer. Although reports of a Governmental Commission of Inquiry and of the coroner's off cc
          allegedly conffirmed that security forces off cers were responsible for the casualties, the Special
          Rapporteur is concerned that Government off cials reportedly stated on 6 January 2001 that in
          the spirit of reconciliation, no one would be prosecuted.
          81. Another cause of concern is the situation in Colombia where a deeply entrenched culture
          of impunity reigns in the country. OEe Special Rapporteur is concerned about the
          presentation by the President of Colombia, Alvaro Uribe, on 21 August 2003, of an amnesty bill
          in congress. According to the information received, this bill comes aifier the signing of an
          agreement on 15 July signed in Santa Fe de Ralito with Colombia's largest paramilitary group,
          the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia ( Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia , AUC)
          which agreed to demobilize a reported 13,000 paramilitary ffighters as well as their leaders
          by 31 December 2005. Under this amnesty law, paramilitaries accused of serious human rights
          violations would reportedly stand trial. Nevertheless, it is alleged that the accused would not
          face prison sentences. The bill would empower the president to suspend the sentence of the
          paramilitaries even aifier conviction. In return, the convict would agree to some restrictions on
          personal liberty, including remaining in Colombia and not holding or running for public oLice.
          Most importantly however, individuals convicted of serious human rights crimes would be
          allowed to pay an amount of money or transfer other assets to victims of atrocities or into a
          Government fund for victims in return for spending no time in jail. It is further reported that
          there are no provisions in the bill to ensure impartial investigations or serious prosecutions.
          Reports also indicate that there are allegedly no mechanisms to allow victims of atrocities to
          appeal the president's decision while designating those who qualify for release from any
          sentence.
        
          
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          82. In this connection, the Special Rapporteur believes that there should and can be no
          impunity for serious human rights abuses, particularly violations of the right to life, regardless of
          the past or present status or position of the alleged perpetrator. At the same time, in order to be
          eLective and meaningful in fostering accountability among State off cials and rulers, measures
          taken to prosecute human rights oLenders cannot be selective, but must be part of broader
          policies aimed at promoting peace, social stability and respect for the law.
          83. Furthermore, the Special Rapporteur wishes to recall that the Human Rights Committee
          has in its general comment 6 on article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political
          Rights, as well as in numerous decisions, reaLirmed that States are obliged to investigate all
          human rights violations, particularly those aLecting the physical integrity of the victim, to bring
          to justice those responsible for such abuses, to pay adequate compensation to the victims or their
          families, and to prevent the reoccurrence of such violations. OEis obligation is conffirmed in
          other international human rights instruments, including the Principles on the ELective
          Prevention and Investigation of Extra-legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions and the
          Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.
          IV. FOLLOW-UP TO RECOMMENDATIONS
          84. In its resolution 2002/36, the Commission on Human Rights requested the Special
          Rapporteur to follow up on recommendations made in her reports aifier visits to particular
          countries. Consistent and adequate follow-up to recommendations is indeed a crucial element in
          the discharge of the Special Rapporteur's mandate. Some selected recommendations are
          followed and the Special Rapporteur keeps herself informed of the developments in the countries
          she visited.
          85. From 13 to 23 October the Special Rapporteur visited Afghanistan. In her report the
          Special Rapporteur had recommended that a mapping exercise should be carried out to take
          stock of the grave human rights violations committed in the past (see report
          E/CN.4/2003/3/Add.4, paragraph 77). OEis recommendation was brought to the attention of the
          High Commissioner, who is taking some initial steps at stepping up a panel of experts to
          undertake this exercise.
          86. The Special Rapporteur visited Nepal from S to 14 February 2000. She continues to be
          extremely concerned about the situation especially aifier the ceaseffire declared by the Maoists has
          ended. OEis year she has sent a number of urgent appeals to the Government and notes that
          incidents of extrajudicial executions are increasing.
          V. CONCLUDING REMARKS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
          87. This report will be the last report of the Special Rapporteur to the Commission. She
          would like to express her deep appreciation to Governments who cooperated with her by
          replying to her communications and extending invitations for visits.
          88. Her two terms in the discharge of her mandate have been rewarding but sometimes also
          trying. There were occasions when timely action by her saved lives and she ffinds that there is a
          growing awareness in civil society of the work of the Special Rapporteurs.
        
          
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          89. The Special Rapporteur had the opportunity to witness some remarkable acts of courage
          of ordinary people and saw the extraordinary work of a number of NGOs working for the
          protection and promotion of human rights. She nevertheless remains concerned as the overall
          situation relating to her mandate has by no means improved. In the last 11 months she has
          noticed a trend where excessive use of force is being used by Governments on the justiffication of
          defending the security” of the country. OEere are a number of reports of the use of aerial
          bombardments or target shooting” by security forces.
          90. There are increasing reports of alleged extrajudicial killings of persons who form
          associations and are active in demanding economic rights.
          91. The bulk of the reports received or information collected by the Special Rapporteur
          present a pattern. A number of reports of alleged extrajudicial or summary executions are
          received from countries where there is an ongoing armed conflict or is a recent post-conflict
          situation. Similar reports are received from countries with authoritarian regimes and during the
          transition from dictatorships to democracy.
          92. The Special Rapporteur has also noticed that extrajudicial or summary executions are
          also carried out with impunity in countries where governance is weak combined with a high rate
          of crime or where corruption is rampant. OEere is also a direct link between impunity and the
          lack of independence of the judicial system of a country.
          93. The information that the Special Rapporteur receives presents some patterns.
          Extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions are carried out mainly:
          — in conflict and post-conflict situations;
          — under authoritarian regimes;
          — in transition from dictatorship to democracy;
          — where there are serious lapses in governance, particularly in countries with a high
          crime rate;
          — rampant corruption in government institutions; and
          — in countries with weak and ineffcient judicial systems that lack independence.
          94. There are increasing reports of alleged extrajudicial killings of persons who form
          associations and are active in demanding their economic rights.
          95. The Special Rapporteur was pleased that over the past six years there has been a
          virtual consensus that the death penalty should not be applied to children who were under the age
          of 18 years at the time of commission of the oLence. This year she was pleased to report that the
          death penalty was not implemented on children. She hopes that the sentences awarded in the
          three countries mentioned in her report will not be implemented.
        
          
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          Recommendations
          96. The recommendations in the Special Rapporteur's previous report (EICN.41200313)
          should be considered and be read as part of the present report. In addition the Special
          Rapporteur wishes to present the foftowing recommendations:
          1. The United Nations is urged to strengthen early-warning mechanisms so that
          acts of genocide and crimes against humanity can be avoided;
          2. Governments must not resort to aerial bombing, use of snipers or
          pre-emptive strikes. The international community should take note of this growing
          tendency to use excessive force;
          3. All orders to shoot on sight” must only be given as a measure of very last
          resort to protect lives. Governments should review their policies and withdraw aft
          general orders to security forces to shoot on sight”;
          4. Aft deaths in custody should be thoroughly investigated including carrying
          out of a post-mortem. Family members of the deceased must be immediately
          informed and they should be present to inspect the dead body before burial;
          5. Law enforcement offficials should receive in-depth training on human rights.
          They should be exposed to case studies and local human rights groups should be
          associated in preparing the training manuals and materials;
          6. Governments should respect the people's right to freedom of association and
          expression. Force should not be used to silence those who raise their voices against
          the arbitrary use of power by Governments;
          7. Governments should maintain a data bank with precise information on
          reports of extrajudicial killings. It should include the conclusion drawn in each case
          and the proffe of the victim or deceased. These statistics should be made available
          to the public;
          8. The main reason for the perpetuation of the practice of honour” killings is
          the lack of political wift by Governments to bring the perpetrators of these crimes to
          justice. Governments are urged to make legislative changes to ensure that such
          killings receive no discriminatory treatment under the law and to sensitize their
          judiciary to gender issues. Those threatening the life of a female victim should be
          brought to justice. Correctional and custody homes run by Governments should not
          be permitted to detain forcibly women whose lives are at risk. Prisons should never
          be used to detain potential victims of honour killings;
        
          
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          9. The Special Rapporteur notes that the safeguards and guarantees for the
          protection of those facing capital punishment are not being fofrowed in a large
          number of cases brought to her attention. She is also concerned at the lack of
          transparency and information on capital punishment and execution of death
          sentences. She, therefore, cails upon aft retentionist Governments to impose a
          moratorium on executions and set up national commissions to report on the
          situation in the light of international standards and resolutions before executions
          are resumed. The execution of persons who were children, under the age of 18, at
          the time of the crime should be completely abolished.