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Extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Report of the Special Rapporteur, Asma Jahangir, submitted pursuant to Commission on Human Rights resolution 2002/36

E/CN.4/2003/3

          
          UNITED
          NATIONS
          Economic and Social Distr.
          Council
          GENERAL
          E/CN.4/2003 13
          13 January 2003
          Original: ENGLISH
          COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
          Fiifiy-ninth session
          Item 11(b) of the provisional agenda
          CIVIL AND POLITICAL RIGHTS, INCLUDING THE QUESTIONS OF
          DISAPPEARANCES AND SUMMARY EXECUTIONS
          Extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions
          Report of the Special Rapporteur, Asma Jahangir, submitted pursuant to
          Commission on Human Rights resolution 2002/36
          E
          GE.03-10327 (E) 070203
        
          
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          Executive summary
          The present report, which is submitted pursuant to Commission on Human Rights
          resolution 2002/36, covers information received and communications sent by the
          Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions in the period
          from 2 December 2001 to 1 December 2002, unless otherwise stated. The 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 addressing
          developments of special concern and the Special Rapporteur also presents her conclusions and a
          number of recommendations she feels could be helpful in preventing and combating the problem
          of extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.
          It should be emphasized that the report should be read in conjunction with addendum 1
          (E/CN.4/2003/3/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. These 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 and persons
          extrajudicially killed and/or exposed to death threats because of their sexual orientation.
          The report additionally includes a section devoted to follow-up in relation to missions
          undertaken by the Special Rapporteur. OEis section includes follow-up information on her visits
          to Mexico, Turkey and Honduras.
          The Special Rapporteur concludes her report by highlighting some disturbing trends
          identiffied during the reporting period, and presents a number of recommendations. She
          highlights the imperative of avoiding a culture of impunity and ensuring accountability. Her
          recommendations include the following:
        
          
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          (a) Greater focus and eLort needs to be placed on preventive action;
          (b) A stronger system for response to early warnings must be conceptualized and
          made effective;
          (c) OEe Special Rapporteur encourages organizations ofjournalists to keep the
          United Nations human rights mechanisms informed of any incident of human rights violations,
          in particular death threats, imminent danger to their lives, or incidents of extrajudicial killings;
          (d) The military should be used, if at all, as a last resort for internal security demands
          and must be held accountable;
          (e) 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;
          (f) Governments must end systematic and institutional impunity for those who kill
          women in the name of honour and so-called morality.
        
          
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          CONTENTS
          Paragraphs Page
          Introduction 1 - 5 6
          L THEMANDATE 6-12 6
          A. Terms of reference 6 - 7 6
          B. Violations of the right to life upon which the
          Special Rapporteur takes action 8 - 9 7
          C. Legal framework and methods of work 10 - 12 9
          II. ACTIVITIES 13 - 28 10
          A. General remarks 13 10
          B. Communications 14 - 23 11
          C. Visits 24-28 12
          III. OVERVIEW OF SITUATIONS INVOLVING
          VIOLATIONS OF THE RIGHT TO LIFE 29-75 14
          A. Genocide and crimes against humanity 29 - 30 14
          B. OEe right to life and the administration ofjustice,
          deaths due to excessive use of force by law
          enforcement oLicials and deaths in custody 31 - 34 14
          C. Deaths due to attacks or killings by security forces,
          paramilitary groups or private forces cooperating
          with or tolerated by the State, and violations of the
          right to life during armed conflict 35-44 15
          D. Capital punishment 45-51 17
          E. Deaththreats 52-54 18
          F. Expulsion, return of persons to a country or place
          where their lives are in danger (refoulement), violations
          of the right to life concerning refugees and internally
          displaced persons 55 - 57 18
          G. Violations of the right to life of children and women 58 - 61 19
        
          
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          CONTENTS ( continued)
          Paragraphs Page
          H. Violations of the right to life of persons belonging
          to national, ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities 62 - 64 20
          I. Violations of the right to life of persons exercising
          their right to freedom of opinion and expression 65 20
          J. Violations of the right to life of persons because
          of their sexual orientation 66 - 67 20
          K. 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 United Nations human rights bodies 68 - 71 21
          L. Impunity, compensation and the rights of victims 72 - 75 21
          IV. FOLLOW UP TO RECOMMENDATIONS 76-81 22
          V. CONCLUDING REMARKS AND RECOMMENDATIONS .... 82-98 23
        
          
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          Introduction
          1. This report is submitted pursuant to Commission on Human Rights resolutions 2001/45
          and 2002/36. It is the ffiifih annual report submitted to the Commission by Ms. Asma Jahangir,
          and the twentieth 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 2001 to 1 December 2002, 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 addressing
          developments of special concern and the Special Rapporteur also presents her conclusions and a
          number of recommendations she feels could be helpful in preventing and combating the problem
          of extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.
          3. The Special Rapporteur notes that due to cuts in resources and restrictions with regard to
          the length of reports submitted to the Commission on Human Rights, the structure of the report
          has changed in comparison to reports from previous years.
          4. 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.4/2003/3/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. She hopes that suffcient resources will be placed at
          the disposal of the mandate in the coming year to enable the Special Rapporteur to prepare this
          addendum in a more organized manner and fulffil her reporting obligations to the Commission on
          Human Rights and the General Assembly.
          5. In addition, the Special Rapporteur has submitted three reports concerning three country
          visits which were carried out during 2001 and 2002. Addendum 2 to the present report relates to
          the mission to Honduras, addendum 3 to the mission to the Democratic Republic of the Congo
          and addendum 4 to her recent mission to Afghanistan.
          I. THE MANDATE
          A. Terms of reference
          6. In resolution 2002/36, the Commission on Human Rights requested the Special
          Rapporteur to continue to examine situations of extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions,
          to respond eLectively to information which comes before her and to enhance further her
          dialogue with Governments, as well as to follow up recommendations made in reports aifier visits
        
          
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          to particular countries. The Commission also requested the Special Rapporteur 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 and 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. OEe Commission further requested that the Special Rapporteur 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.
          7. In its resolution, the Commission also requested the Special Rapporteur to apply a gender
          perspective in her work. The Commission further urged the Special Rapporteur to draw the
          attention of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to such situations of
          extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions that are of particularly serious concern to her or
          where early action might prevent further deterioration. The Commission welcomed the
          cooperation established between the Special Rapporteur and other United Nations mechanisms
          and procedures relating to human rights and encouraged the Special Rapporteur to continue
          eLorts in that regard.
          B. Violations of the right to life upon which
          the Special Rapporteur takes action
          8. In carrying out her mandate, the Special Rapporteur will, when appropriate, act in the
          following situations:
          (a) Genocide and crimes against humanity;
          (b) Violations of the right to life during armed conflict, especially of the civilian
          population and other non-combatants, contrary to international humanitarian law;
          (c) Deaths due to attacks or killings by security forces of the State, or by paramilitary
          groups, death squads or other private forces cooperating with or tolerated by one or several
          States;
          (d) Deaths due to the use of force by law enforcement offcials 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;
          (e) Deaths in custody due to torture, neglect or use of force, or life-threatening
          conditions of detention;
          (f) Death threats and fear of imminent extrajudicial executions by State offcials,
          paramilitary groups, private individuals or groups cooperating with or tolerated by the
          Government, as well as by unidentiffied persons who may be linked to the categories mentioned
          above;
        
          
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          (g) Expulsion, refoulement or return of persons to a country or a place where their
          lives are in danger, as well as the prevention of persons seeking asylum from leaving a country
          where their lives are in danger through the closure of national borders;
          (h) Deaths due to acts of omission on the part of the authorities, including mob
          killings. OEe Special Rapporteur may take action if the State fails to take positive measures of a
          preventive and protective nature necessary to ensure the right to life of any person under its
          jurisdiction;
          (i) Breach of the obligation to investigate alleged violations of the right to life and to
          bring those responsible to justice;
          (j) Breach of the additional obligation to provide adequate compensation to victims
          of violations of the right to life, and failure on the part of Governments to recognize
          compensation as an obligation;
          (k) Violations of the right to life in connection with the death penalty. The Special
          Rapporteur intervenes where capital punishment is imposed in violation of articles 6,
          paragraph 2, and 15 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and its Second
          Optional Protocol when relevant; article 37 (a) of the Convention on the Rights of the Child;
          article 77, paragraph 5, and other relevant articles of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the
          Additional Protocols thereto of 1977. In addition, the Special Rapporteur is guided by various
          resolutions of United Nations organs and bodies, in particular:
          (i) General Assembly resolutions 2857 (XXVI) of 20 December 1971 and
          32/6 1 of 8 December 1977 regarding capital punishment;
          (ii) General Assembly resolution 44/128 of 15 December 1989, in which the
          Assembly adopted and opened for signature, ratiffication and accession the
          Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and
          Political Rights, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty;
          (Hi) Commission on Human Rights resolutions 1997/12, 1998/8, 1999/6 1 and
          2000/65 regarding the death penalty;
          (iv) The Safeguards guaranteeing protection of the rights of those facing the
          death penalty, adopted by the Economic and Social Council in resolution
          1984/50 on 25 May 1984, and endorsed by the United Nations General
          Assembly in resolution 39/118, adopted on 14 December 1984;
          (v) Economic and Social Council resolution 1989/64 adopted on
          24 May 1989.
        
          
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          9. In view of these guidelines and international standards, the Special Rapporteur acts
          where:
          (a) The crime concerned cannot be considered most serious”, as stipulated under
          article 6, paragraph 2, of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;
          (b) The death penalty is imposed retroactively;
          (c) Persons are sentenced to death for crimes committed when they were less
          than 18 years of age;
          (d) Expectant or recent mothers face the death penalty;
          (e) Persons suLering from mental illness or handicap or those with extremely limited
          mental competence face the death penalty;
          (f) A death sentence which has been implemented is posthumously overturned;
          (g) Consular assistance is denied or not made available to a person facing the death
          penalty;
          (h) The accused is denied his or her right to appeal or seek pardon or commutation of
          a death sentence;
          (i) A death sentence is imposed following a trial where international standards of
          impartiality, competence, objectivity and independence of the judiciary were not met;
          (j) The legal system does not conform to minimum fair trial standards;
          (k) The death penalty is imposed as a mandatory measure without due regard to the
          safeguards enumerated above and compelling mitigating circumstances thus cannot be taken into
          consideration.
          C. Legal framework and methods of work
          10. For an overview of the international legal standards by which the Special Rapporteur is
          guided in her work, she makes reference to the report of her predecessor to the Commission on
          Human Rights at its forty-ninth session (E/CN.4/1993/46, paras. 42-68). To carry out the work
          of the mandate, more resources and space is required. Restrictions on the number of pages for
          reporting and limiting the time for presenting a statement at the Commission undermines the
          work of the special procedures. Regrettably, there has been a noticeable decline in resources and
          priority extended to the mandate. As such, the Special Rapporteur has sought to maintain the
          methods of work adopted by her predecessor, under enormous pressure and with the sad
          realization that she does not enjoy the same amount of space for her reports as in the past.
          11. Communications are sent to Governments during the entire year. In the past year,
          allegations were collected, aifier being cross-checked and selected, and were sent out to
        
          
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          Governments twice/thrice a year. OEis procedure was adopted because of the lack of human
          resources, but the method is unsatisfactory and now communications with Governments will be
          exchanged throughout the year. OEe mandate of the Special Rapporteur was the ffirst special
          procedure to begin using an electronic database recording all urgent appeals sent, developed by
          the OLice of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). It has been useful, and the
          Special Rapporteur and her assistants review the urgent appeals and allegations sent three times a
          year to follow the trends and patterns. OEe Special Rapporteur monitors the situation regarding
          her mandate and selectively releases press statements where appropriate. The more serious
          violations of human rights or ones which could have a negative impact on the future usually
          prompt a press release. To carry out her work the Special Rapporteur holds four consultations a
          year in Geneva and keeps in touch with OHCHR on a daily basis. She prepares (with assistance)
          one report for the Commission on Human Rights, including a country situation report. A report
          is submitted every two years to the General Assembly. In addition, the Special Rapporteur
          reports on her country missions, which number, on average, two per year. Documents brought
          back from fleld visits by Special Rapporteurs are not translated and therefore (with one
          exception), the Special Rapporteur has had to depend on personal resources to do this. To keep
          abreast of the development of her mandate the Special Rapporteur consults and reads a number
          of United Nations documents, reports of local and international non-governmental organizations
          and commentaries on legal developments. The annual meeting of all the special rapporteurs is
          particularly important. It gives all the experts time to exchange information and ideas. OEe
          direction of human rights developments is better assessed during these meetings. The presence
          of the Special Rapporteur during the meetings of the Commission on Human Rights is useful.
          There she has access to government representatives and NGOs are able to transmit their concerns
          to her. The access to government representatives and discussions with them are extremely
          important. Such meetings guide the work of the Special Rapporteur and improve the
          understanding between Governments and her mandate.
          12. During the reporting period the Special Rapporteur has worked on developing the
          methods of work of the mandate. In 2003 the Special Rapporteur intends to ffinalize an internal
          draifi on working methods and put them into practice. The Special Rapporteur intends to report
          on this development in more detail in next year's report.
          II. ACTIVITIES
          A. General remarks
          13. During the reporting period, the Special Rapporteur held a number of consultations with
          OHCHR in Geneva. She has had the opportunity to meet with the High Commissioner and staL,
          as well as with a number of other special rapporteurs, representatives and experts appointed by
          the Commission on Human Rights. In the past year, she has also on numerous occasions taken
          joint action, including through joint urgent appeals, with other special rapporteurs and working
          groups mandated by the Commission. OEe Special Rapporteur presented her previous report
          (E/CN.4/2002/74) to the Commission at its ffiifiy-eighth session. In June 2002, she participated in
          the ninth annual meeting of special rapporteurs/representatives, independent experts and
          chairpersons of the special mechanisms of the Commission on Human Rights, held in Geneva.
          In November 2002 she presented her report to the ffiifiy-seventh session of the General Assembly
          (A/57/138). In addition, the Special Rapporteur met on several occasions with diplomats and
        
          
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          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
          14. The Special Rapporteur has particular regard for the individual complaints she receives,
          as they oTher an important channel for victims, their families and members of civil society to
          have their voices heard. Reports of incidents form the basis of the Special Rapporteur's
          communications to Governments and they lend further credibility to the supplementary
          information she receives. She wishes to point out that the ffigures presented below only give an
          indication of the situation regarding her mandate. They do not reflect the entire picture.
          15. The amount of information received is overwhelming. It has to be selected, categorized,
          analysed and checked before being communicated to the Governments concerned. So far, the
          Special Rapporteur has been selective in sending communications, basing her criteria on
          suffciently detailed information, as well as the nature and seriousness of the allegation.
          16. A summary of all cases transmitted to Governments as well as summaries of replies
          received can be found in addendum ito this report.
          17. During the period under review, the Special Rapporteur transmitted 188 urgent appeals
          on behalf of several thousand persons and several groups of people to the following countries:
          Algeria (1), Argentina (6), Azerbaijan (1), Bangladesh (2), Bolivia (1), Brazil (7), China (7),
          Colombia (29), Costa Rica (1), Cuba (1), Democratic Republic of the Congo (1), Ecuador (2),
          Equatorial Guinea (1), Ethiopia (1), Georgia (1), Ghana (1), Guatemala (27), Haiti (2), India (2),
          Indonesia (4), Iran (Islamic Republic of) (2), Iraq (2), Jamaica (3), Japan (1), Kazakhstan (1),
          Kyrgyzstan (1), Liberia (1), Libyan Arab Jamahiriya (2), Mexico (14), Mozambique (1),
          Namibia (1), Nepal (1), Nicaragua (2), Nigeria (5), Pakistan (2), Paraguay (1), Peru (3),
          Philippines (1), Russian Federation (1), Saudi Arabia (2), Singapore (1), Sri Lanka (1),
          Sudan (6), Sweden (1), Tajikistan (1), Thailand (1), Tunisia (1), Turkey (2), Uganda (1),
          Ukraine (1), United States of America (21), Uruguay (1), Uzbekistan (1) and Venezuela (4). She
          also sent three urgent appeals to the Palestinian Authority.
          18. A total of 128 urgent appeals were transmitted jointly with other mechanisms of the
          Commission on Human Rights, such as the Special Rapporteur on torture, the Special
          Rapporteur on the independence of judges 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 newly established Quick Response Desk in OHCHR.
          19. The Special Rapporteur further transmitted 56 letters of allegation regarding violations of
          the right to life of a large number of individuals and groups to the Governments of the following
          countries: Algeria (1), Argentina (2), Azerbaijan (2), Bolivia (2), Cameroon (1), China (1),
        
          
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          Colombia (3), Egypt (1), Ethiopia (1), Georgia (1), Germany (1), Greece (1), Guatemala (1),
          Honduras (2), India (2), Indonesia (2), Israel (1), Kyrgyzstan (1), Mexico (1), Myanmar (2),
          Nepal (2), Nicaragua (1), Pakistan (2), Peru (1), Philippines (1), Russian Federation (2),
          Sierra Leone (1), Spain (1), Sri Lanka (2), Sudan (1), OEailand (1), The former Yugoslav
          Republic of Macedonia (1), Tunisia (1), Turkey (1), Ukraine (1), United Arab Emirates (1),
          United States of America (1), Uruguay (1), Uzbekistan (2), Venezuela (2), Yemen (1) and
          Zimbabwe (1). Allegations were also transmitted to the Palestinian Authority regarding
          three cases of alleged violation of the right to life.
          20. The Special Rapporteur wrote more than 29 letters of allegation jointly with other
          mandate holders, in particular the Special Rapporteur on torture, the Special Rapporteur on
          violence against women, the Special Rapporteur on the independence ofjudges and lawyers, the
          Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, the Special Rapporteur on the human
          rights of migrants and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on human rights
          defenders.
          21. 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, Brazil, China, Colombia, Cuba, Democratic
          Republic of the Congo, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Georgia, Germany,
          Guatemala, Haiti, India, Iraq, Jamaica, Mexico, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Pakistan,
          Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Russian Federation, Singapore, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan,
          Sweden, Thailand, Turkey, United States of America, Venezuela and Yemen. The 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.
          22. She is concerned that the Governments of Bolivia, Cameroon, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea,
          Ethiopia, Ghana, Greece, Honduras, Indonesia, han (Islamic Republic of), Israel, Japan,
          Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Namibia, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia,
          Sierra Leone, Tajikistan, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tunisia, Uganda,
          Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Uzbekistan and Zimbabwe did not reply to any of her
          communications and requests for information during the reporting period. OEe
          Palestinian Authority did not reply to any of the communications sent.
          23. The Special Rapporteur regrets that the Governments of Rwanda and Romania have
          not replied to communications in the past four years. The Governments of Cambodia and
          Papua New Guinea have not replied to any of the communications transmitted by the Special
          Rapporteur in the past ffive years.
          C. Visits
          24. 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
          Governments of Brazil, Colombia, C6te d'Ivoire and Yugoslavia had responded positively to
          these communications. She looks forward to carrying out missions to these countries, as and
          when her schedule allows. She is presently planning to undertake a mission to Brazil in
        
          
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          September 2003, and is aware of the urgent need in the future to undertake a mission to
          C6te d'Ivoire. OEe Special Rapporteur has requests pending with the Governments of Algeria,
          Cameroon, India, Israel, Pakistan, the Russian Federation, Sierra Leone and Uganda. OEe
          Special Rapporteur also has a request pending with the Government of Jamaica, and she hopes to
          undertake a visit to the country in February 2003. As time passes the requests for visits will need
          to be reprioritized and in the coming year the Special Rapporteur will communicate with
          Governments with which requests for visits are pending.
          25. From 16 to 22 June 2002, the Special Rapporteur carried out a fact-ffinding mission to the
          Democratic Republic of the Congo. OEe mission was undertaken in response to a statement by
          the President of the Security Council of 24 May 2002 in which the Council drew the attention of
          the High Commissioner for Human Rights to the seriousness of the events that had taken place in
          Kisangani on 14 May 2002 and immediately thereaifier. Pursuant to this statement, the
          High Commissioner alerted the Special Rapporteur to the alleged massacres of civilians, soldiers
          and police by the RCD-G (Rassemblement Congolais pour la D&mocratie-Goma, Congolese
          Rally for Democracy-Goma) authorities and the mob killings of individuals by unruly crowds
          who responded to a call to rebellion by mutinous soldiers who had occupied the local radio
          station in Kisangani. At the High Commissioner's request, the Special Rapporteur promptly
          travelled to the country, visiting Kinshasa, Goma and Kisangani. OEe report on the mission
          containing the Special Rapporteur's ffindings and recommendations can be found in document
          E/CN. 4/2003/3/Add.3.
          26. From 13 to 23 October the Special Rapporteur visited Afghanistan. OEe Special
          Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan, Kamal Hossain, originally
          encouraged the Special Rapporteur to carry out the mission given the recent political changes in
          the country and the need to address the issue of impunity and accountability for past and ongoing
          extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. OEe mission report can be found in document
          E/CN. 4/2003/3/Add.4.
          27. At its ffiifih special session on the situation in Israel and the occupied Palestinian
          territories in October 2000, the Commission on Human Rights adopted resolution 5-5/1 in which
          it requested the Special Rapporteur, together with a number of other mandate holders, to carry
          out immediate missions to the area concerned and to report on their ffindings to the Commission
          at its ffiifiy-seventh session and, on an interim basis, to the General Assembly at its ffiifiy-ffifth
          session. OEe Special Rapporteur continues to follow events and will pursue her request for a
          visit with the Government of Israel. In this connection, the Special Rapporteur takes note of a
          letter from the Permanent Observer for Palestine to the United Nations Off cc at Geneva dated
          26 January 2001, urging the Special Rapporteur to carry out her mandate under resolution 5-5/1
          as soon as possible. During the reporting period the Special Rapporteur continued to follow
          closely the development of the situation in Israel and the occupied territories. On 12 April she
          issued a press release expressing her alarm and concern at reports of alleged extrajudicial and
          summary executions by Israeli forces in connection with operations in the Jenin refugee camp.
          The Special Rapporteur has written repeatedly to the Government of Israel requesting a visa, so
          as to enable her to visit the country in the exercise of her mandate. The most recent of these
          letters was sent on 22 June 2001. So far, the Government has not agreed to this request.
        
          
          E/CN. 4/2003/3
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          28. The Special Rapporteur considers fleld missions a central element in the discharge of the
          mandate, as they allow her to gather ffirst-hand information for preparing well-informed and
          objective reports. Field missions to speciffic countries are also 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 her an opportunity to exchange views with Governments
          and lends support to the work of civil society. During the past year, the Special Rapporteur has
          been approached by a number of NGOs, representatives of civil society and private individuals
          urging her to seek invitations to carry out missions to various locations. OEe Special Rapporteur
          appreciates this input and the genuine commitment and concern expressed by these interlocutors.
          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 fleld mission. She is concerned, however, that the resources currently placed at
          her disposal do not always allow her to submit her mission reports in a timely manner and to
          respond eLectively to the calls and needs for fleld missions to be carried out in various parts of
          the world.
          III. OVERVIEW OF SITUATIONS INVOLVING VIOLATIONS
          OF THE RIGHT TO LIFE
          A. Genocide and crimes against humanity
          29. As previously underlined, 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 a
          scale are investigated and those responsible brought to justice. All crimes of genocide must be
          investigated, without exception. OEe Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court provides
          for a permanent mechanism to deal with crimes aLecting the entire human race, such as
          genocide. The Special Rapporteur welcomes the coming into force of the Statute on 1 July 2002,
          and urges all States which have not already done so to ratify the Statute.
          30. During the Special Rapporteur's visit to Afghanistan, she received documentation and
          credible information that a number of summary or arbitrary executions carried out, in particular
          by the Taliban Council, but also by other warring factions and authorities, could constitute
          crimes against humanity. Such grave human rights violations committed in the past have to be
          recognized and addressed, so that impunity for such crimes is completely ruled out.
          B. The right to life and the administration of justice, deaths due to excessive
          use of force by law enforcement offficials and deaths in custody
          31. A very large proportion of cases reported during the past 12 months are concerned with
          deaths in custody, mostly alleging that the death was a result of torture. Either no inquiry is
          carried out by the Government or the inquiry is shoddy, or the results of the inquiry are
          suppressed. Some Governments have responded, and indeed satisffied, the Special Rapporteur
          that impartial investigations into the incident reported were carried out. But the positive
          responses are far too few. In this regard the Special Rapporteur transmitted allegations to the
          Governments of the following countries: Algeria, Argentina, Azerbaijan, China, Democratic
        
          
          E/CN.4/2003/3
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          Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Georgia, Germany,
          Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Liberia, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Nepal, Pakistan,
          Peru, Russian Federation, Sierra Leone, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Turkey, Uganda, United States
          of America, Uruguay, Uzbekistan and Venezuela.
          32. The Special Rapporteur addressed a number of letters to Governments regarding
          excessive use of force by law enforcement offcials. She wrote to the following Governments:
          Argentina, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Cameroon, Colombia, Ethiopia, Germany,
          Honduras, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Mexico, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Peru, Philippines,
          Russian Federation, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, OEailand, Turkey, United States of America,
          Uzbekistan and Yemen. In a few cases there was an excessive use of force, under the guise of
          dealing with terrorists, against farmers and others who brought up social or economic issues.
          Witnesses to police excesses, students who held peaceful demonstrations and journalists
          exposing misuse of authority by the security forces were killed by excessive use of force. OEe
          military and special forces, in particular, are reported to use excessive force with impunity. The
          Special Rapporteur wishes to express her appreciation to the Government of Germany for a
          comprehensive reply which put the record straight to her satisfaction.
          33. The Special Rapporteur is particularly concerned about reports concerning Bolivia, where
          in 2002 the police and army reportedly used excessive force to disperse demonstrators in
          Cochamamba, and allegedly killed six persons. Concern is also expressed about reports from
          Algeria about several reported cases of excessive use of force and extrajudicial killings by law
          enforcement off cials. OEe Special Rapporteur is also increasingly concerned about the recent
          developments in Nepal and reports of excessive use of force by the police there.
          34. Concern is also expressed about the actions by Russian police/security forces in the
          October 2002 incident in a Moscow theatre where Chechen separatists were holding several
          hundred civilians hostage. During the attack against the separatists more than 100 civilians died,
          allegedly because of a gas deployed by the Russian forces to disable the hostage takers. OEe
          Special Rapporteur has been collecting information from various sources about the incident and
          plans to take the issue up in 2003 with the Government of the Russian Federation.
          C. Deaths due to attacks or killings by security forces, paramilitary
          groups or private forces cooperating with or tolerated by the
          State, and violations of the right to life during armed conffct
          35. The Special Rapporteur transmitted urgent appeals to the following Governments in
          relation to reports of violations of the right to life due to attacks or killings by security forces,
          paramilitary groups or private forces cooperating with or tolerated by the State: Bolivia,
          Colombia, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Myanmar, Nepal, Peru, Philippines, Russian Federation,
          Sri Lanka, Sudan, Thailand, Turkey, United States of America and Yemen.
          36. In this regard the Special Rapporteur is particularly concerned about reports relating to
          actions by government-controlled or -condoned paramilitary groups, as well as the use of the
          military in operations against civilians resulting in extrajudicial killings. In particular,
          Bangladesh, Colombia, Guatemala and Mexico are of concern in this regard.
        
          
          E/CN. 4/2003/3
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          37. A truly disturbing development was the events in Yemen in November 2002. It is
          reported that six men were allegedly killed while travelling in a car on 3 November 2002 in
          Yemen by a missile launched by a United States-controlled Predator drone aircraifi. According
          to the information, one of the persons in the car was allegedly suspected of being a senior ffigure
          in the al-Qa'idah organization. OEe strike was reportedly carried out with the cooperation and
          approval of the Government of Yemen. On 15 November the Special Rapporteur addressed
          letters to the Governments of the United State and Yemen requesting their comments on these
          reports.
          38. The Government of Yemen replied on 17 December 2002. As the Special Rapporteur is
          still awaiting the offcial translation, at this stage a brief summary of the letter can be provided.
          In its letter the Government of Yemen acknowledges that the attack did take place, and gives the
          names of the six persons killed. It further informs the Special Rapporteur that the six men had
          been involved in the attacks on the United States military vessel, the USS Cole, as well as a
          French tanker out of the port of Aden. It is further reported that the Government on several
          occasions had, unsuccessfully, sought to apprehend these six individuals. The Government
          stresses that had the persons come forward all their rights would have been protected, including a
          fair trial and a defence lawyer during trial. At the time of writing the United States Government
          had not sent a reply.
          39. The Special Rapporteur is extremely concerned that should the information received be
          accurate, an alarming precedent might have been set for extrajudicial execution by consent of
          Government. OEe Special Rapporteur acknowledges that Governments have a responsibility to
          protect their citizens against the excesses of non-State actors or other authorities, but these
          actions must be taken in accordance with international human rights and humanitarian law. In
          the opinion of the Special Rapporteur, the attack in Yemen constitutes a clear case of
          extrajudicial killing.
          40. The Special Rapporteur continues to be alarmed by reports of civilians killed in the
          context of armed conflict. All parties to an armed conflict must respect the rights of the civilian
          population in accordance with international humanitarian and human rights law.
          41. The Special Rapporteur fully endorses the Secretary-General's eLorts with regard to the
          protection of civilians in armed conflict as outlined in his report released in November 2002
          (S/2002/1300). She supports the eLorts to create a culture of protection, with a view to ensuring
          the protection of the right to life of civilians in armed conflict, and urges all States to support this
          process. She welcomes the active role of the Security Council in this regard.
          42. The Special Rapporteur has followed the developments in C6te d'Ivoire with increasing
          concern. Reports of extrajudicial killings of civilians on the part of both the Government and
          rebel forces and reports of recent mass graves are a cause of great concern. On
          12 December 2002 the Special Rapporteur issued a press statement urging all parties to refrain
          from committing extrajudicial executions and recalled the need for accountability. She believes
          that the action of the international community is crucial in order to prevent further killings of
          civilians.
        
          
          E/CN.4/2003/3
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          43. During the reporting period there were disturbing reports of killings of Hindus and
          Muslims in Gujrat, India. Allegations against the State government's complicity were repeatedly
          made by Indian NGOs and national fact-ffinding missions. The Special Rapporteur drew the
          attention of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to these reports and continues to remain
          concerned, as subsequent developments suggest that the State government has not done enough
          either to protect Muslims living in Gujrat or to dispel the belief that it tolerated or colluded in the
          killings. OEe Special Rapporteur awaits the ffindings of the Nanawati Commission, which was
          established by the State government in July 2002.
          44. The Special Rapporteur continues to follow with concern the developments in Chechnya.
          Developments in Israel and Palestine, as indicated above, are also deeply disturbing. With
          regard to the situation in Afghanistan the Special Rapporteur refers to her report
          (E/CN. 4/2003/Add.4).
          D. Capital punishment
          45. In its resolution 2002/36, the Commission on Human Rights requested the Special
          Rapporteur 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.
          46. While capital punishment is not abolished under international law, it must under all
          circumstances be regarded as an extreme exception to the fundamental right to life, and as such
          must be applied in the most exceptional and restrictive manner possible. It is also imperative
          that all restrictions and fair trial standards pertaining to capital punishment contained in
          international human rights instruments be fully and consistently respected in legal proceedings
          relating to capital oLences.
          47. In the discharge of her mandate, the Special Rapporteur takes action in cases of capital
          punishment in which there is reason to believe that international restrictions, as discussed in
          previous reports of the Special Rapporteur (see E/CN.4/2002/74) and outlined above in
          section I.B, are not respected. In such cases, the carrying out of a death sentence may constitute
          a violation of the right to life.
          48. During the reporting period the Special Rapporteur transmitted letters of allegation to the
          following Governments with regard to capital punishment: China, han (Islamic Republic of),
          Iraq, Japan, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore,
          Sudan, Tajikistan, United States of America, Uzbekistan and Yemen.
          49. The imposition of the death penalty by special courts and under special laws continues,
          despite the fact that many of these courts and laws are the subject of criticism by the civil
          societies of these countries, and that bar associations in those countries consider the laws
          incompatible with human rights standards and special tribunals failing to provide due process.
          There are reports from one country alleging that torture is used to extract false confessions, on
          the basis of which a death sentence is handed down.
        
          
          E/CN. 4/2003/3
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          50. In October 2002 the Special Rapporteur was concerned at reports claiming that the
          Democratic Republic of the Congo would liifi the moratorium on executions. During the visit of
          the Special Rapporteur to the country she noted the strain under which the legal system was
          operating, and the reports of miscarriage ofjustice. In countries where the safeguards and
          restrictions placed on the application of the death penalty are not eLectively observed, it is
          desirable to abolish, or at least put in place a moratorium, on this irreversible punishment.
          51. The Special Rapporteur welcomes the developments in the Philippines where, in
          August 2002, the President decided to implement a moratorium on executions pending the
          legislature's decision on a bill abolishing the death penalty altogether. All measures abolishing
          the death penalty should be considered as progress in the universal enjoyment of the right to life.
          E. Death threats
          52. 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 either government-controlled actors are involved, or when it appears that the
          government authorities have failed to provide appropriate national protection.
          53. In this context urgent appeals were sent to the Governments of the following countries:
          Algeria, Argentina, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, China, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, India,
          Indonesia, Iraq, Jamaica, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Namibia, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru,
          Republic of Moldova, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay and Venezuela.
          54. The persons targeted are most often journalists, judges, lawyers, human rights defenders,
          trade union representatives and indigenous people. OEe Special Rapporteur is particularly
          concerned about the large number of death threats reported in Colombia, Guatemala and Mexico.
          F. Expulsion, return of persons to a country or place where their lives
          are in danger (refoulement), violations of the right to life concerning
          refugees and internafry displaced persons
          55. The Special Rapporteur notes that extrajudicial killings in the context of global migration
          have become of 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, as the world population grows. 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.
          56. The Special Rapporteur is deeply concerned at reports of deliberate attacks against
          refugees and internally displaced persons (IDP5). Such incidents have been 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. OEe 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.
        
          
          E/CN.4/2003/3
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          57. During the reporting period the Special Rapporteur addressed letters to the following
          Governments with regard to reports of extrajudicial killings in the context of migration: China,
          Colombia, Greece, Myanmar, Spain, Sweden, OEailand, OEe former Yugoslav Republic of
          Macedonia, and United Arab Emirates. The Special Rapporteur is grateful to the Government of
          Sweden which responded in great detail to her communication. It appears that the allegation was
          misleading and due care was taken by the competent authority to assess the situation.
          G. Violations of the right to life of women and children
          58. The Special Rapporteur continues to monitor closely the situation with regard to
          violations of the right to life of women and children. During the period under review, the
          Special Rapporteur transmitted urgent appeals and letters of allegation on behalf of women and
          children to the Governments of Ecuador, Nigeria, Russian Federation, Sri Lanka, Turkey and
          United Arab Emirates.
          59. The Special Rapporteur continues to receive reports of the murder of women in the name
          of honour, but she limits herself to act where the State either approves of or supports these acts
          or permits institutionalized impunity to the perpetrators, or impunity by giving tacit support to
          this criminal practice. The overwhelming number of OEonour killings” are carried out by family
          members or in conspiracy with them. Laws allowing the heirs of the victims to either accept
          compensation in place of punishment or to pardon the oLender therefore gives licence to male
          relatives to murder women on the justiffication of being oLended by their behaviour. This form
          of institutionalized impunity for the so-called OEonour killing” of women is unacceptable and is a
          violation of the right to life of a person on the basis of gender. OEe Special Rapporteur will
          closely follow the pattern of government inaction, in order to give a clearer picture through her
          report to be submitted in 2004.
          60. The Special Rapporteur is also increasingly concerned about reports of women being
          condemned to death for adultery. Nigeria and Sudan have been cases in point during the
          last 12 months. OEe oLence attributed to the accused does not constitute the most serious”
          crime as it is not an intentional crime with lethal or other extremely grave consequences nor is it
          life threatening. OEe punishment is reportedly mandatory while the safeguards with regard to the
          imposition of the death penalty cover, inter alia, the right to beneffit from a lighter penalty under
          certain circumstances. In the instant cases, according to the information of the Special
          Rapporteur, there was also a possible alternative explanation for the acts attributed to the accused
          women.
          61. With regard to children, the Special Rapporteur is particularly concerned about reports
          relating to the extrajudicial killing of street children in Guatemala and urges the Government to
          address this issue urgently.
        
          
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          H. Violations of the right to life of persons belonging to national,
          etimic, religious or linguistic minorities
          62. The Special Rapporteur acted on behalf of a variety of persons belonging to national,
          ethnic, religious and/or linguistic minorities in Algeria, Bolivia, Brazil, China, Colombia,
          Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Mexico, Pakistan,
          Saudi Arabia, OEailand and Turkey.
          63. A cause for continuing concern is the situation of indigenous communities in various
          parts of Latin America, such as Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala and Mexico. OEe Special
          Rapporteur wishes to emphasize that Governments must seek to ensure the protection of all
          citizens under their jurisdiction, regardless of ethnic origin.
          64. The Special Rapporteur also continued to monitor the situation in China with regard to
          the situation in Tibet. In December she was concerned about the sentencing to death of two
          Tibetans, Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche, also known as A An Zha Xi, and Lobsang Dhondup, also
          known as Luo Rang Deng Zhu. OEese persons were allegedly sentenced to death for causing an
          explosion. It is reported that the trial was unfair and mainly based on circumstantial evidence,
          and that the two did not have access to a lawyer during the trial. She wrote to the Government
          asking for clariffication. As the letter was sent in December, at the time of writing no response
          had been received. OEe Special Rapporteur hopes to report on the case orally in March during
          the fiifiy-ninth session of the Commission on Human Rights.
          I. Violations of the right to life of persons exercising their
          right to freedom of opinion and expression
          65. The Special Rapporteur continues to receive reports ofjournalists who are the targets of
          death threats and extrajudicial killings because of their work to uncover corruption, organized
          crime and human rights violations. She also receives reports of persons targeted because of their
          public political statements. During the period under review, the Special Rapporteur sent urgent
          appeals and letters of allegation in relation to threats against or extrajudicial killings of persons
          exercising their right to freedom of expression, mostly journalists and participants in
          demonstrations, in the following countries: Argentina, Bangladesh, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador,
          Ethiopia, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Mexico,
          Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Uruguay.
          J. Violations of the right to life of persons because of their sexual orientation
          66. The Special Rapporteur has continued to receive reports of persons having been
          subjected to death threats or extrajudicially killed because of their sexual orientation. In this
          connection, she sent a letter to the Government of Venezuela relating to reports of killings of
          three transsexual persons without a government investigation having been initiated.
          67. The Special Rapporteur is encouraged by the response of the Government of Mexico that
          reported killings of persons because of their sexual orientation are under investigation. Reports
          have been received of serious human rights violations committed in Afghanistan during the
          Taliban period, including reports of persons suspected to be homosexuals being buried alive.
        
          
          E/CN.4/2003/3
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          K. 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 United Nations human rights bodies
          68. The Special Rapporteur has continued to receive reports of death threats against or
          extrajudicial killings of human rights activists, lawyers, judges, community workers, teachers,
          journalists and other persons engaged in activities aimed at protecting and promoting human
          rights or publicizing human rights violations.
          69. The Special Rapporteur addressed letters to the following Governments with regard to
          the situation of human rights defenders whose lives were threatened or who had been
          extrajudicially killed: Algeria, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Georgia, Guatemala, Haiti,
          Honduras, Indonesia, Liberia, Mexico, Namibia, Nicaragua, Tunisia, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.
          70. With regard to the situation of human rights defenders, the situations in Colombia and
          Mexico continue to be a cause for deep concern. OEe Special Rapporteur wishes to refer to the
          report of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the situation of human rights
          defenders (E/CN. 4/2003/104).
          71. The Special Rapporteur addressed letters to the following Governments with regard to
          the situation of judges and lawyers: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico,
          Nicaragua and Venezuela. In this regard the Special Rapporteur also refers to the report of the
          Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers (E/CN.4/2003/65).
          L. Impunity, compensation and the rights of victims
          72. For a more detailed discussion regarding the issue of impunity and compensation and the
          rights of victims, the Special Rapporteur refers to her earlier reports, in which she has addressed
          these questions at length (e.g. E/CN.4/2000/3, sect. V.E and E/CN.4/2001/9, sect. V.C).
          73. Impunity for grave human rights violations which could constitute crimes against
          humanity continue to challenge the international community. There is a growing tendency to
          prioritize peace over justice which, in exceptional circumstances and for overcoming short and
          critical periods during the peace process, is understandable but it does undermine the rule of law
          and the sustainability of the peace process itself Peace and justice go hand in hand and mutually
          support one another in the process of nation-building. Peace cannot simply be equated with the
          absence of conflict, but must contain the essential element ofjustice. It is the obligation of the
          international community to end impunity for all crimes against humanity. Such grave violations
          of human rights have an impact on the lives of every citizen of the world and should therefore
          not be seen as crimes against individuals or a particular nation.
          74. In order to overcome impunity, Governments need to show both the political will and
          moral courage to confront human rights abuses by ensuring that strong, independent and
          eLective institutions and mechanisms are in place for bringing perpetrators to justice.
          Non-governmental organizations have an important advocacy role in supporting these eLorts.
          The international community also has the responsibility to combat systematic and widespread
          human rights violations by strengthening institutions with universaljurisdiction. In this regard
        
          
          E/CN. 4/2003/3
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          the coming into force of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court on 1 July 2002 is a
          very positive development. The Court has the potential to be a powerful tool in the ffight against
          impunity for grave human rights violations, including extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary
          executions. OEe Special Rapporteur again urges Governments to proceed to ratiffication as soon
          as possible.
          75. National Governments bear an equal responsibility for ending impunity for violations of
          human rights. In some countries impunity is the norm and justice an exception. OEere are
          multiple reasons for this and if the root causes are not addressed, impunity for human rights
          violations, including extrajudicial killing, will become deeply entrenched in the system.
          Impunity is oifien a direct product of laws explicitly exempting public offcials, parliamentarians
          or certain categories of State agents from accountability or prosecution for human rights abuses.
          During her visits to countries the Special Rapporteur has noted that laws providing immunity to
          parliamentarians and other public offcials have tempted many leaders of criminal gangs to enter
          politics simply to hide behind such laws. Countries facing internal unrest give security forces
          far-reaching powers without holding them accountable for their actions. In such situations
          security forces become less effective but more powerful”, leaving little scope for accountability.
          The key institution to address impunity is the judiciary, which must be supported by an
          independent investigative machinery and a fair legal system based upon universal principles of
          human rights. OEe Special Rapporteur notes that during and immediately following a conflict
          situation, the judiciary must be provided with physical security, so that judges can deliver justice
          without fear or favour.
          IV. FOLLOW-UP TO RECOMMENDATIONS
          76. In its resolution 2002/36 the Commission on Human Rights requested the Special
          Rapporteur to follow up on recommendations made in her reports after 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.
          77. The Special Rapporteur notes with appreciation that during the reporting period she has
          received detailed reports from the Governments of Mexico, Turkey and Honduras which provide
          responses and follow-up information to the conclusions and recommendations presented in her
          mission reports. While the present report cannot give complete summaries of the responses, the
          Special Rapporteur wishes to highlight a few points of each.
          78. From 12 to 24 July 1999 the Special Rapporteur conducted a mission to Mexico. By
          note verbale of 1 November 2002 the Permanent Mission of Mexico to the United Nations Offce
          at Geneva forwarded the comments of the Government of Mexico to the mission report of the
          Special Rapporteur (E/CN.4/2000/3/Add.3). The Special Rapporteur notes that the Government
          has sought to respond to most of the recommendations put forward in her report. She welcomes
          the continuation of the technical cooperation programme with OHCHR, efforts to enhance the
          dialogue with civil society, the priority given to the ffight against impunity, and the efforts made
          to build the capacity of the judiciary and the law enforcement agencies.
          79. From 19 February to 1 March 2001 the Special Rapporteur conducted amissionto
          Turkey. By note verbale of 25 October 2002 the Permanent Mission of Turkey to the
        
          
          E/CN.4/2003/3
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          United Nations Off cc at Geneva forwarded the comments of the Government of Turkey to the
          mission report of the Special Rapporteur (E/CN.4/2002/74/Add. 1). The Special Rapporteur
          welcomes the human rights provisions introduced and adopted in the new Civil Code in
          November 2002 and the amendments to the Constitution in October 2002, as well as subsequent
          changes in legislation. In particular, the Special Rapporteur welcomes the ratiffication by Turkey
          of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the
          Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and
          the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child
          prostitution and child pornography. She also welcomes the signing of two International
          Covenants on Human Rights, and urges the Government to ffinalize their ratiffication. With
          regard to the implementation of the new legislation, the Special Rapporteur intends to discuss
          these issues further with the Government in the future.
          80. From 6 to 16 August 2001 the Special Rapporteur conducted a mission to Honduras. By
          note verbale of 16 December 2002 the Permanent Mission of Honduras to the United Nations
          OLice at Geneva forwarded the comments of the Government of Honduras to the mission report
          of the Special Rapporteur (E/CN.4/2003/3/Add.2). The Special Rapporteur welcomes the
          detailed information relating to some of the individual cases of extrajudicial killings of children
          mentioned in the report. It is encouraging to know that in some cases law enforcement offcials
          have been prosecuted and sentenced for these crimes. However, she intends to follow up with
          the Government in order to determine what steps have been taken to implement her
          recommendations, as very little information in that regard is provided in the comments of the
          Government.
          81. In general, the Special Rapporteur wishes to emphasize that she plans to continue the
          dialogue with the respective Governments in the months to come.
          V. CONCLUDING REMARKS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
          82. During the last 12 months the world has generally not witnessed an improvement in
          the situation with regard to extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.
          83. Reports of past systematic and widespread extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary
          executions that may constitute crimes against humanity continue to be received from
          Afghanistan. There has been little progress in addressing the issue of transitional justice in
          the country.
          84. Resorting to extrajudicial killings in order to ffight terrorism is a worrying
          precedent and an issue of serious concern. There are also reports of Governments and
          their agents misusing their authority and using excessive force against unarmed civifans in
          the guise of ffighting against terrorism.
          85. There are growing reports of threats and extrajudicial killings of journalists. These
          must be taken notice of and specifficafry condenmed. It is also an issue of great concern that
          human rights defenders, lawyers, students, trade union off cials and judges are apparently
          being increasingly targeted.
        
          
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          86. Death threats against human rights defenders have been reported in a number of
          countries. It is alleged that these death threats are in connection with the work of the
          victims, who either expose human rights violations committed by security forces, powerful
          members of the Government or the Government itself. NGOs supporting individual
          witnesses to extrajudicial killings or torture have also reported receiving death threats.
          87. Special forces, intelligence services and the military accused of extrajudicial killings
          oifien enjoy impunity and are rarely held accountable for their acts.
          88. Deaths in custody are reported in a number of countries but appear to be more
          problematic in countries where either localized or other forms of conffcts exist and in
          countries where the democratic process has remained in its infancy. Incidents of deaths in
          custody, even in disputed circumstances, are either not investigated or poorly investigated.
          89. The death penalty continues to be applied without due care for the safeguards and
          restrictions imposed by international guidelines and customary law.
          90. Governments have begun in some cases to pay greater attention to the killing of
          women in the name of honour, but in other cases the pattern of institutionalized impunity
          continues.
          91. The recommendations presented in the Special Rapporteur's previous report
          (EICN.412002174) as weft as her report to the General Assembly (A1571138) should be
          considered as stif valid and read as part of the present report. In addition, the Special
          Rapporteur wishes to present the foftowing recommendations in the hope that they wif
          receive attention.
          92. Extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions oifien occur during the period
          leading up to a conflict and in many cases spif over into the post-conffct period. A greater
          focus and eLort need to be concentrated on preventive actions, so that violence does not
          escalate or turn into armed conflict.
          93. Many reports submitted to the United Nations, including those of aft the Special
          Rapporteurs on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, have constituted early
          warnings of deterioration in particular situations where extrajudicial, summary or
          arbitrary executions could escalate. Regrettably, these warnings have not been responded
          to eLectively. A stronger system of response to early warnings must be conceptualized and
          made eLective.
          94. The Special Rapporteur has addressed the issue of dealing with past suspected
          crimes against humanity in the report on her mission to Afghanistan.
          95. The Special Rapporteur encourages organizations of journalists to keep the
          United Nations human rights mechanisms informed of any incident of human rights
          violations, in particular death threats, imminent danger to their lives, or incidents of
          extrajudicial killings.
        
          
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          96. The miftary should be used for internal security demands as a last resort, if at aft.
          Special forces and intelligence agencies must constantly be kept in check and made
          accountable to a high-level committee or institution.
          97. When imposing or executing the death penalty, the safeguards and restrictions
          contained in international guidelines and customary law must be respected in each and
          every case.
          98. Governments must end systematic and institutional impunity for those who kill
          women in the name of honour and so-called morality.