Why are many, if not the majority, of #deathpenalty cases amounting to arbitrary executions, whether carried out in #Iran, #SaudiArabia the #UnitedStates or elsewhere? This is a long thread providing some explanations.
International law imposes severe restrictions on the use of death penalty and demands strict safeguards. Non-compliance with these restrictions and safeguards leads to arbitrary and thus unlawful deprivation of life.
The imposition of #deathpenalty in a manner that is contrary to the International Covenant on Civil or Political Rights (e.g. fair trial, prohibition against torture, prohibition against discrimination, etc.) would automatically translate into the execution being deemed arbitrary
The fact that death penalty is carried out through a legal process does NOT make it lawful under international law. Only full respect for stringent due process guarantees distinguishes capital punishment as possibly permitted under international law from an arbitrary execution.
a) Death penalty that is imposed when the guilt of the person is NOT based upon clear, convincing evidence, when there are alternative explanation, when there are any doubts, even small, regarding the evidence, will render the execution arbitrary.
b) Death penalty carried out on the basis of confessions extracted under torture or inhuman, degrading or ill treatment would inevitably render the execution arbitrary in nature.
c) Death Penalty many only be imposed for the “most serious crimes,” which has been translated to mean intentional killing. Death penalty imposed for a crime other than intentional killing will result in the execution being arbitrary in nature.
d) Anyone sentenced to death has the right to seek pardon, commutation of the sentence and amnesty, all of which may be granted. Any death sentence carried out BEFORE such rights have been exercised will render the execution arbitrary.
e) #Deathpenalty shall not be carried out pending any appeal or other recourse procedure. If it is nevertheless carried out, it would amount to an arbitrary execution.
f) Death penalty carried out in a cruel manner, amounting to torture or ill treatment would inevitably render the execution arbitrary in nature. The cruelty goes beyond the execution itself and include the physical/mental sufferings while being on the death row.
g) Death penalty carried out against individuals who were children (under 18 years old) at the time of their crime, or against people with mental disability, is prohibited. If carried out, such execution will be arbitrary.
The death penalty cannot be reconciled with full respect for the right to life. Abolition of the death penalty is both desirable and necessary for the enhancement of human dignity and progressive development of human rights.

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More from @AgnesCallamard

17 Sep
چرا بسیاری از اعدام‌ها و احتمالاً اکثر آنها، به اعدام‌های خودسرانه تبدیل می‌شود؟
حقوق بین الملل محدودیت‌های بسیار جدی‌ای بر مجازات اعدام اعمال می‌کند و تضمین‌های قانونی اکید و بی چون وچرایی نیز در مراحل مختلف دادرسی و صدور حکم، الزام می‌دارد./1
عدم رعایت این محدودیت‌ها و تضمین‌ها به سلب خودسرانه و در نتیجه غیرقانونیِ حیات از فرد منتج می‌گرد.
اعمال مجازات اعدام به گونه‌ای که مفاد دیگری از میثاق بین المللی حقوق مدنی و سیاسی را نقض کند (حق بر دادرسی عادلانه، ممنوعیت شکنجه، ممنوعیت اعمال تبعیض و غیره)،/2
به خودی خود، موجب می‌شود اعدام مورد نظر خودسرانه تلقی گردد.
به موجب حقوق بین الملل، مجازات اعدام به صِرف این که پس از طی مراحل قانونی اعمال می‌شود، قانونی نیست.
تنها رعایِت تضمین‌های دقیق، سختگیرانه و انعطاف ناپذیرِ تشریفات قانونی است که/3
Read 10 tweets
25 Aug
Long thread on the human rights situation in the #Philippines. My heart cries out for #ZaraAlvarez, for her family, her friends, her colleagues, the people she served. WHAT WILL IT TAKE FOR THESE KILLINGS TO STOP? HOW MUCH MORE SORROW, GRIEF, PAIN CAN THE PEOPLE ENDURE?
The war on drugs is in fact a war on the poor and it also turns out to be a war on dissent. The poison unleashed 4 years ago has spread, devouring more people and more regions, urban and rural areas, city dwellers and poor farmers alike.
One year ago, 11 @UN_SPExperts called on the Human Rights Council to establish an independent investigation into human rights violations in the Philippines. Last June, there were 33 of us, calling yet again for an international investigation into human rights in the #Philippines
Read 13 tweets
19 Aug
Today 45 migrants and refugees died off Libyan coast; one 16 year old Sudanese boy died off the French coast. These are all unlawful deaths, which engage the responsibility of European and British Governments to respect or protect the right to life. WHY? uk.reuters.com/article/uk-lib…
First, to avoid migration across their borders, the EU/UK rely on the policy of extraterritoriality to stop migrants before they reach their territory. Such policies include assisting, funding or training Libyan agencies to arrest, detain, rescue or disembark refugees/migrants
There is plenty of evidence proving that Libyan authorities and armed groups are responsible for serious human rights violations, including violations of the right to life., of migrants.
Read 14 tweets
8 Jul
My latest report to the UN #HRC44 focus on targeted killings by armed drones: ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Exec… The world has entered a “second drone age”, in which State and non-State actors are deploying ever more advanced drone technologies, a major international, security issue.
As of 2020, at least 102 countries have acquired an active military drone inventory, and 20 armed non-State actors reportedly have obtained armed and unarmed drone systems. This expanding use of drones is accompanied by an increasing disregard of central int'l law principles.
To justify extraterritorial drones use of force, some States have reinterpreted the law of self-defence by distorting the notion of “imminent” attacks and the principle of State sovereignty. Low-intensity conflicts are drawn-out with few if any geographical or temporal boundaries
Read 7 tweets
31 May
Police Use of force should be guided by the principles of legality, necessity, proportion, precaution and non-discrimination. These are fundamental principles of international human rights law that should bind all states. But they are not the norms in the #USA. #ICantBreath
The use of lethal force in the US is heavily decentralised. There is no federal law. It is regulated at State and municipal level and does not meet international standards which require that lethal force be the exception and only when strictly necessary to protect life.
In the US police can use lethal force where it is ‘reasonable’ on the basis of the severity of the crime at issue, if there is an immediate threat to the safety of officers or others, if he/she is resisting arrest, if there is probable cause of serious physical harm.
Read 7 tweets
3 Jan
#Pentagon statement on targeted killing of #suleimani: 1. It mentions that it aimed at “deterring future Iranian attack plans”. This however is very vague. Future is not the same as imminent which is the time based test required under international law. (1)
2. Overall, the statement places far greater emphasis on past activities and violations allegedly commuted by Suleimani. As such the killing appears far more retaliatory for past acts than anticipatory for imminent self defense.
3. The notion that Suleimani was “actively developing plans” is curious both from a semantic and military standpoint. Is it sufficient to meet the test of mecessity and proportionality?
Read 4 tweets

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