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Economic and Social Council - 29 maggio 1987
RESOLUTION 1987/60
Member Name E87r060

29 May 1987

18th plenary meeting

Summary or arbitrary executions

The Economic and Social Council,

Recalling the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which guarantees the right to life, liberty and security of person,

Having regard to the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, in which it is stated that every human being has the inherent right to life, that this right shall be protected by law, and that no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life,

Recalling General Assembly resolution 34/175 of 17 December 1979, in which the Assembly reaffirmed that mass and flagrant violations of human rights were of special concern to the United Nations and urged the Commission on Human Rights to take timely and effective action in existing and future cases of mass and flagrant violations of human rights,

Mindful of General Assembly resolutions 36/22 of 9 November 1981, 37/182 of 17 December 1982, 38/96 of 16 December 1983, 39/110 of 4 December 1984, 40/143 of 13 December 1985 and 41/144 of 4 December 1986,

Taking note of resolution 1982/13 of 7 September 1982 of the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, in which the Sub-Commission recommended that effective measures should be adopted to prevent the occurrence of summary or arbitrary executions,

Welcoming Economic and Social Council resolution 1984/50 of 25 May 1984, and the safeguards guaranteeing protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty set out in the annex thereto, which were endorsed by the Seventh United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders in its resolution 15, as well as the ongoing work on summary and arbitrary executions done by the Committee on Crime Prevention and Control,

Recognizing the need for closer co-operation between the Centre for Human Rights, the Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Branch of the Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs and the Committee on Crime Prevention and Control in efforts to bring an end to summary or arbitrary executions,

Deeply alarmed at the occurrence on a large scale of summary or arbitrary executions, including extra-legal executions,

Convinced of the need for appropriate action to combat and eventually eliminate the abhorrent practice of summary or arbitrary executions, which represents a flagrant violation of the most fundamental right, the right to life,

1. Strongly condemns, once again, the large number of summary or arbitrary executions, including extra-legal executions, which continue to take place in various parts of the world;

2. Appeals urgently to Governments, United Nations bodies, the specialized agencies, regional intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations to take effective action to combat and eliminate summary or arbitrary executions, including extra-legal executions;

3. Takes note with appreciation of the report of Mr. S. Amos Wako, Special Rapporteur, and welcomes his recommendations with a view to eliminating summary or arbitrary executions, in particular the recommendations that Governments:

(a) Ratify international human rights instruments, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, including the Optional Protocol thereto, and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment;

(b) Review national laws and regulations with a view to strengthening the preventive measures against deaths caused by illegal or excessive use of force by security, law enforcement or other government officials;

(c) Review the machinery for investigation of deaths under suspicious circumstances in order to secure an impartial, independent investigation on such deaths, including an adequate autopsy;

(d) Review the trial procedures of tribunals, including those of special tribunals, in order to ensure that they embody adequate safeguards to protect the rights of the accused in the trial proceedings, as stipulated in the relevant international instruments;

(e) Emphasize the importance of the right to life in the training of all law enforcement personnel and inculcate in them respect for life;

that international organizations:

(a) Strengthen their co-ordination in dealing with the immediate problems and the root causes of summary or arbitrary executions, in particular by sharing information, publications, studies and expertise;

(b) Make a concerted effort to draft international standards designed to ensure proper investigation by appropriate authorities into all cases of suspicious death, including provisions for an adequate autopsy; and that, in addition, Governments, individually and through the international community, should support and encourage peace initiatives and political solutions to situations of armed conflict; they should be encouraged to take appropriate and effective measures, at the national, regional and international levels, to combat terrorism and/or terrorist acts; and should also be encouraged to enter into bilateral or regional agreements with a view to extending mutual assistance and co-operation to enhance the capacity of their authorities to safeguard the individual's right to life; at the international level, organs within the United Nations system should take action with a view to assisting Governments to reconstruct the infrastructure that would enable the authorities concerned to carry out effectively

their basic obligation to protect the right to life of individuals in their societies;

4. Decides to renew the mandate of the Special Rapporteur, Mr. S. Amos Wako, for another year, in order to enable him to submit further conclusions and recommendations to the Commission;

5. Requests the Special Rapporteur in carrying out his mandate to continue to examine situations of summary or arbitrary executions;

6. Requests the Special Rapporteur in carrying out his mandate to respond effectively to information that comes before him, in particular when a summary or arbitrary execution is imminent or threatened or when such an execution has occurred;

7. Endorses the recommendation of the Special Rapporteur on the need to develop international standards designed to ensure effective legislation and on other domestic measures so that proper investigations, including provisions for an adequate autopsy, are conducted by appropriate authorities into all cases of suspicious death;

8. Invites again the Special Rapporteur to receive information from appropriate United Nations agencies and other international organizations and to examine the elements to be included in such standards, and to report to the Commission on Human Rights on progress made in this respect;

9. Requests the Secretary-General to continue to provide all necessary assistance to the Special Rapporteur;

10. Urges all Governments and all others concerned to co-operate with and assist the Special Rapporteur so that he may carry out his mandate effectively;

11. Again requests the Secretary-General to continue to use his best endeavours in cases where the minimum standard of legal safeguards provided for in articles 6, 14 and 15 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights appears not to be respected;

12. Requests the Commission on Human Rights to consider the question of summary or arbitrary executions as a matter of high priority at its forty-fourth session under the item entitled "Question of the violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms in any part of the world, with particular reference to colonial and other dependent countries and territories".

 
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