Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


OHCHR Briefing Notes

OHCHR Briefing Notes

Subject: 1) Brunei penal code
2) Death penalty abolition
3) USA - execution of Mexican national

1) Brunei penal code

We are deeply concerned about the revised penal code in Brunei Darussalam, due to come into force later this month, which stipulates the death penalty for numerous offences. These include rape, adultery, sodomy, extramarital sexual relations for Muslims, insult or defamation of the Prophet Mohammad, insulting any verses of the Quran and Hadith, blasphemy, declaring oneself a prophet or non-Muslim, and for robbery and murder. Application of the death penalty for such a broad range of offences contravenes international law.

The revised code, which is expected to enter into force on April 22, also introduces stoning to death as the specific method of execution for rape, adultery, sodomy and extramarital sexual relations.

Under international law, stoning people to death constitutes torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and is thus clearly prohibited. A number of UN studies have also revealed that women are more likely to be sentenced to death by stoning, due to deeply entrenched discrimination and stereotyping against them, including among law enforcement and judicial officers.

The criminalization and application of the death penalty for consensual relations between adults in private also violates a whole host of rights, including the rights to privacy, to equality before the law, the right to health and freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention. The provisions of the revised penal code may encourage further violence and discrimination against women and also against people on the basis of sexual orientation.

The revised penal code also contains provisions that violate the rights to freedom of religion, freedom of opinion and of expression. Articles 213, 214 and 215 of the revised penal code criminalize printing, disseminating, importing, broadcasting, and distributing publications “contrary to Hukum Syara”, which literally translates as “contrary to the order of Shariah” by both Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

We urge the Government to delay the entry into force of the revised Penal Code and to conduct a comprehensive review ensuring its compliance with international human rights standards.

Brunei has maintained an effective moratorium on use of the death penalty since 1957. We urge the Government to establish a formal moratorium on the use of the death penalty and to work towards abolishing the practice altogether.

2) Death penalty abolition

On a related note, we welcome the accession of Gabon and El Salvador to the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR-OP2), aiming at the abolition of the death penalty. This brings the total number of State parties to the ICCPR-OP2 to 80.

3) USA - execution of Mexican national

We deeply regret the execution of Mexican national Ramiro Hernandez Llanas in Texas on Wednesday. Mr Hernandez-Llanas is the 16th person to have been executed in the US in 2014 and the sixth prisoner executed this year in Texas.

The UN opposes the death penalty in all circumstances as a matter of policy and principle; but, in addition, this case once again places the US in breach of international law, as Mr Hernandez was not granted consular access pursuant to Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. In 2004, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued a ruling stating that the United States must review and reconsider the cases of 51 Mexican nationals sentenced to death – including Mr Hernandez – as they had not received consular services. Under international law, the violation of the right to consular notification affects the due process; and the execution of a foreign national deprived of his rights to consular services constitutes an arbitrary deprivation of life, in contravention of articles 6 and 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which the US ratified in 1992.

It is important to recall that the execution by the State of Texas of Mr Hernandez Llanas engages the United States' international responsibility. We are once again disappointed that neither the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles nor the Governor took steps open to them to prevent this breach of US obligations under international law from occurring.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Post-Traynor: New Offender Info Sharing Plan

“This Bill delivers on that step-change by moving away from name-based records held by individual agencies to a shared, anchor identity based on unalterable information, such as fingerprints and facial recognition. It also gives agencies access to the drivers’ licence photo database and birth, death and marriages information." More>>

  • NZ Law Foundation - New $2M fund for research on information challenges
  • Littoral: New Ship To Deliver Enhanced Naval Capability

    Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says the Government has approved a Ministry of Defence and New Zealand Defence Force recommendation to request tenders for a new naval ship to support littoral operations. More>>

    July:

    After King's Labour Snub: Māori Party And Kiingitanga To Work Together

    Māori Party Co-leaders Te Ururoa Flavell and Marama Fox met with Kiingitanga representatives in Wellington yesterday to discuss working together on key issues for the betterment of Māori. More>>

    ALSO:

    Waitangi Claim On Rehabilitation: The 'Justus' System For Māori Not Good Enough

    Closing statements at the Waitangi Tribunal case against Corrections called for immediate steps and a comprehensive review to address the high rate of Māori reoffending. More>>

    ALSO:

    Advice: PM Sets Rules For Ministers' Treatment Of Public Servants

    Prime Minister John Key has laid down the law about the way ministers and public servants should interact, saying ministers may not always like the advice they receive, but they must listen to it carefully, respectfully and professionally. More>>

    Gordon Campbell: On The Funding Changes In Special Needs Education, And Uber

    The plan to strip out the educational support for older “special needs” children in order to meet the existing shortfall in funding for special needs in early childhood education is so miserly and relentlessly stupid as to defy belief… More>>

    SPECIAL EDUCATION (& More):

    Online Learning Plans:

    Post Cab Presser: Inquiries And Consciences

    This afternoon the Prime Minister John Key announced that his cabinet had drafted terms of reference for the Havelock North water contamination inquiry... In response to questions on the Shop Trading Hours Amendment Bill, the Prime Minister said he didn't think allowing National MPs a conscience vote was warranted. More>>

    ALSO:

    Statistics, Homelessness, Privacy: Auckland City Mission Data Joins Govt Research Database

    For the first time, data from an agency outside government, Auckland City Mission, will be included in Statistics New Zealand’s vault of information for researchers. Data from the Auckland City Mission is going into the “Integrated Data Infrastructure” or IDI. More>>

    Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Regional
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news