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USA: Lethal Double Standards

USA: Lethal Double Standards -- Mexican National Facing Execution In Texas Tonight

News Release Issued by the International Secretariat of Amnesty International

9 November 2000 AMR 51/168/2000 213/00

As the USA waits to learn who its 43rd President will be, US executioners are preparing to carry out their 75th execution of the year, Amnesty International warned today, as it continued to call on Texas Governor George W Bush to prevent the lethal injection of Miguel Flores in Texas this evening.

“Governor Bush can stop this killing,"Amnesty International said. “He should do so in the name of his country’s international reputation and its treaty obligations."

As a Mexican national, Miguel Flores should have been promptly informed upon arrest of his right to seek consular assistance. He was denied this international treaty right, a right the USA expects other countries to respect when US nationals are arrested abroad.

“If it was a US citizen facing execution abroad tonight in similar circumstances, there is surely little doubt that Governor Bush would be among those protesting vigorously," Amnesty International said.

Yesterday, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles voted against clemency, leaving Governor Bush the option of granting the prisoner a 30-day reprieve.

“The governor should grant the reprieve and ask the board to reconsider its decision," Amnesty International said.

Calls for clemency have come from the governments of Mexico, Spain, Argentina, Poland, as well as from the 15 member European Union. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has called for the execution to be halted. On Tuesday, the US Department of State wrote to the Texas parole board urging A careful consideration of Miguel Flores’ request for clemency.

If Flores is executed, he would become the 35th prisoner put to death in Texas this year. Amnesty International members worldwide continue to appeal for the execution to be stopped.

“The international human rights reputation of the USA will continue to plummet as executions accelerate," Amnesty International said, noting that more than 20 prisoners are already scheduled to be executed in the United States before the end of January. “Governor Bush can make an immediate start to repairing the damage by stopping tonight’s execution.

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