World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Pillay dismayed at resumption of executions in Afghanistan

Pillay dismayed at sudden resumption of executions in Afghanistan

Geneva, 22 November 2012 - The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Thursday expressed serious concern about the executions of 14 prisoners at the Pul-e-Charkhi prison on the outskirts of Kabul on 20 and 21 November.

President Karzai reportedly approved the executions following a review of their cases by a Presidential committee established to review the cases of more than 250 prisoners sentenced to death. Those executed were convicted of serious crimes, including murder, rape and national security crimes. The last such execution in Afghanistan was carried out in June 2011.

Deficiencies in Afghanistan’s judicial procedures raise serious concerns about the trials of those who were sentenced to death. The United Nations has repeatedly raised concerns about the justice system in Afghanistan, particularly its routine failure to meet international fair trial standards and due process guarantees under Afghan law. Afghanistan’s justice system relies primarily on confessions, including some obtained through the use of torture.

“Under international law and Afghanistan’s own treaty obligations, the death penalty must be reserved for the most serious crimes and only applied after the most rigorous judicial process,” the High Commissioner said. “In the past, shortcomings in the Afghan judicial procedure have raised serious questions about such cases.”

The resumption of executions in Afghanistan comes in sharp contrast to the general trend world-wide towards ending the use of capital punishment. Just two days ago, in New York, a record 110 countries voted in favour of the latest General Assembly resolution calling for the abolition of the death penalty.

Around 150 countries have either abolished capital punishment or have instituted a moratorium. An increasingly large number of countries have acknowledged that the death penalty undermines human dignity, and that its abolition, or at least a moratorium on its use, contributes to the enhancement and progressive development of human rights.

“Afghans have already suffered the brutalizing effects of decades of war and the right to life -- the most fundamental of all human rights -- is in desperate need of reinforcement in a country plagued by killing and violence,” the High Commissioner said. “More and more countries are recognizing that the death penalty does harm to society. I urge President Karzai to show that the rule of law can also be built on clemency and humanity, and that Afghanistan too will join the worldwide trend against the death penalty.”

In a separate development, the High Commissioner also added her disappointment at the execution in India of Mohammad Ajmal Amir Qasab who was convicted for his role in the terrorist attack on Mumbai in 2008. This is the first execution carried out in India since 2004.

"There can be no question of the gravity of the crimes committed in Mumbai, but in equally serious crimes, International Tribunals have imposed sentences of life imprisonment," the High Commissioner said. "The Supreme Court of India has sanctioned the death penalty in only the 'rarest of the rare' cases, but I hope that India too will move towards total abolition."

UN Human Rights Country Page – Afghanistan: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/AsiaRegion/Pages/AFIndex.aspx

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Palestine: Border Police Extremely Close When They Shot The US Activist

New testimony at final hearing in Tristan Anderson's trial indicates Border Police were extremely close when they shot the US activist in the head More>>

Palestine: Ni’lin Demonstrators Met With Violence

International Solidarity Movement On the 20th of March, during Ni’lin’s weekly Friday demonstration, Israeli occupation forces attacked protestors with about 20 rounds of tear gas canisters shot with the ‘venom’ tear gas launcher mounted on a military jeep ... More>>

ALSO:

UN Envoy Says Yemen On 'Rapid Downward Spiral'

Yemen stands on the brink of civil war amid deepening political tensions and an uptick in sectarian violence, United Nations Special Adviser Jamal Benomar warned today as he explained that only through dialogue could the country achieve a peaceful political transition. More>>


Continued International Support As Vanuatu Recovers

Damage seen on Saturday 14 March 2015 in Port Vila, capital of Vanuatu, after Cyclone Pam moved through the Archipelago. Photo: UNICEF Pacific More>>

UNICEF Rushes Emergency Supplies For Cyclone-Affected Tuvalu

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) is dispatching emergency life-saving supplies to communities in Tuvalu as part of its efforts to assist communities in the Pacific region that were affected by Tropical Cyclone Pam, with nutrition and hygiene kits arriving today. More>>

Vanuatu: Regenvanu Expects 50% Of People Struck By Pam To Be Homeless

Vanuatu Minister of Lands Ralph Regenvanu says more than 50 percent of those hit by super Cyclone Pam at the weekend are now homeless. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news