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UN experts urge US to halt Texas execution of Roberto Moreno

UN human rights experts* have called on the US Government to halt the imminent execution of a Mexican national amid concerns that he did not receive a fair trial.

Mr. Roberto Ramos Moreno, a Mexican national, is due to be executed in Texas on 14 November 2018. He was convicted of capital murder in 1993.

Mr. Moreno has had psychosocial disabilities predating the time of offence. In such circumstances, international human rights standards prohibit the use of the death penalty.

The Texas authorities failed to notify, in a timely fashion, the Mexican consulate of his arrest, in contravention of international standards thus resulting in Mr. Moreno being denied essential assistance in crucial stages of the investigation. In addition, Mr. Moreno Ramos did not have legal representation until three months after his initial arrest, despite having requested a lawyer.

The UN’s International Court of Justice found in 2004 that the US Government had breached its obligations under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, and ordered the Government not to execute Mr. Ramos Moreno until his case had been reconsidered.

“Any death sentence carried out in contravention of a Government’s international obligations amounts to an arbitrary execution,” the experts warned. “We call for his death sentence to be annulled and for Mr. Ramos Moreno to be re-tried in compliance with due process and international fair trial standards.”

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has also called for a new trial in line with due process and fair trial standards.

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