[Deathpenalty]death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Mon Feb 14 13:42:23 CST 2005
UN human rights envoy calls on Barbados not to violate laws by executing
A United Nations human rights expert has called on Barbados not to execute
a convicted prisoner whose execution was scheduled to take place today,
saying it would violate the Caribbean islands international legal
"For the past 20 years Barbados has not executed any condemned prisoner.
There are several reasons why this is not the right context in which to
usher in a policy sea change," the Special Rapporteur of the UN Commission
on Human Rights dealing with extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary
executions, Professor Philip Alston, said over the weekend.
[The country's high court today granted Mr. Atkins a stay of execution
pending a hearing by a court of appeal. He had been sentenced to hang for
a murder committed in 2000.]
"The first is that the case has yet to be heard by the Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights and the Government of Barbados has affirmed in
the past its commitment to respect the right of those sentenced to death
to petition that body. It is thus essential to await the outcome of that
Secondly, although the British Privy Council agreed last year that the
death penalty for Frederick Atkins was consistent with the constitution of
Barbados, it took pains to highlight the fact that a mandatory death
penalty clearly violated international law by ignoring extenuating
circumstances, he said.
The Privy Council in London is the court of last resort for many
Commonwealth members, including Barbados.
Executing Mr. Atkins on the basis of a mandatory death sentence provision
would be an extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary execution, the law
(source: UN News Centre)
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