United Nations

USA Violates International Law; Executes Mexican Citizen – Ramiro Hernandez

April 12, 2014

The United States has once again violated international law, with its execution of Mexican citizen Ramiro Hernandez, who was denied the consular attention included in a Vienna convention, the United Nations charged today.

“Mr. Hernandez did not have consular access, established in Article 36 of the Vienna Convention for Consular Affairs,” OHCHR spokesperson Rupert Colville told the press.

Colville recalled that in 2004 at the U.N. headquarters in Geneva, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued a resolution noting that the United States should review and reconsider the cases of 51 Mexicans sentenced to death, including the case of Hernandez, since they had not received the required assistance.

Under international law, the violation of the right to consular notification affects due process, so, we are witnessing a new case of arbitrary deprivation of life by a signing country, since 1992, of the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights”, Colville highlighted.

The spokesperson said Wednesday’s execution, which took place in Texas was regrettable.

This is the 16th time the United States has applied the death penalty this year; the 6th in Texas. The U.N. opposes this punishment under any circumstance, but even more so in the recent case due to the aforementioned violations, Colville stressed.


(source: plenglish.com)


At UN, French minister meets with ex-death row inmate

September 27, 2012 AFP

NEW YORK — France’s foreign minister met Thursday with a former US death row inmate as he launched a campaign at the United Nations calling for a universal ban on executions.

Laurent Fabius spoke for half an hour with Kirk Bloodsworth, an American sentenced to death for the murder of a young girl before being the first to be exonerated by a DNA test after nine years behind bars.

The minister praised the courage of the wrongfully convicted man, who has campaigned against capital punishment since his 1993 release.

“It’s an issue dear to our hearts because the death penalty is inefficient, irreversible and inhumane,” Fabius said.

“There’s no better place than the United Nations to launch this fight.”

He spoke after meeting with his counterpart from Benin, Nassirou Arifari Bako, as well as some 50 countries on the sidelines of the annual United Nations General Assembly to convince them of the need to abolish the death penalty.

Other international gatherings are planned in the context of the campaign, including one in Paris on October 9 followed by others in Rabat and Madrid, according to Fabius.

France, which abolished capital punishment in 1981, is a major proponent of abolishing the death penalty, with media regularly reporting about executions. During their meeting, Bloodsworth thanked Fabius for the country’s efforts.

In a recent interview with AFP in his small apartment in Mount Rainer, near the northeastern city of Baltimore, Kirksworth spoke of nightmares that still haunt him to this day.

“I used to have very bad dreams, sweating, screaming,” he said. “I’d wake up thinking they’d drag me to the gas chamber.”

After being pardoned by the governor of Maryland and receiving $300,000 for his lost years — a sum he said that constituted about $3.72 an hour — Bloodsworth now takes his message to schools, universities and even to the world stage at the United Nations.

“Obviously my biggest reason for ending the death penalty is that we could execute an innocent person, we’ve already done that,” he said. “I believe in punishment but the death penalty is not right, not in a country that has so many different ways to take care of prisoners.”