THE WORLD COALITION AGAINST THE DEATH PENALTY DENOUNCES THE PROVISION OF ARAB CHARTER ON HUMAN RIGHTS REGARDING THE APPLICATION OF DEATH PENALTY FOR CHILDREN

14/02/2008
Press release
en fr

The World Coalition Against the Death Penalty (WCADP) expresses its deep concern at the fact that the Arab Charter on Human Rights, which entered into force on 24 January 2008, contains a provision that allows the application of the death penalty for children.

The WCADP notes that this provision contravenes international norms and standards, in particular article 37 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and article 6 of the International Covenant on Civic and Political Rights, which provide that a death sentence can not be imposed for crimes committed by persons below eighteen years of age. All member states of the Arab League have acceded to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and none of them has expressed reservations on its article 37.

The WCADP recalls the recent adoption by the General Assembly of the UN of a resolution that calls upon all States that still maintain capital punishment to respect international standards that provide safeguards guaranteeing the protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty, and to establish a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty.

We urge the League of Arab States to revise the Arab Charter in agreement with international standards regarding the application of the death penalty.

Background

The Arab Charter on Human Rights (ACHR) was adopted by the Council of the League of Arab States on 15 September 1994 and was further revised at the 16th Arab Summit hosted in Tunis in May 2004. It entered into force 60 days after the ratification by the seventh state, the United Arab Emirates, after ratification by Jordan, Bahrain, Algeria, Syria, Palestine and Libya.

Article 7 of the Arab Charter on Human Rights provides that “(a) Sentence of death shall not be imposed on persons under 18 years of age, unless otherwise stipulated in the laws in force at the time of the commission of the crime.” (emphasis added)

Contact : cmarcel@abolition.fr
Phone : +33 1 57 21 07 53

>> www.worldcoalition.org <<

THE WORLD COALITION AGAINST THE DEATH PENALTY The World Coalition Against the Death Penalty was created in Rome on 13 May 2002 and is composed of 64 NGOs, bar associations, local authorities and trade unions. It aims to strengthen the international dimension of the struggle against the death penalty and to contribute to bringing a definitive end to death sentences and executions. The World Coalition particularly endeavours to facilitate the creation or development of national coalitions against the death penalty. 10 October has been established as the World Day Against the Death Penalty since 2003. This totally decentralised event, which has particular presence in countries where the death penalty is still applied, invites citizens and organizations who want to say ‘NO’ to the death penalty to organise their own events on 10 October.

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