Human rights commission attacks USA - 31 March, 2001

The Human Rights Commission meeting in Geneva called for “a universal ban on the death sentence”, a disguised attack on the USA, where in several states prisoners wait for their deaths in the so-called “death row” wing of prisons. In the United Kingdom, a case was opened this week to challenge the evidence which incriminated a man who was hanged for murder at the beginning of the 1960s. His family members claim he could not have committed the crime, although he had been guilty of criminal activity and criminal association. DNA tests are now being made after his skeleton was dug up. Jacques Chirac, the President of France, visibly disturbed by Washington’s refusal to implement the Protocol of Kyoto, sent a direct message to the USA but without mentioning names. He appealed for a universal abolition of the death sentence. “More than one hundred countries have abolished it, and every year three or four new states reinforce this position, while the conviction that in no case does the death sentence constitute an act of justice is strengthened…No justice system is infallible and every execution may kill an innocent person”. Amnesty International has also recently criticised the USA for its practice of applying the death penalty and for exporting instruments of torture.

TIMOTHY BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru LISBON