Document - Bahamas: Human Rights Council adopts Universal Periodic Review outcome on Bahamas: Amnesty International regrets rejection of recommendations to abolish the death penalty

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

PUBLIC STATEMENT


AI Index: AMR 14/002/2009

18 March 2009


Human Rights Council adopts Universal Periodic Reviewoutcome on Bahamas: Amnesty International regrets rejection of recommendations to abolish the death penalty



Amnesty International welcomes the Bahamas’ prompt ratification of the two Covenants, following the announcement in the Universal Perodic Review (UPR) Working Group of its intention to do so.1 We also note the Bahamas’ willingness to consider acceding to other human rights instruments, including the Convention against Torture, its Optional Protocol, and the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.2


Amnesty International is very disappointed, however, that the Bahamas rejected a wide range of recommendations by many states regarding the death penalty, including establishing a moratorium on executions, to ratify the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and to abolish the death penalty.3 While it is a most welcome trend that no executions have been carried out for the past nine years in the Bahamas, Amnesty International is concerned that death sentences continue to be handed down and that the authorities have recently voiced support for a resumption of hanging. Amnesty International takes this opportunity to reiterate our call to the government to repeal all provisions allowing for the death penalty and to declare a moratorium on executions.


Amnesty International welcomes the endorsement by the Bahamas of recommendations to ensure full and effective implementation of the Domestic Violence (Protection Order) Act and to address the problem of rape.4 Amnesty International recognizes that recent legislation has increased the penalty for serious sexual crimes to life imprisonment, but is concerned that recommendations by several states to criminalize marital rape were rejected.5


Finally, Amnesty International welcomes the undertaking by the Bahamas to respond promptly to concerns raised by several Special Procedures regarding conditions in the Carmichael Road Detention Centre.6 Recent reports indicate that abuses continue to take place at the facility, and Amnesty International urges the Bahamas to act swiftly on this undertaking and conduct an independent investigation into recent allegations of ill-treatment.


Background


The 10th session of the UN Human Rights Council today adopted the outcome of the Universal Periodic Review of the Bahamas. Prior to the adoption Amnesty International delivered the oral statement above.


Public Document

****************************************


For more information please call Amnesty International's press office in London, UK, on +44 20 7413 5566 or email: press@amnesty.org


International Secretariat, Amnesty International, 1 Easton St., London WC1X 0DW, UK www.amnesty.org

1 A/HRC/10/70, paragraph 18

2 Ibid, paragraph 52, sub-paragraph 2.

3 Ibid, paragraph 54, sub-paragraph 2.

4 Ibid, paragraph 52, sub-paragraphs 5 and 6.

5 Ibid, paragraph 54, sub-paragraph 2.

6 Ibid, paragraph 52, sub-paragraph 9.

How you can help

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE