Document - Guyana: Further information on death penalty: Rockliffe Ross
EXTERNALAI Index: AMR 35/08/96
6 June 1996
Further information on EXTRA 20/96 (AMR 35/03/96, 9 February 1996) and follow-up (AMR 35/04/96, 12 February and AMR 35/07/96, 25 March) - Death Penalty
Amnesty International has learned, with very deep regret, that Rockliffe Ross was executed on 4 June, despite the fact that he had an application pending before the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Committee. Before Rockliffe Ross was hanged a communication from the UN Human Rights Centre in Geneva had reportedly been transmitted to Guyana, under Rule 86 of the Committee's Rules of Procedure, requesting the Government of Guyana not to carry out the death sentence while the application was under examination by the Committee.
In 1993 the Government of Guyana acceded to the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, giving individuals in Guyana the right to submit applications to the Human Rights Committee.
This is the second execution to have taken place this year in Guyana since hangings were resumed, after a break of more than five years, with the execution of Ayube Khan on 12 February.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express/ airmail letters in English or in your own language:
- expressing deep regret at the execution of Rockliffe Ross;
- expressing serious concern that the execution went ahead despite a pending application to the UN Human Rights Committee, the right to which was guaranteed to citizens of Guyana when the Government acceded to the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in 1993;
- stressing that the Government of Guyana, by failing to respect its obligations under this treaty, has seriously undermined its reputation in the area of human rights protection both regionally and internationally;
- urging that steps be taken to ensure Guyana will respect its obligations under international law with regard to other cases currently before the Human Rights Committee and in the future;
- urging that no further executions be carried out and that all death sentences be commuted;
if possible, also:
- making some or all of the following general points about the death penalty: the death penalty has never been shown to deter crime more effectively than other punishment; it has a brutalizing effect upon all those who are involved in the process; execution is irrevocable and, despite the most stringent judicial safeguards, can be inflicted on the innocent.
H.E. Dr Cheddi D. Jagan
Office of the President
New Garden Street
Telegrams: Executive President, Georgetown, Guyana
Faxes: +592 2 69969 (if this number does not work, send faxes via the Head of the Presidential Secretariat at: +592 2 63395, marked for the attention of: H.E. Dr Cheddi D. Jagan, Executive President)
Salutation: Your Excellency
Bernard C. De Santos
Attorney General and
Minister of Legal Affairs
Telegrams: Attorney General, Georgetown, Guyana
Faxes: +592 2 50732
Salutation: The Honourable Bernard De Santos
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Office of the President
New Garden And South Streets
Faxes: +592 2 59192
Lama Avenue, Bel Air Park
Faxes: +592 2 75208
The Stabroek News
46-47 Robb Street
Faxes: +592 2 54637
and to diplomatic representatives of Guyana accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY.