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El Salvador: death penalty: Attempts to reinstate the death penalty

, رقم الوثيقة: AMR 29/001/1995

The ruling party in El Salvador, the Alianza Republicana Nacionalista, ARENA, is about to submit a proposal to the Asamblea Legislativa which would reinstate the death penalty. Should this proposal be approved, El Salvador would be violating its international commitments, as a party to the American Convention on Human Rights.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 29/01/95
Distr: UA/SC
UA 118/95 Death penalty 25 May 1995
EL SALVADOR Attempts to reinstate the death penalty
The ruling party in El Salvador, the Alianza Republicana Nacionalista, ARENA,
Nationalist Republic Alliance, is about to submit a proposal to the Asamblea
Legislativa (Legislative Assembly) which would reinstate the death penalty.
Should this proposal be approved, El Salvador would be violating its
international commitments, as it is a party to the American Convention on Human
Rights which states in Article 4 (3): "The death penalty shall not be
re-established in states that have abolished it".
The death penalty was abolished in El Salvador in 1983 for all but exceptional
crimes. Under Article 27 of the 1983 Constitution it can only be imposed during
times of international war on those convicted of certain offences defined in
the Military Code, such as treason, desertion, espionage and sedition.
In April 1995 a group of deputies of the ruling ARENA decided to propose a
constitutional reform to reinstate the death penalty for, among other things,
murder, kidnapping and rape. The initiative was allegedly in response to a
perceived increase in criminal activity in the country. The reform needs,
in the first instance, the support of 43 out of the 84 Deputies to be approved;
it must then be ratified by two-thirds of the next elected Assembly (56
Deputies) before it can come into force. According to press reports, 41
deputies would vote in favour of the proposal at present.
Amnesty International opposes the death penalty as a violation of the right
to life and the right not to be subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment
or punishment as proclaimed in Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/faxes/airmail letters either in
Spanish or in your own language:
- expressing deep concern about the proposed constitutional reform to
reintroduce the death penalty in El Salvador;
- stressing that the death penalty is not effective in combatting crime,
mentioning that various studies undertaken on the subject have shown that it
does not have a deterrent effect;
- noting that El Salvador would be infringing its international commitments
if the proposal is approved by the Legislative Assembly; quote Article 4 of
the American Convention on Human Rights ratified by El Salvador in June 1978;
- calling on members of the Legislative Assembly, through its president and
vice-president, to oppose any attempt to reintroduce the death penalty in El
Salvador.
APPEALS TO
Please organize equal numbers of appeals to address 1 and 2 (ruling party and
oppostion)
1) President of the Legislative Assembly
Señorita Gloria Salguero Gross
Presidenta de la Asamblea Legislativa
2
Honorable Asamblea Legislativa
Centro de Gobierno
San Salvador, El Salvador
Telegrams: Presidenta Asamblea Legislativa, San Salvador, El Salvador
Faxes: + 503 271 1143
Salutation: Señora Presidenta de la Asamblea Legislativa
2) Vice President of the Legislative Assembly
Señora Ana Guadalupe Martinez
Vice Presidenta de la Asamblea Legislativa
Honorable Asamblea Legislativa
Centro de Gobierno
San Salvador, El Salvador
Telegrams: Vice Presidenta Asamblea Legislativa, San Salvador, El Salvador
Faxes: + 503 271 0517
Salutation: Señora Vice Presidenta de la Asamblea Legislativa
COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO:
1) Human rights organizations
Señores
IEJES
Calle Sisimiles
Av. Las Anturias Nº 194
San Salvador, El Salvador
Señores
Centro de Promoción de los Derechos
Humanos "Madeleine Lagadec"
Colonia Universitaria
Calle Universitaria Nº 9
Mexicanos, San Salvador, El Salvador
2) Daily newspapers
Diario Latino
6ª Avenida Norte, 325
San Salvador
El Salvador
La Prensa Gráfica
3ª Calle Poniente Nº 130
San Salvador
El Salvador
and to diplomatic representatives of El Salvador accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 15 July 1995.

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