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Trinidad & Tobago: Further information on death penalty: Anthony Briggs

, Index number: AMR 49/013/1999

Anthony Briggs's motion challenging the constitutionality of executing him was dismissed by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council on 22 July and he is therefore at risk of imminent execution.

PUBLIC AI Index: AMR 49/13/99
22 July 1999
Further information on EXTRA 73/99 (AMR 49/08/99, 18 June 1999) and follow-up
(AMR 49/10/99, 21 June 1999) - Death Penalty and new concern: imminent execution
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGOAnthony Briggs
Anthony Briggs’s motion challenging the constitutionality of executing him
was dismissed by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC - Trinidad
and Tobago’s highest appeal court, located in London) on 22 July. The ruling
means that he is no longer protected by a stay of execution, and he is therefore
at risk of imminent execution.
The JCPC ruled that it would not be unconstitutional to execute him, even though
the Inter-American Court on Human Rights has ordered the government of Trinidad
and Tobago to preserve his life “until such time as the Court...issues a decision
on the matter.”
The JCPC has said it will provide full reasons for its decision at a later
date.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/faxes/express/airmail
letters in English or your own language:
- urging the government not to issue a warrant for the execution of Anthony
Briggs;
-reminding the government that despite the ruling of the Judicial Committee
of the Privy Council, the government is obliged under international law to
comply with the order of the Inter-American Court on Human Rights to preserve
his life;
- pointing out that taking steps to execute Anthony Briggs while the order
is still in place would violate the government’s international obligations
to the Inter-American Court on Human Rights and seriously undermine the
inter-American system for human rights protection which has been built up over
the past 50 years;
- urging the government to implement the recommendation of the Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights to provide effective remedy for violations of his
rights guaranteed by the American Convention on Human Rights, including
commutation of his sentence;
- reminding the government that despite its withdrawal from the American
Convention on Human Rights and its withdrawal of the jurisdiction of the
Inter-American Court on Human Rights on 26 May 1999, it is obliged to provide
effective remedy for violations of the American Convention on Human Rights
that occurred before that date, and is still obliged to comply with the
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Inter-American Court on Human
Rights in cases filed with those bodies before 26 May 1999;
- pointing out that the death penalty is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and
degrading punishment, which violates the right to life and has a brutalizing
effect on all involved in its application.
APPEALS TO:
Prime Minister
The Rt. Hon. Basdeo Panday
Office of the Prime Minister
Level 19, Central Bank Tower, Eric Williams Plaza, Independence Square
Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
Telegrams:Prime Minister, Port of Spain, Trinidad/Tobago
2
Faxes:+ 1 868 627 3444
Salutation:Dear Prime Minister
Attorney General
The Hon. Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj, Ministry of the Attorney General,
Winsure Building, 24-28 Richmond Street, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
Telegrams:Attorney General, Port of Spain, Trinidad/Tobago
Faxes:+ 1 868 625 0470 / 6530
Salutation:Dear Attorney General
COPIES TO:
Minister of National Security
Senator The Hon. Joseph Theodore, Ministry of National Security
18 Knox Street, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
Faxes: + 1 868 627 8044
The President
The Hon. Arthur Napoleon Robinson
President of the Republic
The President’s House, Circular Road, St. Ann’s, Port of Spain
Trinidad and Tobago
Faxes: + 1 868 625 7950
and to diplomatic representatives of Trinidad and Tobago accredited to your
country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 22 August 1999.

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