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Lebanon: Further information on death penalty: Husam 'Ali al-Naser

, Index number: MDE 18/001/1995

Husam 'Ali al-Naser was executed by firing squad on 12 January 1995.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: MDE 18/01/95
Distr: UA/SC
12 January 1995
Further information on UA 445/94 (MDE 18/10/94, 15 December 1994) - Death Penalty
LEBANON Husam 'Ali al-Naser, aged 25
Amnesty International has learned with deep regret that Husam 'Ali al-Naser
was executed by firing squad at dawn on 12 January 1995. He had been sentenced
to death by a military court in November 1993 for premeditated murder.
This is the first execution in Lebanon in 1995 and is the fifth known to Amnesty
International since executions were resumed by the state in April 1994 after
11 years. In March, the death penalty for murder with intent, and for murder
with a political motive, was introduced (it had previously been applied solely
in cases of premeditated murder).
Following this expansion in the death penalty, Amnesty International expressed
its regret to the Lebanese authorities, urging them to review all legislation
providing for the death penalty in order to reduce the number of capital offences
with a view to abolishing the death penalty.
In a response to the organization in July, the Minister of Justice said that
it was "inexact and inadmissible to pretend that Lebanon is committing a human
rights violation by providing for the death penalty for certain crimes", stating
that "the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights [ICCPR], Article
6, Paragraph 2, expressly authorizes the death penalty for the most serious
crimes".
Amnesty International does not condone violent crimes such as murder and
recognizes the responsibility of governments to bring the perpetrators of such
crimes to justice. However, it opposes the death penalty in all cases as a
violation of the fundamental right to life and the right not to be subjected
to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment as recognized in the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights. There is no reliable evidence that
the death penalty helps to prevent other serious harm, for example by deterring
crimes. The risk of error is inescapable, yet the penalty is irrevocable.
No measure that may be devised can ever make it less inhumane.
While the ICCPR does not expressly forbid the use of the death penalty, Article
6 affirms that "every human being has the inherent right to life". In 1977,
the United Nations (UN) General Assembly reaffirmed that "...the main objective
to be pursued in the field of capital punishment is that of progressively
restricting the number of offences for which the death penalty may be imposed
with a view to the desirability of abolishing this punishment".
Amnesty International continues to call for an end to executions in Lebanon,
for all current death sentences to be commuted and for legislation providing
for the death penalty to be abolished.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and
airmail letters either in Arabic, French, English or your own language:
- expressing deep regret at the execution of Husam 'Ali al-Naser on 12 January
1995;
- calling for all outstanding death sentences to be commuted;
- urging that all legislation providing for the death penalty be reviewed,
2
drawing attention to world trends to abolish or reduce the death penalty, in
accordance with Article 6 of the ICCPR, to which Lebanon is a state party;
- urging the Lebanese authorities to consider signing the Second Optional
Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aimed
at the abolition of the death penalty.
APPEALS TO:
1. President Elias Hrawi
Presidential Palace
Ba'abda
Lebanon
Telegrams: President Hrawi, Beirut, Lebanon
Telexes: 21000
Faxes: +961-1-425-393
Salutation: His Excellency
2. Prime Minister Rafik Hariri
Office of the Prime MInister
Beirut
Lebanon
Telegrams: Prime Minister Hariri, Beirut, Lebanon
Salutation: His Excellency
3. Minister of Defence Mohsen Dalloul
Ministry of Defence
Yarzeh, Beirut
Lebanon
Telegrams: Defence Minister Dalloul, Beirut, Lebanon
Telexes: 20901
Salutation: His Excellency
4. Minister of Justice Bahij Tabbareh
Rue Sami Solh
Beirut
Lebanon
Telegrams: Justice Minister Tabbara, Beirut, Lebanon
Salutation: His Excellency
COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO:
Nabih Berri
Speaker
National Assembly
Beirut
Lebanon
and to diplomatic representatives of Lebanon accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY.

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