Statement delivered by Mr. Christian Guillermet, Viceminister of Foreign Affairs of Costa Rica
During HRC52, High-Level Panel on Death Penalty (from the floor)
Tuesday 28 February 2023, 10am CET
I deliver this statement on behalf of a cross regional group of 54 countries. The complete version of this statement and the complete list is in Extranet.
In light of today’s discussion related to limiting the death penalty to the most serious crimes, we recall States’ obligations under the ICCPR, under which countries that have not yet abolished the death penalty, can only apply it for offences that amount to the most serious crimes, and observing the procedural guarantees prescribed in the Covenant.
We are deeply concerned by the use of the death penalty in Iran. S
everal hundred people were reportedly executed in Iran last year, including juvenile offenders.
In recent months, Iran has handed down or sought to impose death sentences against dozens of individuals arrested in connection with their participation in protests following the death in custody of Jina Mahsa Amini.
We are concerned by the nature of the offences for which the death penalty was applied, the speed of the trials, lack of transparency, and credible reports that defendants did not have proper access to lawyers of their choosing and were subject to torture or other inhumane treatment.
The death penalty must not be instrumentalized by any State to punish individuals participating in protests and to strike fear into the population with the aim of chilling dissent.
We note the High Commissioner’s call on Iran (and I quote) “to respect the lives and voices of its people, to impose an immediate moratorium on the death penalty and to halt all executions” (end of quote) and urge Iran to cooperate with all UN human rights mechanisms, including the Council’s fact-finding mission.
Thank you very much.