Reporting Killings as Human Rights Violations Handbook

Reporting Killings as Human Rights Violations Handbook

How to document and respond to potential violations of the right to life within the international system for the protection of human rights

By Kate Thompson and Camille Giffard

Handbook links: website home page
Table of Contents - Search - Part I: Essential Reading - Part II: Identifying a Potential Violation - Part III: How to Document Allegations of Unlawful Killings - Part IV: Responding to the Information Collected - Part V: Where can you Seek Further Help? - Appendices
Appendices: section links...
1. List of Relevant Instruments - 2. Contact Details and Obtaining Further Information - 3. Standard Application Forms - 4. International Law: Texts - 5. Body Diagrams

3. APPENDIX III - STANDARD APPLICATION FORMS

PLEASE NOTE: Communications are considered even when they are not submitted in the form of a questionnaire.

MODEL QUESTIONNAIRE OF THE SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON EXTRA-JUDICIAL, SUMMARY, OR ARBITRARY EXECUTIONS

General Information:

The Special Rapporteur undertakes action in the following cases:

(a) Violations of the right to life in connection with the death penalty. The Special Rapporteur intervenes when capital punishment is imposed after an unfair trial, or in case of a breach of the right to appeal or the right to seek pardon or commutation of sentence. S/he also intervenes if the convicted is a minor, a mentally retarded or insane person, a pregnant woman or a recent mother;

(b) Death threats and fear of imminent extra-judicial executions by state officials, paramilitary groups, private individuals or groups co-operating with or tolerated by the Government, as well as unidentified persons who may be linked to the categories mentioned above;

(c) Deaths in custody owing to torture, neglect or the use of force, or life-threatening conditions of detention;

(d) Deaths owing to the use of force by law enforcement officials, or persons acting in direct or indirect compliance with the state, when the use of force is inconsistent with the criteria of absolute necessity and proportionality;

(e) Deaths owing to attacks by security forces of the state, by paramilitary groups, death squads or other private forces cooperating with or tolerated by the government;

(f) Violations of the right to life during armed conflicts, especially of the civilian population, contrary to humanitarian law;

(g) Expulsion or refoulement of persons to a country where their lives are in danger;

(h) Genocide;

(i) Breach of the obligation to investigate alleged violations of the right to life and to bring those responsible to justice;

(j) Breach of the obligation to provide adequate compensation to victims of violations of the right to life.

Address:

Reports of extra-judicial, summary or arbitrary executions may be transmitted to the following address:

Special Rapporteur on Extra-Judicial, Summary, or Arbitrary Executions
c/o OHCHR-UNOG, 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Fax: (+41 22) 917 90 06
or E-mailed to: webadmin.hchr@unog.ch

Note: If any information contained in the questionnaire should be kept confidential please mark "CONFIDENTIAL" beside the relevant entry. Do not hesitate to attach additional sheets, if the space provided is not sufficient.

I. Identity of the person concerned:

Note: if more than one person is concerned, please fill out separate questionnaires for each person

1. Family name:

2. First name:

3. Sex:   male   female

4. Birth date or age:

5. Nationality(ies):

6. Civil status (single, married, etc.):

7. Identity document

Number:

Issued by:

Date of issue:

8. Profession and/or activity:
(e.g. trade union, political, religious, humanitarian/solidarity/human rights, etc.)

9. Address of usual residence

 

10. Is there a link to other cases/ persons? Please specify:

 

II. Information regarding the incident:

1. Date:

2. Place:

3. Time:

The nature of the incident:

Please describe the circumstances of the incident, including the following categories:
(a) death penalty, or fair trial guarantees, please detail (unfair laws or proceedings, charges, eventual appeals, execution is imminent, etc.)
(b) imminent violation of the right to life is feared (death threats, imminent expulsion or refoulement leading to a life-threatening situation, etc.), please detail
(c) others (death in custody, death during an armed conflict, death due to excessive use of force by law enforcement officials, death due to attacks by security forces of state, paramilitary or private forces, breach of obligation to investigate, etc.)

 

 

 

 

III. Forces believed to be responsible for the incident:

(a) if the perpetrators are believed to be state agents, please specify (military, police, persons in uniform or civilian clothes, agents of security services, unit to which they belong, rank and functions, etc.) and indicate why they are believed to be responsible; be as precise as possible:

 

(b) if an identification as state agents is not possible, why do you believe that government authorities, or persons linked to them, are responsible for the incident?

 

(c) if there are witnesses to the incident, indicate their names. If they wish to remain anonymous, indicate if they are relatives, by-passers, etc.; if there is evidence, please specify:

 

IV. Steps taken by the victim or his/her family:

(a) Indicate if complaints have been filed, when, by whom, and before which organ.

(b) Other steps taken:

 

V. Steps taken by the authorities:

(a) Indicate whether or not there have been investigations by the state authorities; if so, what kind of investigations? Progress and status of these investigations; which other measures have been taken (e.g. autopsy)?

 

(b) in case of complaints by the victim or its family, how have the organs dealt with them? What is the outcome of those proceedings?

 

VI. Identity of the person submitting the case:

1. Family name:

2. First name(s)

3. Status: individual, group, non-governmental organization, inter-governmental agency, government. Please specify:

4. Address (telephone, fax, E-mail):

5. Please state whether you want your identity to be kept confidential:

 

Date:
Signature of author:

 

Model communication under the Optional Protocol to the ICCPR

Communication to: The Human Rights Committee, c/o OHCHR-UNOG, 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland,
submitted for consideration under the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

I. Information concerning the author of the communication

Name First name(s)
Nationality Profession
Date and place of birth  
Present address  

Address for exchange of confidential correspondence (if other than present address)

Submitting the communication as:

(a) Victim of the violation or violations set forth below

(b) Appointed representative/legal counsel of the alleged victim(s)

(c) Other

If box (c) is marked, the author should explain:

(i) In what capacity he is acting on behalf of the victim(s) (e.g. family relationship or other personal links with the alleged victim(s)):

(ii) Why the victim(s) is (are) unable to submit the communication himself (themselves):

An unrelated third party having no link to the victim(s) cannot submit a communication on his (their) behalf.

II. Information concerning the alleged victim(s)
(if other than author)

Name First name(s)
Nationality Profession
Date and place of birth  
Present address or whereabouts  

III. State concerned/articles violated/domestic remedies

Name of the State party (country) to the International Covenant and the Optional Protocol against which the communication is directed:

Articles of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights allegedly violated:

Steps taken by or on behalf of the alleged victim(s) to exhaust domestic remedies-recourse to the courts or other public authorities, when and with what results (if possible, enclose copies of all relevant judicial or administrative decisions):

If domestic remedies have not been exhausted, explain why:

 

IV. Other international procedures

Has the same matter been submitted for examination under another procedure of international investigation or settlement (e.g. the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the European Commission on Human Rights)? If so, when and with what results?

 

V. Facts of the claim

Detailed description of the facts of the alleged violation or violations (including relevant dates). Add as many pages as needed for this description.

Author's signature: Date:

 

top of page
Handbook links: website home page
Table of Contents - Search - Part I: Essential Reading - Part II: Identifying a Potential Violation - Part III: How to Document Allegations of Unlawful Killings - Part IV: Responding to the Information Collected - Part V: Where can you Seek Further Help? - Appendices
 copyright information