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        General Assembly
1 September 2004

Original: English

Fifty-ninth session
Agenda item 107 (b) of the provisional agenda*
Human rights questions: human rights questions, including
alternative approaches for improving the effective
enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms

Interim report of the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on extrajudicial, summary or
arbitrary executions

Note by the Secretary-General

The Secretary-General has the honour to transmit to the members of the General Assembly the interim report on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions submitted by the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights, Asma Jahangir, in accordance with paragraph 22 of General Assembly resolution 57/214.

The present report covers activities undertaken in the period from1 July 2002 to 1 June 2004, addressing a number of issues which are of particular concern and require special or urgent attention.

The report is divided into five sections, focusing on different aspects of the problem of extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, and contains the Special Rapporteur’s conclusions and recommendations on issues falling within the purview of her mandate. Section I of the report provides a summary of the mandate entrusted to the Special Rapporteur. In section II, the Special Rapporteur presents the main activities she has undertaken in the framework of her mandate during the period under review. Section III gives an overview of the various situations involving violations of the right to life of special groups and issues of special focus. Sections IV and V are devoted to the Special Rapporteur’s conclusions and recommendations.

* A/59/150.


III. Activities


C. Violations of the right to life during armed conflict contrary to international humanitarian law, or as a consequence of it


36. The Special Rapporteur is also particularly disturbed at reports received in the last year (but mostly in the context of post-11 September counter-terrorism measures) from several countries where aerial firing or bombardment has been used to kill civilians suspected of being terrorists, thereby also causing the loss of many other civilian lives. In this regard, the Special Rapporteur has expressed concern at the aerial bombing of Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin on 22 March 2004 in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, which resulted in the deaths of seven other civilians. The Special Rapporteur reiterates that aerial bombing or targeted assassinations in areas populated by civilians resulting in deaths would constitute extrajudicial or summary executions. The Special Rapporteur is distressed by reports indicating that some Governments are pursuing a policy to mete out collective punishments by way of “eliminating” communities suspected of being close to alleged terrorists.



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