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Press Release
UNITED NATIONS


15 October 2001



SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON EXTRAJUDICIAL, SUMMARY OR
ARBITARY EXECUTIONS EXPRESSES CONCERN AT LOSS OF LIFE
IN DEMONSTRATIONS IN PAKISTAN AND PALESTINE


The Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Asma Jahangir, today expressed her deep concern at reports of several people having been killed by security forces in connection with recent demonstrations in Pakistan and Palestine. In the last week, five people, including a 12-year-old boy, were killed by riot police opening fire against manifestations in the Province of Balochistan, Pakistan. On Tuesday, 9 October, two people were shot dead by Palestinian police during manifestations in Gaza. One of them was 14 years of age.

It is imperative that all these cases be promptly, thoroughly and impartially investigated, with a view to bringing the perpetrators to justice. New demonstrations related to events in Afghanistan are expected in several locations in the coming days.

The Special Rapporteur urges the Governments concerned to take immediate steps to ensure that the right to life of the participants in these manifestations is protected, so that further tragedies can be avoided. The police must be provided with training and adequate equipment for non-lethal crowd-control, and ordered to carry out their duties in strict compliance with international human rights standards. Fire-arms may only be used in cases of imminent threat to life, and only when all non-lethal methods of self-defence and crowd control have been exhausted.

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