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Biennial High-Level Panel on Death Penalty HRC 52
Joint Statement: Delivered by H.E. Christian Guillermet – Viceminister of Foreign Affairs of Costa Rica
February 28, 2023

The United States joined the following Joint Statement at the 52nd Session of the Human Rights Council

52nd Session of the Human Rights Council

Biennial High-Level Panel on the Death Penalty

Theme: Human Rights Violations Relating to the use of the Death Penalty,
in Particular with Respect to Limiting the Death Penalty to the Most Serious Crimes

Joint Statement

Delivered by H.E. Christian Guillermet – Vice-minister of Foreign Affairs of Costa Rica

On behalf of a group of countries

Mr. President,

I deliver this statement on behalf of a cross regional group of countries.

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. All detainees are entitled to the right to a fair hearing by an independent tribunal, the presumption of innocence, access to a lawyer and other minimum guarantees for the defence, and the right to review by a higher tribunal.

We are deeply concerned by the use of the death penalty in Iran. Several hundred people were reportedly executed in Iran between 2022 and 2023, 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 instrumentalised 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 “to respect the lives and voices of its people, to impose an immediate moratorium on the death penalty and to halt all executions”, and urge Iran to cooperate with all UN human rights mechanisms, including the Council’s Fact-Finding Mission.

Thank you,

1. Albania

2. Andorra

3. Australia

4. Austria

5. Belgium

6. Bosnia

7. Bulgaria

8. Canada

9. Colombia

10. Costa Rica

11. Chile

12. Croatia

13. Cyprus

14. Czechia

15. Denmark

16. Ecuador

17. Estonia

18. Finland

19. France

20. Germany

21. Greece

22. Hungary

23. Iceland

24. Ireland

25. Israel

26. Italy

27. Latvia

28. Liechtenstein

29. Lithuania

30. Luxembourg

31. Malta

32. Marshall Islands

33. Moldova

34. Monaco

35. Montenegro

36. Netherlands

37. New Zealand

38. North Macedonia

39. Norway

40. Paraguay

41. Peru

42. Poland

43. Portugal

44. Romania

45. San Marino

46. Spain

47. Slovenia

48. Slovakia

49. Sweden

50. Switzerland

51. Ukraine

52. UK

53. Uruguay

54. United States of America