Right to Life & Torture Committees


Respect for the integrity of the person requires states to protect the right to life and respect the prohibition of torture and ill-treatment. Both rights are dealt with in this section. 

      Information needed to take action

Any individual, group, non-governmental organization, inter-governmental agency or Government who has reliable knowledge on right to life and respect the prohibition of torture and ill-treatment  can bring it to the attention of the Special Rapporteur. In order to do so, the following minimum information is needed:

(a) Information regarding the incident: date; place; description of how the incident occurred; in cases of alleged violations of the right to life in connection with the death penalty, information on shortcomings with regard to fair trial guarantees; in cases of imminent violations of the right to life, the reasons for which the persons life is feared to be at risk; in cases of imminent alleged violations in connection with the death penalty, in addition to the aforementioned information, the appeals submitted;

(b) Information regarding the victims of the incident; the number of victims; if known, their name, age, sex, profession and/or activities if related to the (imminent) violation of the right to life;

(c) Information regarding the alleged perpetrators: If known, an explanation of the reasons why they are suspected to be responsible; if perpetrators are no state agents, details on how these forces or individuals relate to the State (e.g. cooperation with State security forces including information on chains of command; State connivance with, or tolerance of their operations, etc.);

(d) Information regarding the source of the allegations: name and full address of the organization or individual submitting the allegations to the Special Rapporteur.

Other information which is of interest to the Special Rapporteur, if available, includes:

(a) Additional information regarding the victims of the incident which may help identify persons: e.g. the place of residence or origin;

(b) Additional information regarding the alleged perpetrators: names, the unit or service to which they belong as well as their rank and functions;

(c) Information regarding steps taken by the victims or their families and, in particular, about complaints filed, by whom, and before which organ. If no complaint was filed, information as to why not;

(d) Information regarding steps taken by the authorities to investigate the alleged violation of the right to life and/or measures adopted to protect persons under threat as well as to prevent similar incidents in the future, in particular: if complaints were filed, the action taken by competent organs upon their receipt; progress and status of investigations at the time of the submission of the allegation; in case the results of the investigation are said to be unsatisfactory, an explanation of why this is so.

More general information relating to the right to life, e.g., on recent legislative developments in regard to capital punishment, on amnesty laws, or reliable information indicating a pattern in regard to impunity, are welcomed by the Special Rapporteur as well. Such information enables him to better evaluate the general situation of the right to life in particular countries.

Any information of interest to the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions should be sent to the following address (for mail or fax):

Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary, or Arbitrary Executions
c/o OHCHR-UNOG, 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Fax: 41 22 917 9006