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UN experts urge US to halt Texas execution of Mexican Roberto Ramos Moreno

GENEVA (13 November 2018) – UN human rights experts* have called on the US Government to halt the imminent execution of a Mexican national amid concerns that he did not receive a fair trial.

Mr. Roberto Ramos Moreno, a Mexican national, is due to be executed in Texas on 14 November 2018. He was convicted of capital murder in 1993.

Mr. Moreno has had psychosocial disabilities predating the time of offence. In such circumstances, international human rights standards prohibit the use of the death penalty.

The Texas authorities failed to notify, in a timely fashion, the Mexican consulate of his arrest, in contravention of international standards thus resulting in Mr. Moreno being denied essential assistance in crucial stages of the investigation. In addition, Mr. Moreno Ramos did not have legal representation until three months after his initial arrest, despite having requested a lawyer.

The UN’s International Court of Justice found in 2004 that the US Government had breached its obligations under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, and ordered the Government not to execute Mr. Ramos Moreno until his case had been reconsidered.

“Any death sentence carried out in contravention of a Government’s international obligations amounts to an arbitrary execution,” the experts warned. “We call for his death sentence to be annulled and for Mr. Ramos Moreno to be re-tried in compliance with due process and international fair trial standards.”

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has also called for a new trial in line with due process and fair trial standards.

ENDS

*The UN experts: Ms. Agnes Callamard, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions; Mr Seong-Phil Hong, Chair-Rapporteur of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.

Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

UN Human Rights, country page – USA

For more information and media requests, please email eje@ohchr.org

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts please contact
Jeremy Laurence, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+41 22 917 9383 / jlaurence@ohchr.org)

This year is the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN on 10 December 1948. The Universal Declaration – translated into a world record 500 languages – is rooted in the principle that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” It remains relevant to everyone, every day. In honour of the 70th anniversary of this extraordinarily influential document, and to prevent its vital principles from being eroded, we are urging people everywhere to Stand Up for Human Rights: www.standup4humanrights.org.