Malaysia: Killing of Five Migrant Workers Violation alleged: Deaths due to attacks or killings by security forces, paramilitary groups, or private forces cooperating with or tolerated by the State
Subject(s) of appeal: 5 persons (foreign nationals)
Character of reply: Cooperative but inincomplete response
Observations of the Special Rapporteur The Special Rapporteur appreciates the information provided by the Government of Malaysia in relation to the deaths of Yunus bin Ahmed and Mr. Darmanto.
Letter of allegation dated 6 March 2006sent with the Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation of migrants
We would like to draw the attention of your Excellency’s Government to information we have received alleging the killing of five migrant workers by agents from the Department of Immigration belonging to a volunteer service known as “RELA”.
According to the information received:
The bodies of five migrant workers were recovered from a lake in Selayang area of Malaysia's capital city of Kuala Lumpur from 11 to 13 February 2006 following a raid by the RELA immigration officials. Two of the five bodies were recovered from the lake - a flooded open cast-mining pit - late on 11 February 2006 and the remaining three on 12 and 13 February 2006.
According to eyewitnesses, in the early hours of 11 February 2006, the Immigration Department conducted a raid on Selayang’s open market where many migrants work. Migrant workers were heard screaming for help while RELA officers shouted that they would kill the migrants if they ran away.
We are aware that the Malaysian government has issued a statement in which it refuted these allegations and explained that the operation carried out by RELA officers went smoothly and involved only the checking of the documents of foreign workers, some of whom managed to run away.
Our understanding is that autopsies were conducted on four of the bodies on 13 February 2006 while the fifth one, identified as being Mr. Zaw Oo, a Burmese migrant, was not taken to hospital and was buried immediately. Reports indicate that the bodies showed no signs of stab or slash wounds and that they were too badly decomposed to be able to tell whether they had been beaten with batons, such as those carried by RELA volunteers.
The overall circumstances of these deaths and the way in which they have been presented by some observers serve to emphasize the importance of ensuring that a thorough investigation be undertaken and that it not be left to the officials involved or those working closely with them. Ideally an independent investigation, based on thorough police and forensic work would be undertaken, and the results made public.
In this regard we note the importance attached by international human rights law to investigations being conducted in a prompt and effective manner in such situations (CHR resolution 2004/37, para 6; Human Rights Committee, General Comment 31, para. 15).
Similarly, Principle 9 of the United Nations Principles on the Effective Prevention and
Investigation of Extra-legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions provides that the purpose of the investigation shall be to determine the cause, manner and time of death, the person responsible, and any pattern or practice which may have brought about that death. It shall include an adequate autopsy, collection and analysis of all physical and documentary evidence and statements from witnesses. The investigation shall distinguish between natural death, accidental death, suicide and homicide.
It is our responsibility under the mandates provided to us by the Commission on Human Rights to seek to clarify all cases brought to my attention. Since we are expected to report on this case to the Commission, we would be grateful for your cooperation and your observations on the following matters:
1. Are the facts alleged in the above summary accurate? Please provide the names and casualties that resulted from the operation.
2. Given the allegations that the “RELA” personnel are members of a volunteer reserve who reportedly lack adequate training, command and accountability, please provide details about their chain of command, especially in relation to their relationship with the Malaysian immigration department.
3. What were the aims of this operation?
4. Please provide a copy of the rules of engagement that were in effect during this operation.
5. Please provide the details and where available the results, of any investigation, medical examinations, and judicial or other inquiries that may have been carried out by the competent authorities in relation to this case as well as the steps taken to ensure that the provisions contained in the aforementioned international legal instruments are respected.
Response from the Government of Malaysia dated 16 May 2007 For your information, RELA (Ikatan Relawan Rakyat or the People's Volunteer Corps) was formed on 11 January 1972 as a Government security apparatus. The primary objective of RELA is to provide opportunities for citizens, on a voluntary basis, to become members of an agency which was formed to assist, maintain and safeguard peace and security in the country. It has proven to be beneficial in assisting the Government in the fight against communist insurgency during the 1970’s and 1980’s. RELA units are present in almost all districts, making it suitable for mobilisation during security efforts.
Organisationally, RELA is a division while the Immigration Department is a Department under the Ministry of Home Affairs, Malaysia. Following an increase in the influx of illegal immigrants into the country in recent years, the relevant laws were amended in 2005 to empower RELA officers to complement the enfoncement unit of the Immigration Department. The amendments allow RELA officers to conduct operations to arrest illegal immigrants in the country. The operations codenamed Operasi Tegas (Operation Stem) was launched in March 2006.
Regarding the operation conducted by RELA on 11 February 2006, the facts of the case show that at approximately 0200 hours on the said day, a team of RELA personnel conducted checks on the travel documents of migrant workers within the ares of the Selayang Wholesale Market in the state of Selangor. The check was conducted and concluded without any untoward incident, although a number of illegal immigrants managed to escape arrest.
On 15 February 2006, the RELA headquarters in Putrajaya received a telephone call from the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) enquiring about the death of five illegal immigrants at an unused mining pond near the Selangor Wholesale Market. On the same day, RELA lodged a report at the Police Station in Jinjang, Kuala Lumpur and on 16 February 2006 at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital.
The Royal Malaysia Police had conducted a thorough investigation into the matter and confirmed that two bodies and not five bodies as alleged were found at the scene. The deceased were:
Mr. Yunus bin Ahmed (aged 29, a Myanmar citizen holding UNHCR card 05/MLS/02124); and Mr. Darmanto (aged 18, an Indonesian citizen holding identification card number 1.176/2008/10/AS/2005)
Mr. Yunus bin Ahmed's body was found following a complaint lodged by a member of the public on 12 February 2006 at 1315 hours concerning a body in the unused mining pond. A police team which was dispatched to the scene arrived at 1420 hours and found the body of a man almost fully submerged at the edge of the water. The body showed neither apparent signs of external cuts nor any signs of struggle. The body was identified by Mr. Maung Soe Miynt Aung (passport number 531972), a relative of the deceased. The deceased was released to Mr. Aung on 13 February 2006 for funeral rites.
Mr. Darmanto's body was also found following a complaint lodged by a member of the public on 12 February 2006 at 2010 hours concerning a body in the same unused mining pond. A police team which was dispatched to the scene arrived at 2035 hours and found the body of a man floating face down at the edge of the mine. The body also showed neither apparent signs of external cuts nor any signs of struggle. The body was identified by Mr. Budiman (passport number AA 400612), brother of the deceased. The deceased was released to Mr. Budiman on 15 February 2006 for funeral rites.
Prior to the release of the two bodies, the Kuala Lumpur Hospital conducted an autopsy on 13 February 2006 and reported that the bodies of Mr. Yunus bin Ahmed and Mr. Darmanto were "generally in a decomposed state". "However, body parts were generally intact. There were no obvious external injuries. On external examination, there was no obvious skuli or skeletal fractures. The estimated time of death was 3 to 5 days prior to post-mortem examination". The cause of death could not be ascertained due to the decomposed state of the bodies.
Based on the medical examinations, the death of the two deceased took place between 8 and 10 February 2006. The autopsy report ruled out any linkage between the deaths and the checks carried out by RELA on 11 February 2006.
On the alleged death of a Mr. Zaw Oo, I wish to inform you that the authorities in Malaysia do not have any records of such person or any indication linking him to the checks conducted on 11 February 2006.
I wish to assure you that it is the policy of the Government of Malaysia to remain committed to the fundamentals of human rights, regardless of citizenship. In the case of RELA officers undertaking checks on illegal immigrants, a series of intensive training is first administered to the volunteer corps to ensure its members abide by the relevant laws. For this particular group, the training included:
- The Passport Act/Immigration Enforcement Procedures Course at the Malaysian Immigration Academy in Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan in July 2004;
- The Passport Act/Immigration Enforcement Procedures Advanced Course at the three Regional RELA Training
- The Passport Act/immigration Enforcement Procedures Advanced Course at the three Regional RELA Training Centres in November 2004. A total of 25,000 RELA officers on active duty took part in this course; and
- Simulation trainings prior to the launching of Operation Stern in March 2005 which comprised 64 sessions of dry runs and 86 sessions of exercises.
I append herewith a copy of the following legislation and regulation relevant to the actions taken, for your further perusal:
- Emergency (Essential Powers) Act 1964;
- Essential (Ikatan Relawan Rakyat) (Amendment) Regulations 2005; and
- Standing order issued by the Director-General of RELA (in the Malay language - Arahan Pentadbiran Ketua RELA Malaysia).
On the basis of the investigation conducted, it is obvious that the allegations in your summary are without basis.
Maldives: Death in Custody of Hussein Salah Violation alleged: Death in custody
Subject(s) of appeal: 1 male
Character of reply: Largely satisfactory response
Observations of the Special Rapporteur The Special Rapporteur appreciates the information provided by the Government of the Maldives.
The Special Rapporteur would request that the Government of the Maldives provide him with the report of investigations of the police service, the human rights commission and the parliament.
Allegation letter dated 21 June 2007 sent with the Special Rapporteur on the question of torture We would like to bring to the attention of your Excellency’s Government information that we have received regarding the alleged death in custody of Mr. Hussein Salah, aged 29, sand-miner, national identity card n. A020700, resident at Naazukeege, Hithadhoo Island, Addu Atoll. He also was a well-known opposition activist.
According to the information we have received:
Mr Hussein Salah was arrested on Hithadhoo Island on 9 April 2007. Subsequently he was transferred to Male, where he arrived in the evening of 12 April. There he was held at the Alhoulhu Vehli Detention Centre, where, according to witnesses, he was severely beaten for several hours resulting in injuries to his face and legs. He died on 13 or 14 April. His dead body was discovered floating in the inner harbour of Male on 15 April 2007.
Whereas at first there had been attempts to bury the body without a death certificate, in the end a Government employed doctor did issue one. Initially the family’s request for an independent forensic examination was refused. However, following protests, on 20 April the body was transferred to Colombo, Sri Lanka, where a Judicial Medical Officer examined the body. However, the report that resulted from this examination contradicted earlier findings of Maldivian police and reportedly lacks credibility because of inexplicable delays and because the Maldivian Government allegedly intervened.
While we do not wish to prejudge the accuracy of these allegations, we would like to draw your Government’s attention to the fundamental principles applicable under international law to this case. Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights provides that “[n]o one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” Article 6 of the Covenant states that no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his or her life. When the State detains an individual, it is held to a heightened level of diligence in protecting that individual’s rights. As a consequence, when an individual dies in State custody, there is a presumption of State responsibility. In this respect, we would like to recall the conclusion of the Human Rights Committee in a custodial death case (Dermit Barbato v. Uruguay, communication no. 84/1981 (1990)):
“While the Committee cannot arrive at a definite conclusion as to whether Hugo Dermit committed suicide, was driven to suicide or was killed by others while in custody; yet, the inescapable conclusion is that in all the circumstances the Uruguayan authorities either by act or by omission were responsible for not taking adequate measures to protect his life, as required by article 6 (1) of the Covenant.”
In order to overcome the presumption of State responsibility for a death in custody, there must be a “thorough, prompt and impartial investigation of all suspected cases of extra-legal, arbitrary and summary executions, including cases where complaints by relatives or other reliable reports suggest unnatural death in the above circumstances” (Principle 9 of the Principles on the Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extra-legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions). This principle was reiterated by the 61st Commission on Human Rights in Resolution 2005/34 on “Extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions” (OP 4), stating that all States have “the obligation … to conduct exhaustive and impartial investigations into all suspected cases of extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions”.
The Commission added that this obligation includes the obligation “to identify and bring to justice those responsible, …, to grant adequate compensation within a reasonable time to the victims or their families and to adopt all necessary measures, including legal and judicial measures, in order to … prevent the recurrence of such executions”. These obligations to investigate, identify those responsible and bring them to justice arise also under Articles 7 and 12 of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
We understand that an autopsy on the body of Mr. Hussein Salah has been conducted and that a preliminary investigation has been initiated. We urge your Government to complete the inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death of Mr. Hussein Salah expeditiously, impartially and transparently, also with a view to taking all appropriate disciplinary and prosecutorial action and ensuring accountability of any person guilty of the alleged violations, as well as to compensate Mr. Hussein Salah’s family.
Moreover, it is our responsibility under the mandates provided to us by the Commission on Human Rights and reinforced by the appropriate resolutions of the General Assembly, to seek to clarify all cases brought to our attention. Since we are expected to report on these cases to the Human Rights Council, we would be grateful for your cooperation and your observations on the following matters:
1. Are the facts alleged in the above summary of the case accurate?
2. Please provide the details, and where available the results, of investigations, medical examinations, and judicial or other inquiries which have been carried out in relation to this case. If no inquiries have taken place or if they have been inconclusive, please explain why.
3. Please provide the full details of any prosecutions which have been undertaken against the police officers allegedly responsible for Mr. Hussein Salah’s death. Have penal, disciplinary or administrative sanctions been imposed on them?
4. Please indicate whether compensation has been paid to the family of Mr. Hussein Salah.
Response of the Government of the Maldives dated 20 September 2007 Mr Hussain Salah (Naazukeege, Addu Atoll Hithadhoo) was taken into police custody on 9 April in Addu Atoll on suspicion of possessing drugs. Mr. Salah was an individual who had prior criminal convictions for banned substance abuse and burglary. Although drugs were found at his arrest location, no further drugs were discovered during the body search. However, Mr Salah's urine tested positive for opiates. Mr Salah was kept in custody for further investigation and he was transferred to Malé by boat as is the normal practice. The journey from Addu to Malé takes about 2 days by boat. On the way to Malé, when the vessel was in transit in the Island of Gadhdhoo (South Huvadu Atoll) Mr. Salah complained of a headache and requested to be taken to the health centre on the Island. Mr. Salah was attended by the doctor at the Gadhdhoo Health Centre who prescribed him medication which was administered to him. On arrival in Malé, Mr. Salah was detained at Atholhu Vehi (Police Custodial Centre) and, following established procedure, was asked about his health and well-being. In response, Mr. Salah noted that he suffered from intermittent headaches. This information was recorded in writing along with Mr. Salah's signature and fingerprint. Mr. Salah was released from custody by the police on the night of 13th of April. Records show that Mr Salah left custody with his personal possessions around 20.10 hours. His mother was notified of his release over the phone.
Response of the Government of the Maldives dated 28 September 2007 The Government replied that with reference to police investigations, Mr. Hussain Salah had been taken into police custody on 9 April 2007 in Addu Atoll on suspicion of possessing drugs. He had prior criminal convictions for banned substance abuse and burglary. Although drugs were found at his arrest location, no further drugs were discovered during the body search. However, Mr. Salah’s urine tested positive for opiates. Mr. Salah was kept in custody for further investigation and then transferred to Male’ by boat as is normal practice. The journey from Addu to Malé takes about two days by boat. On the way to Male’, when the vessel was in transit in the island of Gadhdhoo, Mr. Salah complained of a headache and requested to be taken to the health centre on the island. He was attended by the doctor at the Gadhdhoo Health Centre who prescribed him medication which was administered to him. On arrival in Male’, Mr. Salah was detained at Atholhu Vehi (police custodial centre) and, following established procedure, was asked about his health and well-being. In response, Mr. Salah noted that he suffered from intermittent headaches. This information was recorded in writing along with Mr. Salah’s signature and fingerprint. Mr. Salah was released from custody by the police on the night of 13 of April. Records show that Mr. Salah left custody with his personal possessions around 9.10 p.m. His mother was notified of his release over the phone. Mr. Salah’s body was discovered around 7.45 a.m. on 15 April 2007 floating in the harbour on the south-side of Male’. When the Maldives Police Service received this information, an investigating team was dispatched to the scene. Since the body was covered in mud, no external injuries were evident on the body. Without further delay, the body was removed and taken to the Indhira Gandhi Memorial Hospital and then transferred to the new Cemetery in Male’. A team of doctors examined the body. During the examination bleeding was noted from the nose and ear as well as swelling of the left cheek. The doctors recommended that a post-mortem be carried out to ascertain the cause of death. The Government wishes to reiterate that it did not attempt to bury the body without a death certificate. On 21 April, following a request by Mr. Salah’s family and given that the Maldives did not have the required facilities, an independent post-mortem examination was carried out at the Office of the Judicial Medical Officer in Sri Lanka. The body had been transferred by the Government in order to respond to the request of the family of the deceased. The preliminary findings of the post-mortem concluded that death was caused by drowning. It ruled out the possibility that death had been caused by physical violence. The subsequent report further confirmed these findings. Mr. Hussein Salah was buried on 28 April 2007 in Male’. Copies of the report have been provided to the OHCHR. The Government wishes to reiterate that it did not attempt to intervene in this process. Throughout the process, the Government sought to balance the need to follow due legal process to discover the precise cause of death with the equally important need to be sensitive to and respond to the particular needs of Mr. Salah’s family. Further, the Government facilitated at its own expense the transfer to Sri Lanka for the post-mortem examination since the Maldives do not have the facilities not the trained professionals to conduct this procedure. Representatives of the Human Rights Commission also traveled to Colombo to oversee the process. The Government invited Amnesty International to be present, but they were not able to respond in time. The Maldives Police Service is conducting a full investigation into the death of Mr. Salah. Their findings so far indicate that the death did not happen in custody and that there is no cause to believe that Mr. Salah had suffered any ill-treatment at the hands of Police Officers. Similarly, the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives is conducting a full investigation into the matter. The results have not been published yet. Also, an independent inquiry was carried out by the Petition Committee of the People’s Majlis (Parliament). This inquiry focused on procedural matters relating to how the body was dealt with from the time it was discovered until the time it was buried. The Committee found that all parties involved in the case had acted in good faith. There were nonetheless procedural issues that needed to be looked at and improved in the future. The Committee therefore recommended that improved guidelines and regulations be put in place for dealing with cases such as that of Mr. Salah, when there is uncertainty as to cause of death. So far no prosecutions have been undertaken in relation the case and no compensation has been paid. Finally, the Government reiterated its commitment to the protection and promotion of human rights.
Maroc: Mort en détention de Soulaymane Chouihi Violation alléguée: Mort en détention
Objet de l’appel: 1 homme
Caractère de la réponse: Pas de réponse
Observations du Rapporteur Spécial Le Rapporteur Spécial regrette que le Gouvernement du Maroc n’ait pas coopéré avec le mandat qui lui a été conféré par l’Assemblée Générale et le Conseil des droits de l’homme.
Lettre d’allégation envoyée le 18 juin 2007conjointement avec le Rapporteur Spécial sur la torture
Nous souhaiterions attirer l’attention de votre Gouvernement sur des informations reçues à propos de la mort de M. Soulaymane Chouihi. Selon les allégations reçues:
Le 27 April 2004, M. Soulaymane Chouihi s’est rendu au poste de police de Goulmim dans le cadre d’une enquête ouverte sur le vol de son fusil de chasse. Quelques heures plus tard il a été conduit du poste de police à l’hôpital de Goulmim, où il est décédé le même jour.
Un rapport d’autopsie rédigé le 4 mai 2004 par le Dr. Saïd Louahlia, Directeur de l’Institut de médecine légale au Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Casablanca, aurait conclu « qu’il s’agit d’une mort violente traumatique secondaire à une hémorragie méningée, suite à un traumatisme crânien récent direct pariétal gauche de nature contondante. […] » L’autopsie aurait révélé aussi « un traumatisme thoracique récent direct » et des « traces de violences minimes sur le coude droit (écorchures)». Une deuxième autopsie par une commission composée de trois médecins du Bureau d’Hygiène de Rabat, ordonnée par le parquet auprès de la Cour d’Appel de Goulmim, et exécutée le 11 mai 2004 à la morgue du Bureau d’Hygiène de Rabat, aurait confirmé les conclusions du Dr. Louahlia: « Le décès semble faire suite aux complications d’un traumatisme crânien et thoracique. »
Le 11 mai 2004, le juge d’instruction aurait inculpé trois officiers de la poste de police de Goulmim : M. Hassan Ohaira, M. Mohammed Bordij et M. Mohammed Jabrowni, de « violence volontaire dans l’exercice de leurs fonctions sans intention de donner la mort », et de falsification du procès-verbal, et aurait demandé leur détention. Les trois officiers auraient été renvoyés à la Chambre criminelle de Première Instance auprès de la Cour d’Appel d’Agadir. Durant le procès devant la Chambre criminelle, deux femmes qui avaient déclaré au juge d’instruction avoir vu M. Chouihi vomir dans la cour du poste de police, atteint par une attaque d’épilepsie, auraient rétracté leurs déclarations. Elles auraient expliqué à la Chambre criminelle que ces déclarations avaient été faites sous menace de la part de la police.
Le 15 novembre 2005, la Chambre criminelle aurait jugé coupable M. Hassan Ohaira et l’aurait condamné à 10 ans de prison ferme, tout en acquittant les deux autres inculpés: M. Mohammed Bordij et M. Mohammed Jabrowni. La Chambre criminelle aurait condamné aussi M. Ohaira à payer des réparations aux parents de M. Chouihi (20,000 dirhams chacun) et à la femme et aux enfants (40,000 dirhams chacun).
Le 11 décembre 2006, la Chambre criminelle d’Appel, saisie par M. Ohaira, aurait annulé le jugement de Première Instance et acquitté l’accusé. Il parait que la Chambre d’Appel aurait donné foi aux déclarations de deux nouveaux témoins qui avaient déclaré que M. Chouihi souffrait d’attaques d’épilepsie. La Chambre aurait écarté les rapports d’autopsie, en les jugeant insuffisamment argumentés.
Le 14 décembre 2006 les parents de M. Chouihi auraient fait recours à la Cour Suprême pour contester la décision de la Cour d’Appel. La décision de la Cour Suprême est attendue dans les prochaines semaines.
Bien que nous n’ayons pas encore obtenu une copie de la décision de la Chambre d’Appel, nous voudrions attirer l’attention de votre Gouvernement sur certaines préoccupations que nous avons reçues à cet égard. Un des deux nouveaux témoins présentés par la défense de M. Ohaira à la Chambre d’Appel et qui aurait déclaré que M. Chouihi souffrait d’attaques d’épilepsie, serait un criminel condamné avec un casier judiciaire pour faux témoignage. La Chambre d’Appel aurait aussi ignoré le témoignage des femmes qui avaient rétracté leurs déclarations au juge d’instruction selon lesquelles M. Chouihi aurait été saisi d’une attaque d’épilepsie. En plus, la décision de la Chambre d’Appel indiquerait que plusieurs témoins avaient déclaré que la victime souffrait d’épilepsie sans identifier ces témoins. Nous sommes préoccupés par le fait que la Chambre d’Appel aurait décidé d’écarter les deux rapports d’autopsie qui établissaient que M. Chouihi est décédé à cause d’un « traumatisme crânien et thoracique récents » comme insuffisamment expliqués. A la base des préoccupations précitées nous exprimons la crainte que M. Chouihi, pourrait être décédé à cause des coups infligés par un ou plusieurs officiers de police et que, bien que l’enquête et la procédure judiciaire aient été lancées si rapidement et efficacement par les autorités en 2004-2005, cette affaire puisse finir par n’être pas élucidée et aucun responsable du décès de M. Chouihi ne soit identifié.
Sans vouloir à ce stade préjuger du bien-fondé des plaintes portées à notre attention, d’autant plus que nous n’avons pas reçu de copies des décisions judiciaires rendues dans cette affaire (qui sont elles mêmes sub judice devant la Cour Suprême en ce moment), nous voudrions attirer l’attention de votre Gouvernement sur les principes fondamentaux de droit international régissant les cas de décès en détention. L’article 6 du Pacte international relatif aux droits civils et politiques établit le droit à ne pas être arbitrairement privé de la vie. L’article 7 du même Pacte et l’article 1 de la Convention contre la torture et autres peines ou traitements cruels, inhumains ou dégradants interdisent la torture et les peines ou traitements cruels, inhumains ou dégradants.
Les rapports d’autopsie et les déclarations des témoins indiqueraient que M. Chouihi avait été vu vivant pour la dernière fois lorsqu’il était sous l’autorité des forces de police. Lorsqu’un État détient une personne, il est tenu de protéger ses droits avec une diligence accrue. Dans ces circonstances, le droit international des droits de l’homme établit une présomption irréfragable de responsabilité de l’Etat pour les violations du droit à la vie et le droit à l’intégrité physique et morale (voir aussi le récent rapport du Rapporteur spéciale sur les exécutions extrajudiciaires, sommaires ou arbitraires à l’Assemblée générale, A/61/311, paragraphe 49 à 54). La raison de cette présomption a été énoncée par le Comité des droits de l’homme dans l’affaire Dermit Barbato c. Uruguay (communication no. 84/1981 du 21/10/1982, paragraphe 9.2). La conclusion du Comité des droits de l’homme se lisait comme suit :
« Le Comité ne peut se prononcer de façon définitive sur la question de savoir si Hugo Dermit s’est suicidé, s’il a été poussé au suicide ou s’il a été tué par des tiers pendant sa détention, mais il est obligé de conclure qu’en tout état de cause, les autorités uruguayennes sont responsables, soit par action, soit par omission, de n’avoir pas pris les mesures voulues pour protéger la vie de l’intéressé, comme le paragraphe 1 de l’article 6 du Pacte leur en fait l’obligation. »
Comme nous l’avons déjà mentionné, nous reconnaissons que dans cette affaire, les autorités ont rapidement pris des mesures appropriées visant à assurer l’accomplissement des obligations qui découlent de l’article 12 de la Convention contre la torture, qui requiert que les autorités compétentes procèdent immédiatement à une enquête impartiale chaque fois qu'il y a des motifs raisonnables de croire qu'un acte de torture a été commis, et de l’article 7 de la même Convention, qui requiert que les Etats parties soumettent les auteurs présumés d’actes de torture à leurs autorités compétentes pour l'exercice de l'action pénale. Nous faisons donc appel à Votre Gouvernement afin qu’il assure que les efforts entrepris pour « déterminer la cause, les circonstances et le jour et l'heure du décès, le responsable et toute pratique pouvant avoir entraîné le décès, ainsi que tout ensemble de faits se répétant systématiquement » (principe 9 des Principes relatifs à la prévention efficace des exécutions extrajudiciaires, arbitraires et sommaires et aux moyens d'enquêter efficacement sur ces exécutions) aboutissent, pour assurer que les responsables de la mort de Soulaymane Chouihi soient traduits devant la justice et sanctionnés pour leurs actes, et pour assurer à sa famille une juste compensation. En faisant cet appel à Votre Gouvernement nous sommes bien conscients de l’importance de l’indépendance de la justice au Maroc et nous ne souhaitons certainement pas suggérer une intervention incompatible avec cette indépendance.
Il est de notre responsabilité, en vertu du mandat qui nous a été confié par la Commission des droits de l’homme et par les résolutions de l’Assemblée générale et assumé par le Conseil des droits de l’homme, de solliciter votre coopération pour tirer au clair les cas qui ont été portés à notre attention. Etant dans l’obligation de faire rapport de ce cas au Conseil des droits de l’homme, nous serions reconnaissants à votre Gouvernement de donner ses observations sur les points suivants :
1. Les faits tels que relatés sont-ils exacts?
2. Veuillez nous fournir copies des décisions de première instance et d’appel rendues dans cette affaire.
3. Veuillez nous tenir au courant de la décision de la Cour Suprême et de tout autre développement dans cette affaire.
4. Veuillez nous indiquer si la famille de la victime a été indemnisée.