53rd session of the UN Human Rights
Item 3 - Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions
Nordic-Baltic Statement delivered by H.E. Ambassador Kirsti Kauppi, Permanent Representative of Finland
I deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic Baltic countries; Denmark, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden and my own country, Finland. We thank the Special Rapporteur for his report highlighting the severe issue of deaths in prison and express our full support for the renewal of his mandate this session.
States assume direct responsibility for the lives of individuals deprived of liberty. The relatively high rate of deaths in custody is a grim reminder that States have not been able to uphold the right to life for all. However, positive reforms from across the globe, presented in the report, show that change is possible.
Preventing deaths is key. Ways to reduce the amount of prisoners, for example by applying non-custodial measures, could be explored. Women should not be imprisoned for exercising their reproductive rights.
We call for investigating every death in custody and observing the Minnesota Protocol in investigations. Prisoners should be treated with dignity, including after their death.
We highlight the need to ratify the OPCAT (Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment). Could the Special Rapporteur elaborate why it is so important for States to ratify this protocol?