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Amnesty International Report 1994 - Barbados

Publisher Amnesty International
Publication Date 1 January 1994
Cite as Amnesty International, Amnesty International Report 1994 - Barbados, 1 January 1994, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6aa0b4c.html [accessed 21 August 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.
At least four death sentences were imposed but there were no executions. There were at least 19 people under sentence of death at the end of the year.

The coroner's inquest into the death of 17-year-old Ryan Jordan, who died as a result of injuries allegedly sustained while under interrogation in police custody in April 1992, had concluded by the end of the year but a decision was still pending. The procedures - started in November 1992 - were interrupted several times. Ryan Jordan's mother made submissions to the High Court about the conduct of the inquest, stating, for example, that conditions and procedures required by law during an inquest were not being observed. In March a Supreme Court judge ordered the Coroner to conduct the inquest proceedings according to law; however, according to the family's lawyer, the order had not been complied with as of September. At the end of the year, proceedings on this action were continuing in the High Court. Although the four policemen involved in the interrogation were initially suspended, they later returned to full duties.

At least four men were sentenced to death on conviction of murder. No executions were carried out; the last execution took place in 1984. The appeal of Peter Bradshaw and Denzil Roberts, who were scheduled for execution in May 1992, was dismissed by the Barbados Court of Appeal in April (see Amnesty International Report 1993). They appealed to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC) in London, the final court of appeal for Barbados, where the case was pending at the end of the year.

A decision by the JCPC in the case of two Jamaican prisoners - that execution more than five years after sentencing would constitute "inhuman or degrading punishment or other treatment" and that sentences should be commuted to life imprisonment - was applicable to three prisoners in Barbados, including Peter Bradshaw and Denzil Roberts. However, no final decision to commute their sentences had been made by the end of the year.

Amnesty International called for the commutation of death sentences and urged government authorities and legislators to abolish corporal and capital punishment.

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