Statement by Davíð Logi Sigurðsson, Director for Human Rights to the Third Committee
Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions
24 October 2019
Statement by Iceland
Thank you Mr. Chairman,
We thank the Special Rapporteur for her presence here today and would like to express our appreciation for her work and support for her mandate. The Special Rapporteur has an immensely important role and is executing it in a courageous manner, acting as a forceful advocate for international human rights law and respect for the norms inherent in human rights law.
We thank the Special Rapporteur for her focus on the death penalty. Iceland is opposed to the use of the death penalty in all circumstances and supports efforts for a moratorium and ultimately the abolishion of capital punishment.
Unfortunately, as the Special Rapporteur´s work has made clear, we continue to see intentional state killings of human rights defenders, journalists and dissidents. Yet the Special Rapporteur’s report on the investigation of the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, makes for particularly chilling reading.
The Special Rapporteur finds that Mr. Khashoggi was the victim of a premeditated extrajudicial execution, for which the State of Saudi Arabia is responsible. This unlawful killing must of course be condemned in the strongest possible terms.
Special Rapporteur Callamard, you highlight in your report how the extrajudicial killing of Mr. Khashoggi violates a core tenet of the United Nations, the protection of freedom of expression. It would be of interest to us to hear your views in how this horrible event could help ensure that freedom of expression is better safeguarded in the future?