UN report on election-related violence

July 21, 2010, 9:10 a.m.

Election-related violence violates not only an individual's right to life but also threatens a country's entire democratic process.  The UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions has released a detailed study on election-related killings.  The report includes case studies from Afghanistan, Armenia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Guinea, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kenya, Moldova, Mongolia, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, Spain, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Togo and Zimbabwe.

On the basis of the Special Rapporteur’s first-hand experience and extensive research, the report examines the widespread but understudied phenomenon of election-related killings. On the basis of detailed case studies, the Special Rapporteur adopts a definition of election-related killings, surveys the academic research on election-related violence and provides an overview of the perpetrators, victims, timing, motive, methods and effects of election-related killings. He also analyses the most significant types of election-related killings (by police during protests, by insurgents, political assassinations and rival killings etc.), and considers the approach of election monitors and concludes with specific recommendations.

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