Alternative report to the un human Rights Committee regarding Norway’s sixth Periodic report under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights December 2010



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The report “Murder in Norway during the period 2004 - 2009”and the National guidelines for preventing suicide in the specialized mental health-care services proposes a range of important measures, but an important cause of tragic outcomes of discharges seems to be the lack of resources in psychiatric institutions as well as in follow-up measures after discharge from institutions, especially follow-up measures at the municipal level. Statistics on such suicides and the circumstances, in which they take place, could shed light on risk factors.

Recommendation to Norway

Norway must ensure that follow-up measures at the municipal level are implemented and that the cooperation between the municipal services and more centralized institutions is functioning. Norway should promote research and produce adequate statistics regarding suicides and murders by persons who have mental disorders.

ICCPR Art.

Subject

State Report para.

Keyword

6

Terrorism


48-49

Overbroad reach of definition

Even if Norway has amended its terrorist definition, the definition in section 147 b of the General Civil Penal Code remains excessively broad. The definition does not delineate the required seriousness of an act in order for it to be considered “terrorism.” It captures in litra a) individuals with malicious intent but who in effect may not be considered dangerous. Litra b) may be encompassing almost any act, leaves too much room for interpretation and does not provide foreseeability. Litra c) refers to the very nebulous concept of “any act of crucial importance for the country.” The revision has therefore not achieved the desired focus on how to describe the threshold of when a threat or act is sufficiently serious to be considered “terrorist.” It also lacks precision as to which situations it is applicable, as it does not stipulate types of armed conflict and nature of opposition groups that may fall outside its scope.

Recommendation to Norway:

To review the definition of terrorism in the General Civil Penal Code to ensure full compliance with the Covenant and congruence with International Humanitarian Law as stipulated in the Geneva Conventions and their protocols.

ICCPR Art.

Subject

State Report para.

Keyword


6

New provisions on genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes


50

Resources, co-ordination, application

It is welcome that the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes have been explicitly included in the Penal Code.

There is a backlog of cases of alleged perpetrators of such core international crimes who reside in Norway and have not yet been brought to justice before Norwegian courts, even if other relevant jurisdictions are not willing or able to prosecute them. It is commonly believed that there are about 60 such cases. A single case has been prosecuted so far. More competence and capacity building is needed in the area of international criminal law and international humanitarian law to deal with this backlog and to reaffirm that Norway is not a free haven. The fact that most, if not all, assumed perpetrators arrived to Norway as refugees highlights the special challenge to improve coordination between the National Authority for Prosecution of Organized and Other Serious Crime and the Directorate of Immigration. The need for such co-ordination applies to both screening of potential suspects and witnesses of crimes.

On the basis of the amendments to the Penal Code, Norwegian lawyers have reported Israeli leaders for war crimes in Gaza in December 2008 /January 2009 to the Norwegian prosecuting authority. However, the prosecuting authority has not been willing to act on this report, although the indications of war crimes are overwhelming, as documented inter alia in the Goldstone-report. It is uncertain to which degree the prosecuting authority is willing to use its authority to prosecute persons for alleged war crimes.

Recommendation to the Committee:

To call on Norway to continue to strengthen the capacity to investigate and to prosecute cases of core international crimes, including by allocating resources and strengthening the cooperation between the National Authority for Prosecution of Organized and Other Serious Crime and the Directorate of Immigration.

ICCPR Art.

Subject

State Report para.

Keyword

6

Asylum seekers’ access to health care


Not mentioned

Access to specialists and mental health care

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