Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
Communication No. 5/1994
15 March 1995
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
The communication relates to two events: alleged racial harassment and the unlawful dismissal of C, and the trial and investigation following a violent attack on his son, M. Only the complaint in relation to M pertains to children’s rights. M, a 15 year old boy, was attacked and racially abused by a group of four young men aged 17 to 18 in which he sustained serious injuries that required surgery in order to repair. The assailants were later tried and three of them were convicted of offences relating to the attack. Two of the young men convicted were fined, and the third was sentenced to a 60 day suspended prison term. The Public prosecutor appealed the suspended sentence and it was increased to a 40 day unconditional prison term. C argued, on his son’s behalf that the trial was carried out with bias against his son on the grounds of his race and because the mother of one of the accused was a clerk at the District Court. The Committee found the complaint inadmissible on the grounds that there was insufficient evidence of a violation of M’s rights under the Convention. The police investigated and prosecuted the attack, and when the Public Prosecutor considered the sentence too lenient, he appealed and secured a less lenient sentence. A replacement judge was also brought in from another venue to take account position of the accused’s mother within the court. Upon a review of the documentation, the Committee found no evidence that the police or judicial proceedings were tainted by racially discriminatory considerations.
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