UK group to petition UN Human Rights Commission over 'innocent' Oscar
A UK-based group calling themselves the International Supporters for Oscar Pistorius, which maintains the innocence of the former Paralympian, who has since been convicted for the murder of his Port Elizabeth-born girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, has to date managed to get 1 655 signatures on a petition to have the UN’s Human Rights Commission look into how the trial has been carried out.
The group, which launched the petition on the 27th of January, hopes to have 2 500 signatures before noon on the 31st of March, 2016 when their petition closes. They will then make preparations for delivering the petition on or soon after the 5th of April to the United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner in London, Geneva and Pretoria.
“We believe the Supreme Court Appeal, South Africa discriminated against Oscar's disability, vulnerability and anxieties to include misuse of his human rights,” says Sharyn Grainger - Petition Creator Director for International Supporters for Oscar Pistorius, United Kingdom, on the petition’s online page.
“This is a tough petition we are doing and on this occasion we have set our ambitions high and as you know targets can only be achieved by the signatures and comments received so for these reasons please we really need the help of all Oscar supporters, no matter where in the world you may be.”
Developments so far
Pistorius was originally charged with murder in February 2013, but was found guilty of culpable homicide by High Court Judge, Thokozile Masipa. In December 2015, months after the former Paralympian had been released on parole, the State successfully managed to have the culpable homicide charge commuted to murder in the Supreme Court of Appeal.
Oscar’s legal team tried to have the Constitutional Court to overturn the “murder” conviction, which failed on the 3rd of March.
High Court Judge Masipa, who initially cleared Pistorius of murder in the original trial, is now set to sentence him for murder the 18th of April – with the State hoping for a minimum 15-year jail sentence as prescribed by law.
“The group named International Supporters for Oscar Pistorius, vehemently object to the latest decision made on March, 3rd, 2016,” writes Grainger.
Human rights violations in Oscar Trial
The group claims that from the onset of the trial, prosecutors trampled on Pistorius’ basic human rights.
“The leading public prosecutor in the trial and the recent Supreme Court and Constitutional Court Appeal of Oscar Pistorius himself has been accused of misconduct and is currently under investigation for such misconduct and illegal affairs by the Hawks … and that it's a no wonder his lack of integrity and dishonourable behaviour was so evident even during Oscar's trial when he repeatedly fabricated false evidence to try to make the accused look guilty much like he has proven he has done before through his acts and conduct being investigated,” writes Grainger.
In the matter of Pistorius, she says the following violations have been activated.
“The trial was not to International Human Rights Standards to which South Africa is a signatory.”
- Article 3 - Has been activated. Prosecutors inhumane treatment.
- Article 5 - Has been activated. No one shall be subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.
- Article 6 - Has been activated. Right to a Fair Trial.
- Article 7 - Has been activated. This article shall not prejudice the trial and punishment of any person act or omission which, at the time when it was committed, was criminal according to the general principles of law recognized by civilised nations.
- Article 11 - Has been activated. (1) Everyone has the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. (2) No one shall be guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence under national and international law, nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.
- Article 14 - Has been activated. No person should be discriminated.
The group argues that Pistorius’ human rights were violated because of;
- Trial by Media - Live broadcast of the entire trial for more than 9 months and continues to date, almost three years after the start.
- The applicant, Oscar Pistorius suffered with Severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder whilst under the combative and extremely aggressive manner over seven (7) days consistently repeating questions by the State Prosecutor.
- The State Prosecutor resorted to unproven allegations to evoke emotions from Oscar Pistorius by referring to him as being a LIAR!
- Oscar Pistorius was forced by the State Prosecutor to view a photograph of the deceased head wounds and again evoked into a display of emotions. Because of the severe traumatic emotions Oscar became violently ill and was again subjected to abuse and ridicule by the watching media.
- State Prosecutor intimidation and ridicule of the witnesses for the Defence throughout the trial consequently prevented witnesses giving witness testimony for the defence.
- Arrival of known felons inside the trial court on day of sentence 'selectively' used to intimidate the applicant and his family.
As a parting, Grainger says that the petition is not only about Pistorius.
“It is also to bring to the individuals attention of all that which can be expected in the justice system in South Africa that could affect the present and the future of all South African citizens,” she writes.
The group also maintains a Facebook Group at www.facebook.com/groups/supporters4oscar
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