23 September 2011The United Nations human rights office expressed profound regret today over this week’s execution in the United States of Troy Davis, saying that the process that led to his death may have violated international law. Authorities in the state of Georgia executed Mr. Davis by lethal injection on Wednesday evening for the 1989 killing of a police officer, after his final appeal was rejected. Earlier that day, three independent UN human rights experts had called on the US Government to stop the execution, citing concerns that Mr. Davis did not receive a fair trial. Many of the witnesses affirmed that they had been pressured or coerced into testifying against Mr. Davis, or recanted or changed their testimony, according to a news release issued by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). Ravina Shamdasani, a spokesperson for OHCHR, told journalists in Geneva today that the Office understood there were serious concerns that the rights of Mr. Davis to due process and a fair trial had not been respected. She said that as a result, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and other international laws may have been violated.
There has been speculation of a rift between the Duchesses of Cambridge and Sussex, supposedly at odds over their contrasting approaches to Royal family life. But on the traditional stroll to the Christmas Day service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, both women and their husbands put on a concerted display of cheer, recreating the famous “Fab 4” photograph taken a year ago. The Queen preached a message of unity in her annual Christmas address to the nation and her own… Chatting and laughing as they emerged through the gates of Sandringham on Christmas Day, it was clear the new generation of the Royal family intended to finish this year as they did the last – presenting a united front.