CALL: Autistic people killed by police / by Erich Kofmel

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions is preparing a report on "the impact of the use of lethal force by law enforcement officials on persons with psychosocial, intellectual or developmental disabilities", such as the killing of autistic people by police or excessive use of force against autistic prisoners.

The report will be submitted to the 41st session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) in June 2019. The Special Rapporteur is one of the so-called special procedures appointed by the HRC. The current mandate holder is Agnes Callamard of France.

Questionnaire and call for information on specific cases of killings/use of force:

https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Executions/PoliceUseForceMentalDisability.pdf

From the rationale: "How police officers and law enforcement officials, as well as those operating in the administration of justice, including prison personnel, interact with persons with psychosocial, intellectual, or developmental (including autistic persons) disabilities is a topic of growing concern and international debate. Persons with such disabilities are entitled to specific measures of protection so as to ensure their effective enjoyment of the right to life on an equal basis with others. These shall include measures designed to prevent unwarranted use of force by law enforcement [...]. An emerging body of evidence points to disturbingly high numbers of law enforcement-inflicted fatalities involving persons with psychosocial, intellectual or developmental disabilities. [...] [I]ncidents related to the excessive use of force by law enforcement against persons with this kind of disabilities often remains invisible. [...] Limitations on data or inadequate data not only prevent developing awareness on the specific needs of people with psychosocial, intellectual or developmental disabilities when interacting with law enforcement and other state officials. They also make it difficult to inform policy making and legislation, establish accountability and oversight controls, designate responsibility and provide effective remedies for victims. The objective of the report is to broaden understanding of the scale of the problem with a view to identifying best practices, particularly in the prevention of fatalities associated with law enforcement intervention, and contributing to standard-setting efforts at the international level."

The information they are requesting is extremely wide-ranging and we can forsee that it will be overwhelming (and quite possibly triggering) to many autistic self-advocates, so it may be imperative that autistic people cooperate in providing information, for example at the country level.

Here is more information on this Special Rapporteur's mandate:

https://www.ohchr.org/en/issues/executions/pages/srexecutionsindex.aspx

Concise and focused submissions, with the subject heading "Disabilities report 2019", should be sent to: eje@ohchr.org

Deadline: 1 February 2019

Please send any information you think should be part of a submission by Autistic Minority International to us as soon as possible: e.kofmel@autisticminority.org

Thanks.