REPORT Nº 37/99
CASE 12.052
MARTIN REID
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
March 11, 1999
I.

SUMMARY

1. By letter dated August 20, 1998, Mr. Glynn Barwick ("the petitioner") of the London firm
Simmons & Simmons, presented a petition to the Inter-American Commission on Human
Rights (hereinafter "the Commission") against the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (hereinafter
"the State" or "Trinidad") on behalf of Mr. Martin Reid, presently under sentence of death and
detained at the State Prison in Port of Spain. The complaint alleges that the following articles
of the American Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter "the Convention" or the "American
Convention") were violated by the State of Trinidad and Tobago to the detriment of the
petitioner: Articles 4, 5, 8, 24 and 25 of the American Convention. The Commission decides to
admit the petition, to continue with the analysis of the merits of the matter and to place itself
at the disposition of the parties in order to reach a friendly settlement based on the respect for
human rights set forth in the Convention.
II.

PROCEEDINGS BEFORE THE COMMISSION

2. By letter dated August 20, 1998, Mr. Glynn Barwick, of the London firm Simmons &
Simmons, presented a petition to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights against
the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, on behalf of Mr. Martin Reid, presently under sentence of
death and imprisoned at the State Prison in Port of Spain. The petition stated that Mr. Reid
was convicted of the offence of murder of Ms. Fabrina Alleyne on April 13, 1994, to which
charge he pleaded not guilty. Mr. Reid was found guilty and sentenced to death on November
15, 1995.
3. The State of Trinidad and Tobago responded to the petition by Note POL: 6/16/2 Vol. 9 of
October 16, 1998.
4. It should be pointed out that simultaneously with filing the complaint, the petitioner
requested the Commission to issue precautionary measures, pursuant to article 29(2) of its
Regulations, and to seek a stay of execution pending the determination of the complaint by the
Commission. On September 23, 1998, the Commission requested the State to stay Mr. Reid’s
execution "until such time as the Commission has had the opportunity to consider this case
and issue its decision." The Commission requested "an immediate consent to the above
request."
5. The State of Trinidad and Tobago did not respond to this request for precautionary
measures. The Commission regrets that the State party was not prepared to grant the
precautionary measures requested under Article 29(2) of its Regulations, and to guarantee
that the Petitioner would not be executed while his case was under examination. In fact,
however, as of January 19, 1999, the petitioner has not been executed. The Commission
observes that it is not for the State party, but for the Commission, to decide whether or not a
complaint is admissible. The Commission requests the State to cooperate fully with the
Commission's examination of communications in the future.
III.

POSITIONS OF THE PARTIES

A.

Position of the petitioners

6. The petitioners stated that Mr. Reid’s appeal to the Court of Appeal of the Republic of
Trinidad and Tobago was dismissed on November 27, 1996. The Judicial Committee of the
Privy Council dismissed Mr. Reid’s appeal against his conviction for murder and the death
sentence on August 30, 1998.
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