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World Court Orders US to Halt Executions of Mexicans While Cases Reviewed


The United Nations' highest court has ordered the United States to halt the planned executions of five Mexicans on death row in Texas while their cases are being reviewed.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) Wednesday said U.S. authorities should "take all measures necessary" to ensure the five are not put to death, pending the court's final judgment.

In June, Mexico filed a request with the court to stop the executions of the five Mexican nationals, who were denied consular assistance after their arrests. Mexico charges that the United States is in breach of its international obligations.

One of the Mexicans, Jose Medellin, is scheduled to be executed on August 5 for the rape and murder of two teenage girls.

The ICJ, also known as the World Court, ruled in 2004 that the United States violated the rights of 51 Mexicans on death row by failing to inform them of their rights to consular access.

Under the 1963 Vienna Convention, foreign nationals have the right to talk to their country's consulate after their arrests.

In March, the U.S. Supreme Court said U.S. President George Bush overstepped his authority by ordering Texas to comply with the 2004 World Court ruling and reopen its case against Medellin.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.