Any security-related restrictions of freedoms and the use of force by public security providers must be based in law, necessary, and proportionate to the objective of maintaining public order.
- The right to security of the person for all citizens (including EMB personnel) was protected throughout the election period
- Electoral stakeholders were free from arbitrary arrest and detention as well as intimidation and coercion
- Security personnel played a positive role during the electoral process, providing protection for voters, candidates, and electoral management body personnel without interfering in the process
- The state prohibited interference with registration, intimidation, or coercion of potential voters
- Any use of force must comply with the fundamental principles of legality, necessity, proportionality, precaution and non-discrimination applicable to articles 6 and 7 of the Covenant, and those using force must be accountable for each use of force.
- The government, with international assistance where appropriate, should undertake an independent review of the events to determine the causes of the violence and necessary reforms. Investigations in such cases should aim to review the individual and structural causes or conditions for the killings in full, including whether the police use of force guidelines comply with the international law on the use of force; whether the police have any and appropriate plans for crowd-control situations; whether police have equipment and weapons appropriate for crowd control; the role of police intelligence; whether there were failures in the police command and control; and what orders were given to police.
- Public security providers should operate in accordance with domestic law and international norms, and ensure that any necessary interventions are only required to achieve specific objectives of maintaining order based on a legitimate aim. Any restrictions during an electoral process should be based in law and be proportional to the objectives.
- The use of force must be considered an exceptional measure, not to be executed arbitrarily. It should be proportionate to the threat, minimizing damage and injury, and used only to the extent required to achieve a legitimate objective. National legislation should clearly establish circumstances justifying its use. This includes providing adequate advance notice and using only the level of force needed to deal with various threats. Authorities should develop a range of responses to enable a differentiated and proportional use of force.
- Public security providers should avoid the use of force in the event of unlawful though non-violent assemblies or limit its use to a minimum.
- In dispersing violent assemblies and demonstrations, specific reference is made concerning firearms, i.e., that they may be used only when less dangerous measures prove ineffective and when there is an imminent threat of death or of serious injury. Firing indiscriminately into a violent crowd is never a legitimate or an acceptable method of dispersal.
- The overall approach to electoral security should reflect the principle that the ultimate objective of ensuring a safe and secure electoral environment is not to impose limitations, but to ensure that fundamental rights are not undermined and that they can be freely exercised. Security concerns should not be misused as justification for unduly restricting freedoms.
- Force should only be applied to the minimum extent necessary, following to the principles of restraint, proportionality, minimization of damage and the preservation of life.
- The circumstances in which the lethal use of force by security forces is permitted are strictly circumscribed by international human rights law: the force must be necessary and proportionate to the threat posed, and intentional lethal force is only permitted where it is necessary to protect life.
- Force must not be used unless strictly unavoidable, and where employed must be limited in accordance with the requirements imposed by international human rights law, including international norms and standards on the use of force.