United Nations Security Council Resolution 615

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UN Security Council
Resolution 615
Apartheid-era sign (1989)
Date 17 June 1988
Meeting no. 2,817
Code S/RES/615 (Document)
Subject South Africa
Voting summary
15 voted for
None voted against
None abstained
Result Adopted
Security Council composition
Permanent members
  • Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China
  • Flag of France.svg  France
  • Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom
  • Flag of the United States.svg  United States
  • Flag of the Soviet Union.svg  Soviet Union
Non-permanent members
  • Flag of Algeria.svg  Algeria
  • Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina
  • Flag of Brazil (1968-1992).svg  Brazil
  • Flag of Italy.svg  Italy
  • Flag of Japan.svg  Japan
  • Flag of Nepal.svg    Nepal
  • Flag of Senegal.svg  Senegal
  • Flag of Germany.png  West Germany
  • Flag of SFR Yugoslavia.svg  Yugoslavia
  • Flag of Zambia.svg  Zambia

In United Nations Security Council resolution 615, adopted unanimously on 17 June 1988, after reaffirming resolutions 503 (1982), 525 (1982), 533 (1983), 547 (1984) and 610 (1988) expressing concern at the imposed death sentences of anti-apartheid activists, the Council noted the deteriorating situation in South Africa. The resolution expressed deep concern at the restrictions on eighteen anti-apartheid activists and organisations, as well as the detention of church leaders on 29 February 1988, all of which it said "undermined the possibilities of a peaceful resolution of the South African situation".

Regarding the Sharpeville Six, the Council expressed its concern at the rejection of an appeal by them and a refusal to reopen the case at the Pretoria Supreme Court on 13 June 1988. The resolution called on the Government of South Africa to commute the death sentences of the six people, imposed in defiance of world opinion the Council said, urging other Member States to use their influence to pressure South Africa in order to save the lives six anti-apartheid activists.

Pressure from abroad finally led to sentences of all six being commuted to 18–25 years in prison by President Pieter Willem Botha,[1] and between 1991 and 1992 they were all released from prison.[2]

See also


  1. "Sharpeville Six plea is rejected". The Guardian. 14 June 1988.
  2. Noonan, Patrick (2003). They're burning the churches: the final dramatic events that scuttled apartheid. Jacana Media. p. 49. ISBN 978-1-919931-46-3. 
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