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UN torture prevention body to make first visit to Hungary

GENEVA (16 March 2017) – The United Nations Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT) is due to make its first visit to Hungary from 20 to 31 March 2017 to assess the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty, as well as the measures taken for their protection against torture and ill-treatment.

Among the places the SPT delegation is due to visit are: prisons, police stations, asylum centres, psychiatric institutions, correctional centres for women and juveniles. The experts will meet State officials, UN and civil society representatives. They will also hold discussions with the national detention monitoring body in Hungary, officially known as the National Preventive Mechanism.

“People who are held in detention are particularly vulnerable to violations of their human rights. Our aim is to protect them and ensure they are treated with humanity and respect. Every State that ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT) has the obligation to ensure every detainee is free from torture and ill-treatment. During our visit we will assess the current situation in the country and advise the Hungarian authorities on practical steps to prevent torture and ill-treatment," said Mari Amos who will head the SPT delegation.

At the end of the visit, the SPT will present its confidential preliminary observations to the Government of Hungary. For the SPT, the key to preventing torture and ill-treatment lies in building constructive relations with the State concerned, and its guiding principles are cooperation and confidentiality.

The SPT delegation will comprise: Mari Amos (Head of Delegation), Arman Danielyan, Aneta Stanchevska and Nora Sveaass.

ENDS

Background:

The Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment has, to date, been ratified by 83 countries. The SPT communicates its recommendations and observations to States by means of a confidential report and, if necessary, to National Preventive Mechanisms. However, States parties are encouraged to request that the SPT makes these reports public. 

The SPT is composed of 25 independent and impartial experts from different regions of the world. For more information on the mandate of Subcommittee, please visit: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/OPCAT/Pages/OPCATIndex.aspx

For media inquiries or for more information, please contact:
Hungary: Armen Avetisyan, +41 79 752 0481 / aavetisyan@ohchr.org
Geneva: Nicoleta Panta, +41 22 917 9310 / npanta@ohchr.org

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