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Morocco: first visit by UN Special Rapporteur on torture

GENEVA (12 September 2012) – Independent human rights expert Juan E. Méndez will visit Morocco* from 15 to 22 September 2012, to assess improvements and identify remaining challenges regarding torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of punishment, particularly in light of adopting a new Constitution in July 2011.

“My ultimate task is to engage with decision-makers and key actors to help the authorities uphold the rule of law, promote accountability for past abuses and allegations of torture and ill-treatment, fulfill the right of reparations for victims, and to ensure that alleged perpetrators are held responsible in conformity with international law,” Mr. Méndez said.

The Special Rapporteur, who visits the country at the invitation of the Government, will hold meetings with authorities, the judiciary, civil society, the national human rights institution, United Nations agencies, victims and their families. In Morocco, the Special Rapporteur plans to visit Rabat, Salé, Casablanca, Meknès and Skhirat-Témara.

Mr. Méndez will share his preliminary comments and recommendations at a press conference to be held on 22 September 2012, at 15:00, at the Hotel Diwan McGallery (place de l’Unité Africaine, 10005 Rabat). The Special Rapporteur will present a final report to the Human Rights Council in 2013.

Juan E. Méndez (Argentina) was appointed by the UN Human Rights Council as the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in November 2010. He is independent from any government and serves in his individual capacity. Mr. Méndez has dedicated his legal career to the defense of human rights, and has a long and distinguished record of advocacy throughout the Americas. Learn more, log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Torture/SRTorture/Pages/SRTortureIndex.aspx

(*) The independent expert will also visit Laâyoune, Western Sahara, on 17 and 18 September 2012.

OHCHR Country Page – Morocco: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/MENARegion/Pages/MAIndex.aspx

Check the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/cat.htm

For more information and media requests, please contact Sonia Cronin (Tel.: +41 41 79 201 01 19 / scronin@ohchr.org ) or write to sr-torture@ohchr.org

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)

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Check the Universal Human Rights Index: http://uhri.ohchr.org/en