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Follow-up visit to Uruguay by the UN Special Rapporteur on torture

GENEVA / MONTEVIDEO (30 November 2012) – Independent human rights expert Juan E. Méndez will visit Uruguay from 2 to 6 December 2012 to assess any improvements and identify remaining challenges regarding torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, since the previous United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture’s mission in March 2009.

“I will engage with decision-makers and key actors to assess the status of implementation on recommendations regarding the legal framework, impunity and past practices, the criminal justice system in general and specific issues such as conditions of detention and the situation of women and juveniles,” Mr. Méndez said. “By doing so, I will also consider the current situation of torture and ill-treatment in Uruguay and encourage the realization of the right of reparations to all victims.”

The Special Rapporteur, who visits Uruguay at the invitation of the Government, will hold meetings in Montevideo with key ministries, parliamentary commissions, the judiciary, independent agencies, international organisations, civil society. “Most importantly, I will meet with victims and their families, and visit several places of detention while in the country,” the human rights expert highlighted.

Mr. Méndez will share his preliminary observations at a press conference to be held on 6 December 2012, at 11:00, at NH Columbia Hotel (473 Rambla Gran Bretaña, 11000 Montevideo).

The Special Rapporteur’s findings will be reflected in an addendum to his main report on follow-up activities and will be presented to the Human Rights Council in March 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 on 1 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. He is currently a Professor of Law at the American University – Washington College of Law and Co-Chair of the Human Rights Institute of the International Bar Association. Mr. Méndez has previously served as the President of the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) until 2009, and was the UN Secretary-General Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide from 2004 to 2007, as well as an advisor on crime prevention to the Prosecutor, International Criminal Court, between 2009 and 2010. Learn more about the mandate and work of the Special Rapporteur: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Torture/SRTorture/Pages/SRTortureIndex.aspx

UN Human Rights, country page – Uruguay: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/LACRegion/Pages/UYIndex.aspx

For more information and media requests, please contact:
In Geneva (before the visit): Sonia Cronin +41 22 917 9160 / scronin@ohchr.org
In Montevideo (during the visit): Juan Miguel Petit + (598) 2412 33 57 / JuanMiguel.Petit@one.un.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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