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UN torture prevention body to resume Ukraine visit 5 to 9 September

GENEVA (31 August 2016) – UN torture prevention experts will return to Ukraine from 5 to 9 September to resume a visit they had suspended in May after being unable to access some places of detention that are under the authority of the Security Service of Ukraine.

The resumption of the visit by a delegation from the UN Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture (SPT) follows positive talks between the SPT and the Government of Ukraine. 

The three-member SPT delegation will examine developments in Ukraine related to the prevention of torture and ill-treatment, and will evaluate how recommendations from the SPT’s first visit in 2011, including the need for legal reform, increased institutional oversight to reduce the risk of torture and comprehensive medical examinations of people in detention, have been implemented. 

The SPT experts will meet government officials, and will visit places where people may be detained, including prisons, police stations, psychiatric institutions and residential care facilities.

After the visit, the SPT will send its report, including its observations from the suspended visit in May, to the Ukrainian Government. This will remain confidential unless the Ukrainian authorities decide to make it public.

“The SPT’s work is conducted on the basis of confidentiality, but we encourage all States Parties to agree to our reports being made public as an important tool in torture prevention,” said SPT Chair Malcolm Evans.

In March 2016, Ukraine agreed to the publication of the report from the SPT’s first visit: http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CAT%2FOP%2FUKR%2F1&Lang=en
The SPT has a mandate to visit all States that have ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT), which Ukraine did in 2006.

The SPT delegation will be: Malcolm Evans (United Kingdom), Marija Definis-Gojanoviæ (Croatia), and Victor Zaharia (Moldova).

ENDS

For more information, please contact
In Ukraine from 5 to 9 September: Antoanela Pavlova - + 41 79 752 0486 / apavlova@ohchr.org
In Geneva: Ravina Shamdasani - +41 (0) 22 917 9169 / rshamdasani@ohchr.org or
Cécile Pouilly, Media Officer: + 41 22 917 9310 / cpouilly@ohchr.org

Background:

The Optional Protocol on the Prevention of Torture has to date been ratified by 81 countries. The SPT communicates its recommendations and observations to the State 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. More about the SPT: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/OPCAT/Pages/OPCATIndex.aspx

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