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UN torture prevention body to make first visit to Morocco

French

GENEVA (19 October 2017) – The United Nations Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT) is due to make its first visit to Morocco from 22 to 28 October to advise the Government on the establishment of a national detention monitoring body officially known as the National Prevention Mechanism (NPM). The SPT will also assess the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty and the measures taken for their protection against torture and ill-treatment.

“International obligations must be translated in practice and real changes for people on the ground. Under OPCAT, the first step to ensure detainees are protected from torture and ill-treatment would be to establish an independent, effective and well-resourced National Preventive Mechanism,” said Hans-Jörg Bannwart, who will head the SPT delegation.

The SPT has a mandate to visit all States that are parties to the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT). States parties are obliged to set up a National Prevention Mechanism within one year of ratifying OPCAT. Although Morocco ratified the OPCAT in November 2014, the NPM is yet to be established.

Among the places the SPT delegation is due to visit are prisons and police stations. The experts will also meet government officials, the Judiciary, the National Council for Human Rights, UN agencies and representatives of civil society.

At the end of the visit, the SPT will present its confidential preliminary observations to the Government of Morocco.

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 the following members: Mr. Hans-Jörg Viktor Bannwart (Head of delegation, Switzerland), Mr. Gnambi Garba Kodjo (Togo), Ms. Radhia Nasraoui (Tunisia), Ms. Catherine Paulet (France) and Mr. Satyabhooshun Gupt Domah (Mauritius).

ENDS

For more information and media inquiries, please contact:

In Morocco: Lukas Machon, +41 (0) 79 752 0481 / lmachon@ohchr.org  
In Geneva: Nicoleta Panta, + 41(0) 22 917 93 10 / npanta@ohchr.org

Background:

The Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment has, to date, been ratified by 84 countries. The SPT communicates its recommendations and observations to States by means of a confidential report and, if necessary, to national preventive mechanisms. The SPT work is guided by the principles of confidentiality and cooperation.

The SPT is composed of 25 independent and impartial experts from different regions of the world. For more information, please go here.