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Committee against Torture concludes fifty-first session


22 November 2013

Adopts Concluding Observations on Reports of Mozambique, Uzbekistan, Poland, Latvia, Belgium, Burkina Faso, Portugal, Andorra and Kyrgyzstan

The Committee against Torture today concluded its fifty-first session after adopting its concluding observations and recommendations on reports on the implementation of the provisions of the International Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment in Mozambique, Uzbekistan, Poland, Latvia, Belgium, Burkina Faso, Portugal, Andorra and Kyrgyzstan.

The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the country reports will be available on the website of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights this afternoon.

At the closing meeting, Claudio Grossman, the Chairperson of the Committee, said that the Committee today would make public two statements on reprisals and on its membership. The issue of reprisals was crucial and it affected the core of the Committee’s work. People should not be affected by any measures that limited in any way their work or their cooperation with United Nations human rights machinery. The Committee would also like countries to develop an environment where human rights and human dignity would flourish. Concerning the statement on membership, everyone knew that Committee members needed to satisfy the highest moral criteria. The Committee felt that it should provide full accountability for the work that it had done. The Committee had been fortunate in having the possibility of extending its meetings from three to four weeks, and felt it was accountable for what it did with the time allocated.

Mr. Grossman also bid farewell to three Committee Members whose term will conclude at the end of the year: Nora Sveaass, Fernando Marino Menendez and Xuexian Wang, and he thanked them for their wisdom and knowledge that they had shared with the Committee. The international community owed tremendous gratitude to these esteemed colleagues who had contributed so greatly in the promotion of the values of the International Convention on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

In addition to the consideration of country reports during this session, the Committee met with the Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture and the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment to discuss areas of collaboration.

In closed meetings, the Committee considered information appearing to contain well-founded indications that torture was systematically practised in some States parties.

The next session of the Committee against Torture will be held from 28 April to 23 May 2014 during which it will review the reports of Cyprus, Holy See, Lithuania, Montenegro, Sierra Leone, Thailand and Uruguay. It will also consider the situation in Guinea in absence of a report. More information on the session can be found at the following link.


For use of the information media; not an official record