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UN torture prevention experts to make second visit to Bolivia

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GENEVA (2 May 2017) – The United Nations Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT) is due to make its second visit to Bolivia from 2 to 11 May to assess the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty, as well as the measures taken for their protection against torture and ill-treatment. The SPT will also analyse the country’s progress against recommendations made during its previous visit in 2010.

Among the places the SPT delegation is due to visit are: prisons, police stations, psychiatric institutions as well as correctional centres for juveniles, military bases and other places of deprivation of liberty in various regions of the country. The experts will meet State officials, UN and civil society representatives. They will also hold discussions with the Service for Prevention of Torture (SEPRET), which is the national detention monitoring body in Bolivia.

“Bolivia ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT) in 2006. The objective of our second visit is to explore what has been done and identify further steps the country needs to take to effectively prevent torture and ill-treatment, and so meet its OPCAT obligations,” said Mr. Emilio Ginés Santidrián who is heading the delegation.

“By allowing us access to places of detention for the second time, the Plurinational State of Bolivia is demonstrating its commitment to improving conditions for people deprived of their liberty. The key to preventing torture and ill-treatment lies in building constructive relations with the State concerned,” added Mr. Ginés Santidrián. 

At the end of the visit, the SPT will present its confidential preliminary observations to the Government of Bolivia. Following the visit, the SPT will submit a confidential report containing its observations and recommendations on the prevention of torture and ill-treatment of persons deprived of their liberty. Bolivia decided not to publish the SPT report on the first visit. States parties are encouraged to request that the SPT makes its reports public.

The SPT delegation will comprise: Mr. Emilio Ginés Santidrián (head of delegation), Ms. Marija Definis-Gojanovic, Ms. María Dolores Gómez and Mr. Victor Zaharia.

ENDS

Background:

The Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment has, to date, been ratified by 83 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 on the mandate of Subcommittee, please visit: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/OPCAT/Pages/OPCATIndex.aspx

For more information and media inquiries, please contact:
In Bolivia: Yulia Babuzhina, +41 (0) 79 752 0485/ ybabuzhina@ohchr.org or OHCHR-Bolivia, +59 (1) 243 43 60, extension 123, oacnudh-bolivia@ohchr.org
In Geneva: Nicoleta Panta, + 41(0) 22 9179310/ npanta@ohchr.org

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