GENEVA/PRAIA (14 October 2019) — The United Nations Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT) concluded on Thursday 10 October its first visit to Cabo Verde, which began on 29 September. The objectives of the visit were to support the recently created National Preventive Mechanism, which is established within the National Commission for Human Rights and Citizenship, as well as to examine the treatment of people deprived of their liberty and their safeguards against torture and ill-treatment.
The five-member delegation visited 17 places of deprivation of liberty in four islands, including prisons, police stations, boarder control units, a juvenile center and the psychiatric hospital. One of these visits, to a prison, was done jointly with the National Preventive Mechanism of Cabo Verde. In addition, the delegation held several working meetings with the Mechanism and discussions with government officials, including high level-talks with the Ministers of Justice and Labour and of Internal Affairs, Parliamentarians, Judges and Prosecutors, the Bar Association, civil society organizations, UN entities and others.
"We are pleased with the cooperation we had with the National Preventive Mechanism as well as the support we got from all State entities throughout the visit. We encourage the Government to strengthen the newly established Mechanism, providing it with adequate resources and reinforcing its independence to enable it to effectively protect the rights of persons deprived of their liberty in Cabo Verde," said Nora Sveaass, the head of delegation. "In light of our observations in the places of detention we visited, it is important the Mechanism starts to fulfil its preventive mandate rapidly and efficiently," she added.
The Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture will submit separate reports to the Government and to the Mechanism, which will contain observations and recommendations arising from this visit. The reports will remain confidential unless the Government of Cabo Verde and the Mechanism decide to make their respective reports public, which the Subcommittee strongly encourages.
The delegation was composed of Ms. Nora Sveaass (Norway, Head of Delegation), Ms. Marija Definis-Gojanovic (Croatia), Mr. Hameth Saloum Diakhate (Senegal), Mr. Nika Kvaratskhelia (Georgia) and Mr. Victor Zaharia (Republic of Moldova).
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The Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture monitors States parties' adherence to the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture which to date has been ratified by 90 countries. The Subcommittee is made up of 25 members who are independent human rights experts drawn from around the world, who serve in their personal capacity and not as representatives of States parties. The Subcommittee has a mandate to undertake visits to States parties, during the course of which it may visit any place where persons may be deprived of their liberty. Learn more with our videos on the Treaty Body system and on the Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture!
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