GENEVA/SKOPJE (2 May 2017) - “We were pleased with the cooperation of the State party and the access we had to places of deprivation of liberty”, said Aisha Shujune Muhammad, Head of Delegation of the UN Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture (SPT) at the end of its first visit to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
During their seven days in the country, the experts visited a variety of detention facilities, met with government officials as well as members of civil society and others.
“A number of pressing issues arose from our visits to places of remand detention in Skopje, Bitola and Prilep prisons, to name a few. The SPT has already raised some of these issues with the State party and we will elaborate further in our report to be delivered shortly,” said Ms. Muhammad
“It is unfortunate that the independent National Preventive Mechanism, which has a critical role in torture prevention, is not properly resourced. Proper resourcing of this monitoring body could help to address the types of issues we have observed”, added Ms. Muhammad
The SPT delegation presented its confidential preliminary observations to the authorities on how to strengthen the protection of persons deprived of their liberty against torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. The Subcommittee will also submit its comprehensive confidential report to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, containing its observations and recommendations. State parties are encouraged to request the SPT to makes these reports public.
The SPT visit took place from 23 to 29 April 2017 and the delegation was comprised of: Ms. Aisha Shujune Muhammad (Head of Delegation), Ms. Mari Amos, Sir Malcolm Evans and Ms. June Lopez.
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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. 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.
For more information on the mandate of Subcommittee, please visit: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/OPCAT/Pages/OPCATIndex.aspx
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