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Committee against Torture considers follow-up to concluding observations, individual communications and reprisals

GENEVA (6 December 2018) - The Committee against Torture this afternoon discussed follow-up to concluding observations, individual communications and reprisals under the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

Abdelwahab Hani, Rapporteur on follow-up to concluding observations under article 19 of the Convention, said that the Committee had considered reports from eight States parties, for which it had adopted a total of 25 recommendations, in five distinct categories: the culture of impunity, confessions under torture and ill treatment, and registry of complaints of acts of torture; reprisals against human rights defenders; the death penalty and corporal punishment; national prevention mechanisms and national human rights institutions; and police violence, conditions of detention, deaths in custody, and fundamental legal safeguards.  Mr. Hani noted that 56 per cent of the recommendations issued to States parties were partially implemented or in an advanced state of implementation, and was alarmed that in 44 per cent of the cases, implementation was either entirely lacking or the Committee did not have sufficient information to assess the state of implementation. 

Mr. Hani said the Committee had decided to send requests for additional follow up information to two States, Turkmenistan and Saudi Arabia; from the latter, the Committee had requested additional information also on the disappearance of Jamal Kashoggi, which, in the Committee’s view, seemed to be an extrajudicial execution and involved acts of torture.  The Committee was currently assessing additional information received from Governments and civil society organizations from Ireland and Lebanon, and it had called upon States reviewed during the sixty-second session to provide their follow up reports: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Italy, Mauritius, Republic of Moldova and Timor-Leste.

Claude Heller Roussant, Rapporteur on follow-up to individual communications, said that during the session, the Committee had considered eight communications and had decided to close on merit the case concerning Denmark, while the case concerning deportation by Sweden of an Iranian citizen had been successfully resolved with Sweden’s implementation of the Committee’s decision.  There were positive developments in a case involving Switzerland, and the Committee hoped to receive a more definitive response soon.  There were five additional cases where the Committee had decided to wait for additional information from States parties, namely on two cases involving Morocco, and one case each from Australia, Canada and Mexico.  The Rapporteur remarked that over the past several years, there was a trend of States parties not responding to the Committee’s communications.

The Rapporteur on follow-up to reprisals, Ana Racu, said that there had been no new cases of reprisals and that the Committee continued to consider case 606/2014 which remained sensitive in terms of article 22.  The Committee had met with the Permanent Mission of Morocco, which said it would provide the Committee with an update on the status of the complainant.  The Committee recommended to keep the follow-up dialogue ongoing.  During the period under review, there had been no new eligible cases of reprisals under article 20 of the Convention, she concluded.

The Committee will next meet in public at 10 a.m. on Friday, 7 December, to adopt its concluding observations and recommendations on the reports of Peru, Viet Nam, Guatemala, Netherlands, Canada and Maldives, which were considered during the session, adopt its programme of work for future sessions, and close its sixty-fifth session.


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