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UN torture prevention body to visit Switzerland


GENEVA (24 January 2019) — The United Nations Sub-Committee on the Prevention of Torture (SPT) will undertake its first visit to Switzerland from 28 January through 7 February to evaluate the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty as well as the guarantees in place protecting them against torture and ill-treatment.

Switzerland in 2009 ratified the Optional Protocol of the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment (OPCAT) and the same year put into place a National Preventive Mechanism, the National Commission for the Prevention of Torture. 

During its visit to Switzerland, the SPT delegation will meet representatives of federal and cantonal authorities, the public prosecutor's office, the judiciary and civil society. The delegation will also visit, among other, prisons, police stations, detention centers for migrants, as well as psychiatric institutions, said Catherine Paulet, head of the delegation.

As a UN mechanism, the SPT regularly visits places of deprivation of liberty in all States that have ratified the Optional Protocol, in order to evaluate the prevention policies put in place by States Parties, and the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty.

"The SPT will also meet the National Commission for the Prevention of Torture (CNPT) and will carry out joint visits with the Commission. The national preventive mechanism is a crucial part of the strategy for fighting torture and ill-treatment," Paulet added.

At the end of the visit, the SPT delegation will present its preliminary, confidential observations to the Federal Government and the National Commission for the Prevention of Torture.

The SPT delegation will be made up of the following members: Ms. Catherine Paulet (Head of Delegation; France), Mr. Satyabhooshun Gupt Domah (Mauritius); Mr. Joachim Gnambi Garba Kodjo (Togo); Mr. Petros Michaelides (Cyprus); Mr. Abdallah Ounnir (Morocco); and Mr. Haimoud Ramdan (Mauritania).



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 88 countries. The Committee 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 SPT 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!

For media inquiries, please contact Julia Grønnevet at +41 (0) 22 917 9310/jgronnevet@ohchr.org.

For more information, and for questions during the visit, please contact Joao Nataf at +41 (0) 79 444 5172 / jnataf@ohchr.org

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