GENEVA (25 September 2017) – The United Nations torture prevention experts has urged Mongolia to establish a National Torture Prevention body as soon as possible, to protect people deprived of their liberty against torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.
The call came at the end of the first visit to Mongolia by the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT), which took place from 11-20 September 2017.
The SPT stressed the importance of establishing a fully independent national monitoring body, as required under international law, to regularly visit all places of detention and to help guard against the risk of ill-treatment.
“It is vital that all detainees are treated in accordance with the law and that their rights are fully recognized and are effective in practice. The establishment of such a body will greatly assist in this important and pressing task,” said Sir Malcolm Evans, who headed the delegation.
During its stay in Mongolia, the delegation met with government officials, representatives of United Nations and civil society, and held discussions with the National Human Rights Commission of Mongolia.
The SPT also visited police, penitentiary, health, rehabilitation as well as psychiatric and military detention facilities where they conducted confidential interviews with staff members and detainees.
“We were pleased to see that the conditions in many penal institutions have been improving, both as a result of extensive renovation programmes and legal changes, which have reduced numbers of people in detention as well as the maximum periods of detention. We hope this positive trend continues. The SPT will be making a number of important recommendations on these and other matters, and we will be following future developments closely and with interest,” added Sir Malcolm.
Following the visit, the SPT will submit a confidential report to the Government of Mongolia containing observations and recommendations to further the prevention of torture and ill-treatment of persons deprived of their liberty.
The SPT delegation comprised: Sir Malcolm Evans (Head of Delegation), Satyabhooshun Gupt Domah, Marija Definis-Gojanovic, Kosta Mitrovic, Margarete Osterfeld, and Victor Zaharia.
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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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