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Fundamental legal safeguards must protect all detainees from torture, UN rights experts tell Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyz | Russian

GENEVA/BISHKEK (1 October 2018) — The United Nations Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture (SPT) welcomes the creation of Kyrgyzstan’s National Center for the Prevention of Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment as well as the legislative measures taken by the authorities to prevent torture. However, the Kyrgyz authorities must further support the National Center’s work, including by granting it full access to all places of deprivation of liberty in the country, said the UN experts after concluding their second visit to the country. 

“Kyrgyzstan has taken steps to improve its machinery for the prevention of torture, but much remains to be done.

 Conditions of detention, in the different places we visited, are significantly substandard,” said SPT Vice-chairperson Victor Zaharia, who headed the six-member delegation, which visited the country from 12 to 21 September. 

“We also regret that most of the previous SPT recommendations from our 2012 visit have not yet been implemented, including with regards to the safeguards for apprehended persons, which are not protecting them appropriately” he added, urging the government to do so as soon as possible.

The experts visited more than 20 places of deprivation of liberty, including police stations, temporary detention facilities (IVS), pre-trial detention centers (SIZO), correctional detention facilities (colonies) and psychiatric institutions in the regions of Bishkek, Osh and Jalal Abad. The delegation was able to access all places without difficulties and to conduct individual and confidential interviews with anyone they wanted to speak with, including detainees sentenced for life. 

The delegation also held discussions with government entities and officials, including in Osh, and with parliamentarians, the Coordination Council for Human Rights, the Prosecutor General’s Office and civil society representatives. In addition, the experts held working meetings with the National Center for the Prevention of Torture, including a joint visit to a place of detention in Bishkek.

At the end of the visit, the Subcommittee presented its confidential preliminary oral observations to the government as well as to Kyrgyzstan’s National Center for the Prevention of Torture, which is the country’s National Protective Mechanism (NPM). The SPT’s confidential written reports to both the Kyrgyz authorities and the National Center for the Prevention of Torture will be sent within a six-month period. 

The SPT delegation was comprised of Mr. Victor Zaharia (Moldova), Ms. Marija Definis-Gojanovic (Croatia), Mr. Kosta Mitrovic (Serbia), Mr. Abdallah Ounnir (Morocco), Ms. June Caridad Pagaduan Lopez (Philippines) and Ms. Aneta Stanchevska (the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia).

For more information and media inquiries, please contact Media Officer Julia Gronnevet in Geneva at +41 (0) 22 917 9310/jgronnevet@ohchr.org 

ENDS

Background 

The Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture monitors States parties’ adherence to the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture which to date 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. 

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