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UN torture prevention body to visit Albania

12 April 2024

GENEVA (12 April 2024) - The UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT) will make its first visit to Albania from 14 to 20 April to assess the treatment of people deprived of their liberty and examine the existing safeguards to protect them from torture and ill-treatment.

The SPT delegation is going to visit places such as prisons, police stations, detention centres and other facilities where people are deprived of liberty. The delegation will also meet with government officials and the national monitoring body, officially known as the national preventive mechanism (NPM) of Albania, as well as civil society representatives.

“During our visit, we will assess measures in place to effectively prevent torture and ill-treatment of people deprived of their liberty, and advise the authorities on additional steps that can contribute to the full implementation of their treaty obligations,” said Vasiliki Artinopoulou, who will head the SPT delegation. “We will also cooperate with the NPM in Albania, including by carrying out joint visits with them, in order to cement their crucial work in torture prevention.”

This will be the first SPT’s visit to Albania after the State party ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT) in 2003.

The SPT is mandated to visit all States that are parties to OPCAT. At the end of the visit, the SPT will present its confidential preliminary observations to the Government of Albania.

The SPT delegation will be composed of Vasiliki Artinopoulou, Head of the Delegation (Greece), Suzanne Jabbour (Lebanon), Nika Kvaratskhelia (Georgia), and Zdenka Perović (Montenegro). The delegation will be accompanied by two human rights officers from the SPT Secretariat.

For media inquiries or more information, please contact:
In Albania: Gaetan Philippe Beauliere at [email protected], and Daniel Alexander Fyfe at [email protected], or
In Geneva: Vivian Kwok at [email protected], and UN Human Rights Office Media Section at [email protected]

Background
To date, the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture has been ratified by 93 states. States are under the obligation to allow the SPT unannounced and unhindered visits to all places where persons are deprived of their liberty. States Parties should also establish a national preventive mechanism, which should conduct regular visits to places throughout the country where people are deprived of liberty.

The mandate of the SPT is to prevent torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of persons deprived of their liberty, through visits and recommendations to States parties to the Optional Protocol. The SPT communicates its recommendations and observations to States by means of a confidential report and, where necessary, to national preventive mechanisms. However, States parties are encouraged to request that the SPT publish the reports.

The SPT is composed of 25 independent and impartial 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.

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