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Committee against Torture decides to focus declaration on International Day against Torture on draft optional protocol

10 May 2002

28th session
10 May 2002

Concludes Consideration of Amendments to
Rules of Procedure for Individual Complaints

The Committee against Torture decided this morning to focus its annual declaration on the occasion of the International Day against Torture -- June 26 -- on the draft optional protocol to the Convention against Torture. The draft protocol, which was adopted in April by the Commission on Human Rights but still must be approved by the Economic and Social Council and the General Assembly, would set up a mechanism for independent visits to sites of detention.
The Committee concluded consideration this morning of a series of amendments to its rules of procedure relating to article 22 of the Convention, which governs submission of individual complaints alleging violations. Such complaints may only be filed against countries which have declared acceptance of article 22. The amendments, now drafted but yet to be formally adopted, involve procedures for deciding on admissibility of complaints, for considering complaints, and for following up on Committee decisions. The Committee has the authority to amend its rules of procedure in such matters.
The Committee also appointed co-rapporteurs for reports to be considered at its twenty-ninth session, scheduled for November. Co-rapporteurs for reports of Venezuela and Spain will be Committee members Alejandro Gonzalez Poblete and Ole Vedel Rasmussen; for the report of Egypt, Fernando Marino Menendez and Alexander M. Yakovlev; for the report of Estonia, Peter Thomas Burns and Felice Gaer; and for the report of Cyprus, Sayed Kassem El Masry and Yu Mengjia.
The Committee will reconvene at 3 p.m. to issue its conclusions and recommendations on a fourth periodic report of Denmark and to continue its consideration of an initial report of Saudi Arabia.

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