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Committee against Torture concludes fifty-sixth session

09 December 2015


9 December 2015

Adopts Recommendations on Reports of Liechtenstein, Azerbaijan, Austria, Denmark, China, including Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau, and Jordan

The Committee against Torture today concluded its fifty-sixth session after adopting its concluding observations and recommendations on the reports of Liechtenstein, Azerbaijan, Austria, Denmark, China, including the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau, and Jordan on their implementation of the provisions of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. 

The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the considered country reports will be available shortly at the Committee’s session webpage.  They will also be presented at a press conference which will take place in Press Room III of the Palais des Nations at 1:15 p.m. today.

The closing meeting commenced by the consideration of the Committee’s programme of work for its sessions to be held in 2016.  In concluding remarks, the Chairperson of the Committee, Claudio Grossman, said that during the current session, the Committee had accepted 27 individual complaints.  The Committee had decided to revise General Comment 1 on Article 3, and would discuss a list of topics to be covered in the new General Comment at its fifty-seventh session.  The Board of Trustees of the Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture would be invited for a meeting at the fifty-seventh session, and a common meeting would also be held with the Sub-Committee on the Prevention of Torture, with which cooperation was well developed. 

The Chairperson encouraged the Committee to ensure that the Committee Chairperson, officers and rapporteurs whose functions had ceased would not continue to stay on duty until one day before the subsequent meeting.  The following Committee Members were elected as officers by acclamation: Alessio Bruni as the Vice-Chairperson, Essadia Belmir as Rapporteur, Kening Zhang as the Rapporteur on new communications, Sapana Pradhan-Malla as the Rapporteur on follow-up to Article 22, and Alessio Bruni as the Rapporteur on reprisals under Article 19.   Jens Modvig would be the Acting Chairperson as of 1 January 2016, until the new Chairperson had assumed his duty. 

Mr. Grossman said that he had served in the Committee since 2003 and had been its Chair since 2008.  During that period, the Committee had contributed to the application of the list of issues prior to reporting and the adoption of General Comments 2 and 3.  The Committee had increased the time for its dialogue with Member States and adopted topics which needed to be complied with within a year.  A valuable system of follow-up had been further developed, and Rapporteurs had been appointed for follow-up and reprisals.  The Committee had also closely cooperated with other treaty bodies on the treaty body strengthening system and contributed to the first session of Chairpersons of treaty bodies in Latin America, which had led to the adoption of the San José Principles.  The Committee had been the first one to make a presentation to the General Assembly, and public webcasts of the Committee’s session had now become a common practice.  Mr. Grossman thanked the Secretariat for their comprehensive support.

During the fifty-sixth session, the Committee held a public meeting with representatives of non-governmental organizations.  The Committee additionally held private meetings with non-governmental organizations and national human rights institutions from States under consideration.  The Committee also held private meetings in which it considered communications and complaints from individuals claiming to be victims of violations of the provisions of the Convention by a State party. 

Comprehensive meeting coverage of all public meetings held this session, including the country reviews, can be found here.

The fifty-seventh session of the Committee against Torture will take place at the Palais Wilson in Geneva from 18 April until 13 May 2016.  The reports of France, Israel, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Turkey will be considered, and can be read here


For use of the information media; not an official record