GENEVA (31 March 2017) – Hungary should immediately address the excessive use of detention, the UN Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture (SPT) said on Friday at the end of an 11-day visit to the country.
“We urge the Government of Hungary to effectively address the issue of alternatives to detention,” said Mari Amos, the Head of Delegation. “We also shared with the Government our serious concerns regarding the law recently adopted that would allow Hungary to detain all asylum seekers in closed facilities for an extended period of time. We will make recommendations concerning this in our confidential report to the authorities.”
The experts accompanied members of the independent national body known as the National Preventive Mechanism during their visit to the remand prison in Budapest. “The SPT encourages the Government to provide the necessary resources and strengthen the legal powers of the mechanism to enable it to continue and expand its important work,” the Head of Delegation added.
The comments came at the end of the first visit to Hungary by the SPT, during which a four-member delegation presented its confidential preliminary observations to the Hungarian authorities on how to strengthen the protection of persons deprived of their liberty against torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
The SPT delegation visited various detention facilities, including in Budapest, Debrecen and Szeged, and met with Government officials and United Nations as well as civil society representatives.
The SPT delegation was in Hungary from 20 to 31 March 2017 and comprised: Mari Amos (Head of Delegation), Arman Danielyan, Aneta Stanchevska and Nora Sveaass.
Hungary ratified the Optional Protocol in 2012.
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