GENEVA (12 October 2017) – The United Nations Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT) is due to visit Rwanda from 15 to 21 October to advise the authorities on the establishment of a national detention monitoring body officially known as the National Prevention Mechanism (NPM). The SPT will also assess the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty, as well as the measures taken for their protection against torture and ill-treatment.
“Rwanda ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT) in June 2015 so it is required to set up an independent and sufficiently-resourced monitoring body that has unrestricted access to all places of detention,” said Arman Danielyan who will head the SPT delegation.
Among the places the SPT delegation is due to visit are: prisons, police stations, detention facilities for women as well as juveniles and psychiatric institutions. The experts will also meet high level Government officials, the Judiciary, the National Commission for Human Rights, UN agencies and representatives of civil society.
At the end of the visit, the SPT will submit a confidential report to the Government of Rwanda, containing its observations and recommendations on the establishment of the NPM.
For the SPT, the key to preventing torture and ill-treatment lies in building constructive relations with the State concerned, and its guiding principles are cooperation and confidentiality.
The SPT delegation will comprise the following members: Mr. Arman Danielyan (Head of delegation, Armenia), Ms. Margrete Osterfeld (Germany), Mr. Kosta Mitrovic (Serbia), Ms. Zdenka Perovic (Montenegro) and Ms. Aneta Stanchevska (the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia).
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The Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment has, to date, been ratified by 84 countries. The SPT communicates its recommendations and observations to States by means of a confidential report and, if necessary, to national preventive mechanisms. The SPT work is guided by the principles of confidentiality and cooperation.