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UNITED NATIONS TORTURE PREVENTION EXPERTS TO MAKE SECOND VISIT TO MEXICO

9 December 2016

GENEVA (9 December 2016) – The United Nations Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT) is due to make its second visit to Mexico from 12 to 21 December to assess the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty, as well as the measures taken for their protection against torture and ill-treatment. The SPT will also analyse the country’s progress against recommendations made in its previous visit in 2008.

Among the places the SPT delegation is due to visit are: prisons, police stations, guardhouses, psychiatric institutions, correctional centres for juveniles as well as detention facilities for migrants at both federal and State levels. The experts will meet State officials, United Nations and civil society representatives. They will also hold discussions with the National Commission for Human Rights which is the national detention monitoring body in Mexico.

“People in detention have the same right to be free from torture and ill-treatment as people who are free. The risk of ill-treatment is much greater for detainees, since once deprived of their liberty they become vulnerable. OPCAT is a practical way of standing up for detainees’ rights and ensuring these are respected,” said Felipe Villavicencio who will head the SPT delegation.
“By allowing us access to places of detention for the second time, Mexico is showing its commitment to improving conditions for people deprived of their liberty,” Mr. Villavicencio added.
At the end of the visit, the SPT will present its confidential preliminary observations to the Government of Mexico. 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: Mr. Felipe Villavicencio (Head of Delegation), Mr. Enrique Font, Mr. Emilio Ginés Santidrián and Ms. Nora Sveass.


Background:

The Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT) 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
For more information and media inquiries, please contact:
In Mexico: Yulia Babuzhina, +41 (0) 79 444 4078/ ybabuzhina@ohchr.org or Gabriela Gorjón Salcedo, Tel: +5255 5061 6374 / Mob. +52 1 55 5438 1729 / ggorjon@ohchr.org
In Geneva: Nicoleta Panta, + 41(0) 22 9179310/ npanta@ohchr.org
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For use of the information media; not an official record

HR16/460E