19 September 2016
GENEVA (Issued as received) – The United Nations Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT) is due to make its first visit to the Republic of Kazakhstan from 20 to 29 September to assess the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty, as well as the safeguards for their protection against torture and ill-treatment.
Among the places the SPT delegation is due to visit are prisons, colonies, police stations, guardhouses, correctional rehabilitation centres, psychiatric institutions and other detention facilities. The experts will meet government officials and representatives of civil society. They will also hold discussions with the Human Rights Commissioner of the Republic of Kazakhstan, which the Government designated as what is known as a National Preventive Mechanism (NPM), an independent body charged with monitoring places of detention.
“During the visit we will be exploring the steps to be taken by Kazakhstan to effectively prevent torture and ill-treatment of people deprived of their liberty. The first visit of the Subcommittee will mark an important milestone in the cooperation between Kazakhstan and the UN treaty bodies,” said Victor Zaharia, who will head the SPT delegation.
At the end of the visit, the SPT will present its confidential preliminary observations to the Government of Kazakhstan. 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: Victor Zaharia (Head of Delegation), Arman Danielyan, Marija Definis-Gojanovich and Paul Lam Shang Leen.
The Optional Protocol on the Prevention of Torture has, to date, been ratified by 81 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
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