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MOROCCO: FIRST VISIT BY UNITED NATIONS SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON TORTURE
12 September 2012

Independent human rights expert Juan E. Méndez will visit Morocco* from 15 to 22 September 2012, to assess improvements and identify remaining challenges regarding torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of punishment, particularly in light of adopting a new Constitution in July 2011. 

“My ultimate task is to engage with decision-makers and key actors to help the authorities uphold the rule of law, promote accountability for past abuses and allegations of torture and ill-treatment, fulfil the right of reparations for victims, and to ensure that alleged perpetrators are held responsible in conformity with international law,” Mr. Méndez said.
 
The Special Rapporteur, who visits the country at the invitation of the Government, will hold meetings with authorities, the judiciary, civil society, the national human rights institution, United Nations agencies, victims and their families.  In Morocco, the Special Rapporteur plans to visit Rabat, Salé, Casablanca, Meknès and Skhirat-Témara.

Mr. Méndez will share his preliminary comments and recommendations at a press conference to be held on 22 September 2012, at 15:00, at the Hotel Diwan McGallery (place de l’Unité Africaine, 10005 Rabat).  The Special Rapporteur will present a final report to the Human Rights Council in 2013.

(*) The independent expert will also visit Laâyoune, Western Sahara, on 17 and 18 September 2012.

Juan E. Méndez (Argentina) was appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council as the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in November 2010.  He is independent from any government and serves in his individual capacity.  Mr. Méndez has dedicated his legal career to the defence of human rights, and has a long and distinguished record of advocacy throughout the Americas.  Learn more, log on to: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/torture/rapporteur/index.htm

OHCHR Country Page – Morocco:
http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/MENARegion/Pages/MAIndex.aspx
 
Check the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/cat.htm

For more information and media requests, please contact Ms. Sonia Cronin (Tel.: +41 41 79 201 01 19 / scronin@ohchr.org ) or write to sr-torture@ohchr.org

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)  

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For use of the information media; not an official record

HR12/222E