28 November 2017
The Committee against Torture this afternoon discussed follow-up to concluding observations and recommendations under Article 19, and follow-up to individual communications under Article 22 of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
Presenting the report on follow-up to Article 19 of the Convention, Abdelwahab Hani, Rapporteur on follow-up to concluding observations, welcomed that a number of States had complied fully with their reporting and follow-up procedures, including Venezuela and Israel. However, several States had still not submitted their reports, such as the Philippines, Mongolia and Turkey; a follow-up letter would be sent to those States parties, said Mr. Hani. There was, however, a lower rate of participation in the follow-up procedure by civil society organizations and national human rights institutions, but there was also increased participation of professional organizations, for example the Police Union of France. The Committee had analysed some of the reports received so far, namely China, China Macao and China Hong Kong; as well as Denmark, Liechtenstein, Honduras, France and Azerbaijan. The report of Ukraine was still to be assessed. Tunisia had already submitted a detailed plan for the implementation of the recommendations, while Israel had declared its commitment to develop such a plan.
Turning to the qualitative assessment of the reports by the States, the Rapporteur noted that they all contained sufficient information to enable the Committee to assess the implementation of the selected recommendations. Although none of the States which had submitted the reports had fully implemented the recommendations, all had taken serious or significant steps towards their implementation. Mr. Hani noted that the lack of translation services available to the Committee was a factor that hampered the assessment of the follow-up by the States parties, particularly for the reports submitted in Arabic or in French.
Sapana Pradhan-Malla, Rapporteur on follow-up to individual complaints, briefed the Committee members on the compliance with individual communications based on Article 22 of the Convention, noting with concern that in six out of 12 cases, the Committee’s recommendations had not been respected.
Turning to the individual cases, Ms. Pradhan-Mala said that in the case N°477 from Morocco, the Committee had decided to keep open the dialogue with the Permanent Mission of Morocco to the United Nations Office at Geneva on the measures to implement the Committee’s decision to investigate the allegations of torture in line with the Istanbul Protocol. The Committee recommended the closing of the follow-up dialogue on communication N°490 with Finland, with a note of satisfactory resolution. In the Ramirez vs. Mexico case N°500, the Committee had requested the State party to immediately undertake the investigation into the acts of torture, prosecute and sentence the perpetrators, to immediately release the complainants from custody, and to provide adequate compensation and rehabilitation. The follow-up dialogue with Mexico should remain open and the Committee should request a meeting with a representative of Mexico in Geneva to discuss the implementation of the Committee’s decision in this case.
In the case from Georgia (N°573), the Committee had called on the State party to conduct an effective and impartial investigation into the case with a view to bringing those responsible to justice, and to provide complainants with an effective remedy. The Committee’s recommendation was to keep the follow-up dialogue ongoing and to consider further steps in the light of the Government’s response to the complainants comments on the ineffective investigation of the alleged torture by the prosecutor’s office. As for the communication N°580, the Committee considered that Denmark had an obligation to refrain from forcibly returning the complainant to Turkey, and proposed a meeting with representatives of the State party to discuss the possible measures by the authorities to implement the Committee’s decision.
The Rapporteur said that in the case N°606 from Morocco, although the investigation of the complainant’s allegation of torture had been undertaken, the complainant had been sentenced once again, reportedly on the basis of the initial confessions extracted by torture. The Committee should seek a meeting with a representative of Morocco to discuss measures to implement the Committee’s decision in this case. The Committee recommended to close the follow-up dialogue with Denmark on communication N°625, as the complainant had returned voluntarily to Pakistan, and to keep the follow-up dialogue on the implementation by Denmark of the decision in the case N°634 concerning the forcible return of the complainants to Russia. The Committee had also decided to continue the follow-up dialogue with Kazakhstan on the implementation of decisions in communication N°651 where violations of article 1 and article 2 had been found, and also to pursue the follow-up with a representative of Morocco in Geneva with regards to the communication N°682 from Morocco, in which the Committee had concluded that the extradition to Saudi Arabia would put the complainant at real risk of torture.
In the communication N°747 H.Y. vs. Switzerland, the Committee had concluded the violation of article 3 and had requested the authorities to release the complainant from the extradition procedures to Turkey. This had been done and pending the communication from the complainants counsel, it was proposed to close the follow-up dialogue with a note of satisfactory resolution. Given the satisfactory resolution of the communication N°639 from Switzerland concerning the removal of the complainant to Sudan, the Committee recommended to close the follow-up dialogue.
General documentation on the follow-up procedure under article 19 of the Convention against Torture and documentation related to States’ follow-up to concluding observations can be found here.
The Committee’s previous Follow-up Reports to the Complaints Procedure can be read here.
The Committee will next meet in public on Wednesday, 6 December, at 10 a.m., to adopt its concluding observations and recommendations on the reports of the Republic of Moldova, Cameroon, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Italy, Mauritius, Bulgaria, Timor-Leste and Rwanda reviewed during the session, adopt programme of work for the next session, and officially close its sixty-second session.
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