CAT – Convention against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment 53 Session (03 Nov 2014 – 28 Nov 2014)

CAT – Convention against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
53 Session (03 Nov 2014 – 28 Nov 2014)
The UN Committee against Torture concluded its 53rd session on Friday 28 November in Geneva. The Committee’s session documentation on each State Party below are published here: http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treatybodyexternal/SessionDetails1.aspx?SessionID=930&Lang=en

The video webcasts of the Session are organized by State Party and available here: http://www.treatybodywebcast.org/category/webcast-archives/cat/

Selected issues discussed during the session are summarized below [full text from announcement with links to session Concluding Observations for each State Party reporting during 53rd Session].

SWEDEN: Restrictions on remand prisoners; excessive length of pre-trial detention; wide use of solitary confinement; no separate juvenile justice system; coercive measures, including physical restraints and isolation in psychiatric institutions and hospitals; detention of asylum seekers and irregular immigrants; race hate crimes; absence of definition of torture as defined in the Convention against Torture.

UKRAINE: Slow investigations, lack of accountability regarding excessive use of force by police in connection with protests since November 2013; reports of torture, ill-treatment, enforced disappearances, killings in areas under control of armed groups, notably in Donetsk and Lugansk regions; high rate of mortality among prisoners, mainly from tuberculosis; increase in the number of deaths and suicides in custody; high rate of domestic violence.

VENEZUELA: Large number of detentions; allegations of torture and ill-treatment of people detained after demonstrations February-July 2014; military participation in halting demonstrations and attacks allegedly committed by pro-government armed groups; attacks on and intimidation against human rights defenders; independence of the judiciary; the case of judge Maria Lourdes Afiuni.

BURUNDI: Allegations of torture and ill-treatment by law enforcement officials and prison officers; sub-standard conditions of detention; no independent body to monitor places of detention; high numbers in custody and pre-trial detention; political violence; the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

AUSTRALIA: Violence against women; trafficking in persons; indigenous people in the criminal justice system; compliance with non-refoulement obligations under the Convention; mandatory immigration detention for unauthorised arrivals, including children; offshore processing of asylum seekers claims; work of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

USA: Extraterritorial application of the Convention; inquiries into allegations of torture overseas; Guantanamo Bay detention facilities, transfer of detainees and reliance on diplomatic assurances; interrogation techniques; solitary confinement; use of death penalty; sexual violence, including rape, in prisons; excessive use of force by police, police brutality; sexual abuse in the US military.

CROATIA: Failure to guarantee access to fundamental legal safeguards against torture for detainees, such as immediate access to a lawyer; insufficient monitoring of places of deprivation of liberty; amnesties for acts of torture; violence against women; situation of people in psychiatric establishments; lack of information regarding application of non-refoulement principle.

KAZAKHSTAN: Torture and ill-treatment to extract “voluntary confessions” to show crimes solved; disregard of complaints about torture in judicial proceedings; forced placement in psychiatric institutions of anti-corruption activists, human rights defenders; high number of deaths in custody, especially of persons infected with HIV/AIDs; high incidence of violence among prisoners; use of internal troops, including masked guards, to maintain security in prison.