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Committee Against Torture considers follow-up to concluding observations, individual communications and reprisals

6 August 2019 - The Committee against Torture this afternoon discussed follow-up to concluding observations, individual communications, and reprisals under the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

Abdelwahab Hani, Rapporteur on follow-up to concluding observations under article 19 of the Convention, said that during the inter-sessional period, the Committee had sent follow-up letters to Bulgaria, Italy, Lebanon, Mauritius, Republic of Korea, Timor Leste, Turkmenistan, and Ireland, while reminders had been sent to Rwanda, Republic of Moldova, and Cameroon.  The Committee had continued the follow-up procedure with Saudi Arabia concerning torture and extrajudicial execution of Jamal Khashoggi and had sent the second reminder letter with the request to meet with the representatives of the State party.  The Rapporteur recalled that in June 2019, the Human Rights Council had examined the report presented to it by Agnes Callamard, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. 

The Committee had received a note verbale from Saudi Arabia which contained its communications with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and a position paper by its Ministry of Foreign Affairs on this matter.  Since the State party had only provided partial information, the Committee had decided to keep the issue under review.  The Committee had received the follow-up reports from Czechia and the Republic of Moldova and had evaluated the follow-up reports from Senegal, Pakistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Norway.  None of those contained a national plan for the implementation of the Committee’s recommendations and only Norway had informed the Committee about its position on three recommendations. 

Claude Heller Roussant, Rapporteur on follow-up to individual communications, said that the Committee had examined eight communications under article 22 of the Convention.  Today, it had met with the Permanent Mission of Morocco to the United Nations Office at Geneva concerning two of the communications and was hoping that the constructive dialogue with the State party would continue.  The Committee had decided to continue the follow-up dialogue with Mexico and had decided to suspend the continuation of the follow-up dialogue with Denmark.  Switzerland had fully implemented the Committee’s decision and had issued a refugee status to one of the complainants in June 2019.  The Committee would continue the follow-up dialogue of two communications from Switzerland and on one communication from Argentina, which had not yet complied with the Committee’s decision.

The Rapporteur on follow-up to reprisals, Ana Racu, was pleased to report that the Committee had not received new allegations of reprisals and said that during today’s meeting with the Permanent Mission of Morocco, the Committee had raised questions on two allegations of reprisals.  The Rapporteur stressed that there were positive developments in those two cases, both in terms of follow-up and protection from reprisals, and said that the Committee had repeatedly requested the State party to issue interim measures to alleviate the deplorable conditions of the complainant in another case against Morocco.  The Committee had received assurances from Bangladesh that there would be no reprisals against human rights non-governmental organizations; nevertheless, the Committee would continue the dialogue with the State party on this matter.

All the documents relating to the Committee’s work, including reports submitted by States parties, are available on the session’s webpage. The webcast of the Committee’s public meetings can be accessed at http://webtv.un.org/.

The Committee will next meet in public at 10 a.m. on Friday, 9 August, to publicly close its sixty-seventh session.

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For use of the information media; not an official record

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