UN Torture prevention body concludes Ukraine Visit
Press release issued: 22 September 2016
GENEVA (13 September 2016) – The United Nations Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT) on Friday concluded its visit to Ukraine. The experts returned to Ukraine from 5 to 9 September to resume a visit they had suspended in May after being unable to access some places under the authority of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU).
“We were pleased to be able to complete our visit by finally accessing to the SBU facilities, where persons are deprived of their liberty. This has greatly assisted our ability to produce a comprehensive report, which will be transmitted to the authorities as soon as possible,” said Sir Malcolm Evans, SPT Chair and head of the delegation.
The UN independent experts also noted that Ukraine has made progress in improving conditions of detention in the country, in particular through reducing overcrowding in pre-trial detention centres. The increasing use of non-custodial measures during the pre-trial stages of criminal proceedings is a positive step forward, noted the experts.
“We look forward to discussing these important issues with the Government in detail as soon as possible,” said Sir Malcolm Evans.
Under the Optional Protocol (OPCAT), the SPT is mandated to visit all States parties and can make unannounced visits to any places of detention. The work of the SPT, which is composed of independent human rights experts, is guided by the principles of confidentiality and cooperation.
The SPT delegation to Ukraine comprised: Sir Malcolm Evans (United Kingdom), Ms. Marija Definis-Gojanoviæ (Croatia) and Mr. Victor Zaharia (Moldova).
Background: The Optional Protocol on the Prevention of Torture has to date been ratified by 81 countries. The SPT communicates its recommendations and observations to the State by means of a confidential report, and if necessary to National Preventive Mechanisms. However, State 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. More about the SPT: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/OPCAT/Pages/OPCATIndex.aspx
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