with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment

  • Welcome to the Anti-Torture Initiative (ATI), a project of the Center for Human Rights & Humanitarian Law at American University Washington College of Law! We work to expand the strategies of UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment Juan E. Mendez (SRT) in furtherance of his mandate. Please have a look at our website to learn more about how we help support, monitor, and assess implementation of the SRT’s recommendations, and provide a multi-dynamic model for effective thematic and country-specific follow-up. Please click on the adjacent image to read our latest news!

  • Special Rapporteur on torture Juan E. Méndez will visit the Gambia from 3 to 7 November, together with the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Christof Heyns, in the first official visit to the country by experts from the Human Rights Council's Special Procedures branch. During the visit, the Special Rapporteur will assess the situation on the ground and identify challenges regarding torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. In particular, he plans to examine “allegations of torture or other ill-treatment, the conditions of detention in all places where persons are deprived of their liberties, including the conditions of persons on death row.” The experts will meet with high ranking Government officials, various U.N. agencies, international and local nongovernmental organizations, and civil society representatives in, and will visit places of detention throughout the country. A joint press conference will be held on 7 November 2014, at 1:30 pm, at the Conference Room of the Ocean Bay Hotel & Resort, Cape Point, Bakau, during which the experts will share their preliminary findings. For more information, including daily updates about the visit, please click on the adjacent image.

  • Between Monday, October 20 and Wednesday, October 22, 2014, Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan E. Méndez attended the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), held a press conference, and participated in thematic side-events alongside UN colleagues, State delegates, and civil society partners in New York City. During the Session, the Special Rapporteur presented his latest thematic report on the role of forensic and medical sciences in the investigation and prevention of torture and other ill-treatment, and engaged in an interactive dialogue on his recent activities and other topics related to his mandate. To learn more about the Special Rapporteur's week at the General Assembly and to access document, videos, and other media, please click on the adjacent image.

  • Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan E. Méndez received prestigious Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Award from the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C. The award celebrates human rights defenders in the United States and the Americas. This year, Professor Méndez was honored for his work as a jurist and human rights activist, and for his work as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture. The award was presented by Rev. William Wipfler and Mr. John Hutchinson, who led advocacy efforts in 1977 to have Professor Méndez declared a prisoner of conscience and released from Argentine junta’s notorious Unit 9 prison, where he was detained because of his defense, as a lawyer, of political prisoners threatened by torture and arbitrary arrest in the 1970s. Special Rapporteur Méndez and this year’s other awardees were congratulated by Chilean President Michelle Bachelet in a special video message, and featured in media outlets including the Washington Post. The recipients of this year’s domestic and international awards are Robin Reineke from the Colibrí Center for Human Rights, and the Mesoamerican Initiative of Human Rights Defenders. For more information and multimedia, please click on the adjacent image.

  • Los invitamos al lanzamiento de nuestro libro: PRÓXIMOS PASOS HACIA UNA POLÍTICA PENITENCIARIA DE DERECHOS HUMANOS EN URUGUAY: ENSAYOS DE SEGUIMIENTO A LAS RECOMENDACIONES DE 2009 Y 2013 DE LA RELATORÍA DE NACIONES UNIDAS SOBRE LA TORTURA, el cual tendrá lugar el 26 de setiembre de 2014 a las 9:00 AM en la sala de reuniones del edificio UPAEP, Montevideo. El lanzamiento tomará la forma de un seminario con panelistas expertos en el tema de derechos humanos. Este libro reúne las contribuciones de 20 expertos – responsables de políticas públicas, representantes de la sociedad civil, miembros de la Instituciones Nacional de Derechos Humanos y el Comisionado Parlamentario y académicos – en la que se presentan análisis, opiniones, preocupaciones y propuestas para el Uruguay en lo que respecta a la promoción de los derechos humanos y la prevención de la tortura y los malos tratos en situaciones de privación de libertad. Las contribuciones reflexionan sobre la implementación de las recomendaciones de la Relatoría de Naciones Unidas sobre la Tortura luego de sus visitas de 2009 y 2012. Para mayor información, favor abrir la imagen adyacente.

  • We are delighted to announce the launch of our #TortureFreeWorld campaign on the occasion of International Day in Support of Victims of Torture! You can join us here, on Facebook, and on Twitter @antitorture_SRT by participating in a LIVE DISCUSSION AND Q&A with UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan E. Méndez on Thursday, 26 June 2014, from 1:00 – 2:00 PM EST. For details and information on how to participate, share your thoughts, and submit a question, please click on the adjacent image!

  • We are delighted to announce the launch of our #TortureFreeWorld campaign on the occasion of International Day in Support of Victims of Torture! You can join us here, on Facebook, and on Twitter @antitorture_SRT by participating in a LIVE DISCUSSION AND Q&A with UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan E. Méndez on Thursday, 26 June 2014, from 1:00 – 2:00 PM EST. For details and information on how to participate, share your thoughts, and submit a question, please click on the adjacent image!

Special Rapporteur Urges United States to Investigate and Prosecute Those Responsible for Acts of Torture

Special Rapporteur Urges United States to Investigate and Prosecute Those Responsible for Acts of Torture

December 15, 2014 – The Special Rapporteur on Torture has been interviewed and quoted by more than a dozen international media sources since the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee Report on the CIA’s detention and interrogation program. The Special Rapporteur has consistently reiterated the obligations of the United States under international law with respect toContinue Reading

“If the US Tortures, Why Can’t We Do It?” Global Fight Against Torture Is Set Back by US Example

“If the US Tortures, Why Can’t We Do It?” Global Fight Against Torture Is Set Back by US Example

December 11, 2014 – In a widely publicized statement reacting to the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA interrogations practices, Special Rapporteur Juan Méndez said that the reluctance of the United States Government to work with international authorities to ensure accountability for human rights violations has made it easier for other nationsContinue Reading

Juan Mendez: The Torturers’ Worst Nightmare

Juan Mendez: The Torturers’ Worst Nightmare

December 10, 2014 – In a powerful Human Rights Day interview with Amnesty International, Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan Méndez looks back at his harrowing personal experience of torture in Argentina. The Special Rapporteur was a young human rights lawyer working on behalf of political prisoners when he was arrested by agents of Argentina’s incipient militaryContinue Reading

Death Row: UN Experts Urge US Authorities to Stop Execution of Scott Panetti, a Mentally Ill Prisoner

Death Row: UN Experts Urge US Authorities to Stop Execution of Scott Panetti, a Mentally Ill Prisoner

December 2, 2014 – Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan E. Mendez has urged the US Government and authorities in the State of Texas to halt the imminent execution of Scott Panetti, a prisoner with proven psycho-social disabilities.  The Special Rapporteur stated that “[i]nternational law considers the imposition and enforcement of the death penalty on persons withContinue Reading