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 Delivers Antonio Cassese Lecture and Participates in Conference in Florence, Italy

Special Rapporteur Delivers Antonio Cassese Lecture and Participates in Conference in Florence, Italy

November 20, 2014 – This week, Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan E. Mendez delivered the third annual Antonio Cassese Lecture on the struggle against torture at the University of Florence. The Special Rapporteur also participated in a conference and discussion panel sponsored by Amnesty International Italy, the Robert F. Kennedy Foundation of Europe, and theContinue Reading

Bosnia & Herzegovina: UN Experts Raise Alarm on Imminent Release of a Man Convicted of Genocide

Bosnia & Herzegovina: UN Experts Raise Alarm on Imminent Release of a Man Convicted of Genocide

November 19, 2014 – Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan E. Méndez and other independent UN human rights experts have expressed alarm over the potential imminent release of Mr. Milorad Trbic, who was convicted in 2009 by the Bosnian State Court of committing genocide in Srebernica and sentenced to 30 years in prison. The experts’ call comesContinue Reading

Expert Consultation on Juveniles Deprived of Their Liberty

Expert Consultation on Juveniles Deprived of Their Liberty

November 10 – 11, 2014 – The Center’s Anti-Torture Initiative, with support from the Ford Foundation, hosted a convening of experts to discuss topics related to the torture and ill-treatment of juveniles deprived of their liberty on November 10 – 11, 2014.  More than thirty experts from around the world convened at WCL to briefContinue Reading

The Gambia – Special Rapporteurs Prevented from Completing Torture and Killing Investigations During Visit

The Gambia – Special Rapporteurs Prevented from Completing Torture and Killing Investigations During Visit

November 7, 2014 – Special Rapporteurs Juan E. Méndez and Christof Heyns issued a statement at the end of their joint visit to the Gambia explaining that they have been prevented from completing the investigation into torture and killings in the country, which they set out to conduct during their week-long mission to the country.Continue Reading