Category Archives: Videos

Former Special Rapporteur on Torture Interviewed by CNN Español to discuss human rights challenges in Mexico and throughout Latin American

March 21, 2017 – En una entrevista con Carmen Aristegui – CNN en Español, el ex Relator Especial sobre la Tortura, Juan Ernesto Mendez discutió un informe de seguimiento sobre México y otras cuestiones apremiantes de derechos humanos a las que se enfrentan el Estado, y América Latina de manera más amplia. En México, afirmó que “el gobierno mexicano quería que dijera que la tortura era un problema recurrente, pero eso no capturaba lo que yo vi . . . es una práctica generalizada”.

The complete interview in Spanish can be found here. 

Juan E. Méndez, Special Rapportuer on Torture, Discusses Aspects of Transitional Justice in video for Just Planet

February 1, 2016 – In a new video recorded to mark the launch of the Just Planet, a new NGO working for the defense of human rights worldwide, Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan E. Méndez discusses aspects of transitional justice and the complexities of reconstructing society following mass atrocities and war.  In his remarks, the Special Rapporteur addresses the need to achieve a peace with justice in the aftermath of conflicts, stressing in particular that international law requires peace processes to consult both victim and the legitimate interests of justice, and to combat impunity.  To view the Special Rapporteur’s message and learn more about Just Planet, visit: http://www.justplanet.org.uk/.

CONFLICT & CONVENTIONS: GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY ON TORTURE

November 16, 2015 – This morning Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan E Mendez joins former U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Stephen Rapp and other panelists for a discussion entitled “Conflict and Conventions: Government Accountability for ‪#‎Torture‬” at the American Red Cross. The discussion is available for viewing here.

Special Rapporteur Delivers Lecture on International Law and the Abolition of Torture at University of Michigan

January 22, 2014 – Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan E. Méndez gave a lecture entitled “International Law and the Abolition of Torture” hosted by the University of Michigan International Institute’s Human Rights Initiative. The lecture provides an overview of the obligations related to the prohibition of torture in international law and of the work of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on Torture, and is available here.

Special Rapporteur Discusses Solitary Confinement in the United States in New Amnesty International USA Video

January 15, 2014 – In this new video created by Amnesty International USA, Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan E. Méndez discusses the extensive use of solitary confinement in US prisons, expressing particular concern about the lack of safeguards against its use, and its use for prolonged periods of time.”Solitary confinement truly does inflict the pain and suffering of a mental nature that is associated with the prohibition on torture and on cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, [which is] absolute and unqualified in international law under any circumstances,” the Special Rapporteur states. The Special Rapporteur has in the past spoken publicly about his pending request to carry out a fact-finding visit to assess the use of solitary confinement in state and federal US prisons. The full video is available here. To learn more about Amnesty’s campaign on solitary confinement, please visit this page.

Special Rapporteur Delivers Video Address on Human Rights Situation in Bahrain for UK House of Commons Hearing

June 27, 2014 – Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan E. Méndez delivered a video address on human rights in Bahrain during a hearing held at the UK House of Commons on June 26. The Special Rapporteur explained that the human rights situation in Bahrain continues to be of grave concern to UN Special Procedures mandate holders, citing in particular the harsh clampdown on human rights defenders and excessive use of force against protesters in the country. The Special Rapporteur noted that his mandate receives regular allegations of torture and ill-treatment of detainees and of denial of medical treatment in places of detention, in contravention of international law. He further expressed concern about Bahrain’s non-fulfillment of the obligation to investigate, prosecute, and punish allegations of torture and ill-treatment, and the non-implementation of the recommendations made by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry. The Special Rapporteur also reiterated that the decision to cancel his intended visit to Bahrain was taken unilaterally by the Government and that he has not reneged on his intention to visit. He elaborated that his repeated requests to reschedule the visit have been unanswered by the Government. To watch the video address in full, please visit this link.

 

Torture, International Law, and the Fight against Terrorism: A Conversation Between the Special Rapporteur on Torture and Amrit Singh

March 27, 2014 – The Special Rapporteur on Torture participated in a discussion on the topic of “Torture, International Law, and the Fight against Terrorism,” alongside Amrit Singh, Senior Legal Officer for the National Security and Counterterrorism program at the Open Society Justice Initiative, at the City College of New York.  The Special Rapporteur discussed international legal mechanisms for the eradication of torture and ill-treatment. He noted that in the wake of the so-called War on Terror, some of the cardinal legal principles necessary to prevent and suppress torture and ill-treatment, as well as the widespread public condemnation and moral outrage against the use of torture by the international community, have been diluted. In this context, the Special Rapporteur discussed the prospects of achieving a practical abolition of torture in the future. To view a webcast of the discussion, please visit this link.

Special Rapporteur Presents Reports, Participates in Side-Events During Twenty-Fifth Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva

March 10 – 12, 2013 – During the week of Monday, March 10, 2014, Special Rapporteur on Torture, Juan E. Méndez, addressed the Twenty-Fifth Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC), held a press conference, and participated in several side-events in Geneva, alongside UN colleges, State delegates, and partners from civil society organizations.  During the HRC Session, the Special Rapporteur presented the report on his recent country visit to the Republic of Ghana, as well as his latest thematic report on the exclusionary rule and the use of torture-tainted evidence and information by executive actors and agencies within States. For more information about the Special Rapporteur’s activities at the UNHRC including video-links to his presentation and other media, please visit our page dedicated to the Human Rights Council Session.

Questioning Solitary Confinement for Adolescents at Rikers Island

February 21, 2014 – In this recent PBS Newshour segment, the Special Rapporteur discusses the solitary confinement of juveniles at Rikers Island prison in New York and throughout detention facilities in the United States. The Special Rapporteur explains that solitary confinement for young offenders is prohibited as a matter of international law and that medical and psychiatric literature demonstrates that young offenders suffer isolation in very different and much worse forms than adults. The Special Rapporteur reiterated that solitary confinement should never be used for juveniles, persons with mental disabilities, and women who are pregnant or feeding children, and should never be prolonged or indefinite in all cases. The full video segment is available on the PBS website.

 

What’s Wrong With Using Torture-Tainted Intelligence?

February 18, 2014 – The Special Rapporteur delivered a keynote interview following an expert meeting on the use of torture tainted evidence held by the APT in Geneva. The Special Rapporteur explained that the use of torture is absolutely prohibited under international law and states can invoke no exception to derogate from their obligation to refrain from its use.  International law also specifically prohibits the use of torture in any proceedings against the victim, the so-called “War on Terror” has given rise to instances where security agencies impermissible act outside law by using and sharing torture tainted information and evidence, and accordingly implicitly encouraging the use of torture. The Special Rapporteur explained that these norms, including states’ legal obligations to prevent and exercise due diligence in preventing torture from happening, constitute minimum standards and building blocks from which we can create standards that will both effectively prevent torture and not tie the hands of intelligence agencies or security agencies that need to be able to fight crime and particularly to fight terrorism. The see the full interview, please visit the APT website.