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

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Special Rapporteur on Torture Hosts Expert Consultation on Investigative Interviewing Practices

July, 13 2016 — Last week, the Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan E. Mendez and the Anti-Torture Initiative hosted an expert consultation to inform the drafting of the Special Rapporteur’s forthcoming and final report to the United Nations General Assembly on interrogation techniques. During the meeting, practitioners, academics, advocates, and experts from around the world discussed standards for investigative interviewing practices by law enforcement and associated legal safeguards applicable in the context of criminal justice, counter-terrorism operations, and armed conflict situations.

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/.

Special Rapporteur on Torture welcomes the report of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights’ Experts on the 43 students of Ayotzinapa, Mexico

September 10 2015- Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan E. Méndez and other independent UN human rights experts have welcomed the report of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights’ Independent Group of Experts on the enforced disappearances, executions, and torture of 43 students of Ayotzinapa, in the state of Guerrero, Mexico, and encourage the State of Mexico to implement all of its recommendations. In particular, the experts stressed that “prompt and diligent implementation of the recommendations will promote the proper investigation and punishment of those responsible, the clarification of the facts, as well as the search for the victims and redress for them.” They further stressed that the report’s recommendations are also relevant in relation to the significant challenges facing the Mexican State with regards to enforced disappearances, torture, and executions, more generally, and reiterated their offer of cooperation and technical assistance to the State of Mexico. The experts lastly conveyed a message of recognition, solidarity and support to the victims, their families and the students.

To read the press release, please visit the OHCHR website

10 de Septiembre 2015- El Relator Especial sobre la tortura Juan E. Méndez y otros expertos independientes en derechos humanos de las Naciones Unidas le dan la bienvenida al reporte del Grupo Interdisciplinario de Expertos Independientes de la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos sobre las desapariciones forzadas, ejecuciones y torturas cometidas en contra de los 43 estudiantes normalistas de Ayotzinapa, en el Estado de Guerrero, México y hace un llamado al Estado de México a implementar las recomendaciones. En particular, los expertos enfatizan que “su pronta y diligente implementación favorecerá la adecuada investigación y sanción de los responsables, el esclarecimiento de los hechos, así como la búsqueda, reparación y atención a las víctimas.” Así mismo recalcaron el hecho de que las recomendaciones del reporte son también relevantes en relación con los grandes desafíos que el estado Mexicano enfrenta en materia de desapariciones forzadas, tortura, y las ejecuciones extrajudiciales en líneas generales. Por último, los expertos reiteraron su ofrecimiento de cooperación y asistencia técnicas al Estado mexicano.

Para leer el comunicado, haga click aqui

Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan E. Méndez Discusses Report on Mexico

April 8, 2015 – This week, the Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan E. Méndez published an op-ed in Mexico’s El Universal and gave an interview on CNN en Español, discussing his recent report on Mexico. The Special Rapporteur addressed the Government’s concerns regarding the report’s characterization of the use of torture in Mexico as “generalized,” noting that the term is intended to denote that the use of torture is not limited to one particular investigative body or authority within the country. He further detailed his method of work, noting that his report was based, among other sources, on extensive interviews with detainees in more than 11 detention facilities in five regions of Mexico conducted during his visit to Mexico in the spring of 2014. The Special Rapporteur stressed that he looks forward to continued constructive dialogue with the Government of Mexico and to the possibility of conducting a follow-up visit to Mexico in the future. You can watch the interview on CCN en Español here and read the op-ed in El Universal here.

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 military junta in 1975. “I was very scared during the interrogations. Twice they had to call a doctor to check if they could continue torturing me without killing me. Only then did I realize that I could die. But when you are in that situation you live minute by minute, thinking of the moment when the torturers will get tired and stop so you can have a break,” he explains. The Special Rapporteur spent the next 18 months in detention without charge, before being released and forced into exile. “The only real way to eliminate torture is to ensure those responsible are brought to justice. It is torture’s cycle of impunity that keeps it alive,” he explains in the interview. To read the interview in full, follow this link.

Forensics Side Event Flyer

Convention Against Torture Initiative Forum: Governments Confirm Commitment to End Torture

September 3, 2014 – The Special Rapporteur attended the first Forum of the Convention against Torture Initiative (CTI), which brought high-level government representatives of 18 States from all regions of the world together with leading UN experts to discuss solutions to challenges faced by Governments in the fight against torture. The CTI was launched earlier this year by the Governments of Chile, Denmark, Ghana, Indonesia and Morocco to mark the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention against Torture (UNCAT), and focuses on the development long term support and regional and inter-state cooperation as the means for achieving universal ratification and practical implementation of the Convention in the next 10 years. During the meeting, participants agreed that the CTI will serve as an important forum for governments and experts in facilitating new connections, knowledge sharing, technical assistance, and exchanging best practices and expertise with regards to CAT ratification, implementation, and torture prevention efforts. The representatives of the five States spearheading the CTI will brief all UN member states, relevant experts and NGOs about the Convention against Torture Initiative during the upcoming 27th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, and a high level CTI side event will also be organised in New York during the 69th session of the UN General Assembly. To read the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs press release on the first CTI Forum, please visit this link.  More information about the CTI is also available from the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT), which has been designated to support the development of the CTI.

LL.M. in International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law to be Offered by Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at American University Washington College of Law

July 19, 2014 – We are pleased to share the announcement that the Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law of American University Washington College of Law (AUWCL) will be offering an LL.M. in International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. The Special Rapporteur on Torture, Juan E. Mendez, has been a visiting professor at AUWCL since November 2012. The program was approved by the American Bar Association Accreditation Committee in June 2014. The new offering recognizes the vast interest in the legal community in studying human rights law at AUWCL and is the only program in the United States to offer a hybrid program of its kind in a U.S. law school. The LL.M. is designed for practitioners and other human rights professionals who wish to pursue advanced studies in international human rights law and humanitarian law alongside their existing work responsibilities. For more information, please visit the website of the Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. To learn more about the proposed International Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes Against Humanity, and to read a draft text of the convention, please visit the website of the Crimes Against Humanity Initiative at the Washington University in St. Louis School of Law.

Statement in support ADPRS (NGO’s) request that the American Institute of Architects prohibit the design of spaces intended for prolonged solitary confinement

Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment: Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on December 18, 2013