October 30, 2014 – 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, including prisons, police stations, interrogation centers, juvenile and women’s facilities, and psychiatric institutions. The visit comes at the invitation of the government, and the Special Rapporteurs have stated that they look forward to assisting the Gambian Government in coping with some of the challenges it faces regarding these issues and in finding solutions that uphold the rule of law, promote accountability for human rights violations, and fulfill the right of reparation for victims. 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 visit our page dedicated to the Gambia mission.