Tag Archives: country visit

Special Rapporteur regrets postponement of country visit by Government of Turkey

October 1, 2016 – Special Rapportuer on Torture Juan E Méndez has expressed deep disappointment with the Turkish government’s decision to postpone his visit to the country, which was scheduled to begin on 10 October. “While I understand that the developments in Turkey during the last months demand the government’s fullest attention, I believe that postponing my visit at this late stage sends the wrong message,” the Special Rapporteur stated. “In light of the thousands of arrests made following the failed coup-attempt of 15 July 2016, and the allegations of severe overcrowding and poor conditions in many detention centres throughout the country, my visit is of utmost importance,” he continued.

The Special Rapporteur stressed that independent monitoring is a crucial safeguard against ill-treatment and torture, explaining that due to the sensitivity of his mandate, there will never be a perfect time for a visit. He further stressed that even in a state of emergency, safeguards against torture and ill-treatment and other fundamental human rights must remain in place, and conveyed to the Turkish Government his understanding that the invitation for a fact-finding visit is extended to his successor.

To read the press release in full, please visit the OHCHR website

mauritania: “safeguards against torture must be made to work” – UN rights expert urges

February 3, 2016 – Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan E. Méndez concluded his first official visit to Mauritania today. During the visit, the Special Rapporteur visited places of detention and held consultations with high-ranking government officials, civil society groups, and victims’ associations. During a press conference held in Nouakchott, he called upon the Government “to put into practice the existing laws and safeguards for the protection from torture and ill-treatment for all suspects and detainees” in the country. He expressed concern about the near total absence of investigations into allegations of torture and ill-treatment, and noted that that “while not rampant, ill-treatment occurs frequently enough – in particular for more serious crimes – that it merits to be taken seriously by the Government.” The Special Rapporteur thanked the Government for living up to its commitment to respect the integrity and independence of the mission, by providing complete and unhindered access during the visit.  To find out more, visit the OHCHR website here.

First Official Visit to Mauritania

January 27, 2016 – This week, Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan E. Méndez kicked-off his first official country visit to Mauritania. The Special Rapporteur will visit Nouakchott and spend several days in the interior of the country, including the east and the south, to assess the situation of torture and other ill-treatment. During this time, he will meet with government authorities, civil society, and victims and their families, and visit places of detention. “My primary task is to engage with decision-makers and key actors to help the authorities uphold the rule of law, promote accountability for abuses and investigate and prosecute allegations of torture and ill-treatment, and to fulfill the right of reparations for victims,” the Special Rapporteur stated at the start of the visit. The visit takes place as the country faces security challenges linked to terrorist threats and attempts in the Sahel region and as it must also cope with its role as a transit destination for many migrants from neighboring countries and sub-Saharan Africa.  For more information, visit the OHCHR website here.