The Special Rapporteur’s Report on the Visit to The Gambia is available here in English
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 five day visit, the Special Rapporteurs will hold meetings with high ranking officials, various U.N. agencies, international and local nongovernmental organizations, and civil society representatives in the Gambia. In addition, they will visit places of detention, including prisons, police stations, interrogation centers, juvenile and women’s facilities, and psychiatric institutions.
Special Rapporteur Méndez has stated that he will assess the situation on the ground and identify challenges regarding torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in the Gambia during the visit, specifying that he will “look into 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.” He will also examine the national legislation and its accordance with international law, and assess the State’s compliance with the obligation to investigate, prosecute and punish all acts of torture, provide access to legal assistance upon arrest, and guarantee redress and reparation to victims.
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.
To read the press release announcing the visit in full, please visit the OHCHR website.