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CIVIL AND POLITICAL RIGHTS, INCLUDING THE QUESTIONS OF:
TORTURE AND DETENTION
Report of the Special Rapporteur, Sir Nigel Rodley, submitted pursuant to
Commission on Human Rights resolution 2001/62
GE.01-16500 (E) 250102
2. In addition to the above-mentioned resolution, several other resolutions and decisions adopted by the Commission on Human Rights at its fifty-seventh session are also pertinent within the framework of the mandate and have been taken into consideration by the Special Rapporteur in examining and analysing the information brought to his attention. These resolutions are, in particular: 2001/39, “Independence and impartiality of the judiciary, jurors and assessors and the independence of lawyers”; 2001/40, “ Question of arbitrary detention”; 2001/45, “Extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions”; 2001/46, “Question of enforced or involuntary disappearances”; 2001/47, “The right to freedom of opinion and expression”; 2001/49, “Elimination of violence against women”; 2001/54, “Internally displaced persons”; 2001/64, “Human rights defenders”; 2001/70, “Impunity”; and decision 2001/105, “ Right to restitution, compensation and rehabilitation for victims of grave violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms”.
I. MANDATE AND METHODS OF WORK
4. In paragraph 9 of its resolution 2001/62, the Commission on Human Rights invited the Special Rapporteur to study the situation of trade and production in equipment which is specifically designed to inflict torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, its origin, destination and forms, with a view to finding the best ways to prohibit such trade and production and to combat its proliferation, and report thereon to the Commission on Human Rights. Accordingly, on 7 August 2001, a note verbale was sent to all Permanent Missions to the United Nations Office at Geneva, to international organizations, as well as relevant intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations. At the time of writing, information and comments had been received by the Special Rapporteur from the Governments of Argentina, Bahrain, Belarus, Colombia and Tunisia, as well as the non-governmental organizations Amnesty International and the Omega Foundation. The Special Rapporteur believes that further information would be needed to allow his successor to carry out this study effectively.
6. Regarding country visits, the Special Rapporteur regrets that the Government of China did not confirm the possibility of a visit in September 2001 as discussed with a delegation from the Permanent Mission of the People’s Republic of China in June 2000. He would like to reiterate that he would have been happy to accept the February 1999 invitation by the Government of China to conduct a friendly visit to China, on the basis of modalities that would have ensured that the visit would have provided information capable of permitting him to make recommendations responding to the factual, institutional and legal obstacles to guaranteeing full respect for the prohibition of torture and other forms of ill-treatment falling within his mandate. Regarding the joint request with the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, to visit the Russian Federation with respect to the Republic of Chechnya (2000), the Special Rapporteur regrets that the Government did not agree to a joint mission this year despite the fact that he had been informed by a delegation from the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation that such a visit could be envisaged at a later stage, once the security situation permitted. Regarding his request to visit Israel with respect to the occupied Palestinian territories, the Special Rapporteur reiterated his request to visit the country on the basis of the standard terms of reference for fact-finding missions. In particular, he inquired whether the non-cooperation of the Government of Israel on the basis of Commission resolution S-5/1 of 19 October 2000 would have precluded his access to the country and to all places of detention and interrogation chosen prior to and during the mission and confidential and unsupervised interviews with detained persons chosen by himself. At the time of writing of the present report, no reply had been received. Finally, the Special Rapporteur notes that the Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Nepal to the United Nations Office at Geneva gave in April 2001 an initial positive reaction to the February 2001 Special Rapporteur’s request to visit his country.
III. INFORMATION REVIEWED BY THE SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR
WITH RESPECT TO VARIOUS COUNTRIES
10. During the period under review, the Special Rapporteur sent 114 letters to 73 countries on behalf of about 1,990 individuals and 33 groups involving about 6,000 persons, about 315 of whom were known to be women and 590 known to be minors. Together with individual cases, the Special Rapporteur also transmitted to Governments 22 allegations of a more general nature. The Special Rapporteur also sent 32 letters reminding the Governments of the following countries of a number of cases that had been transmitted in previous years: Armenia (1997), Cameroon (1998), Chad (1997 and 1999), China (1998), Côte d’Ivoire (1997), Djibouti (1999), Ecuador (1999), El Salvador (1996), Equatorial Guinea (1998), Eritrea (1999), Ethiopia (1997 and 1999), Haiti (1997 and 1999), Honduras (1998), India (1997, 1998 and 1999) Indonesia (1998 and 1999), Jamaica (1998), Libyan Arab Jamahiriya (1998), Malaysia (1999), Mali (1999), Morocco (1996), Myanmar (1996, 1997 and 1998), Nepal (1997, 1998 and 1999), Niger (1997), Nigeria (1998), Pakistan (1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999), Paraguay (1996), Peru (1998 and 1999), Philippines (1998), Russian Federation (1999), Uzbekistan (1996 and 1998), Venezuela (1997 and 1998) and Zimbabwe (1999), as well as the Palestinian Authority (1999). In addition, the Special Rapporteur sent 15 letters reminding Governments of a number of cases transmitted in 2000 with respect to which no reply had been received. The Special Rapporteur sent 186 urgent appeals to 58 Governments on behalf of about 581 individuals (of whom about 147 were known to be women and 12 to be minors) and 13 groups involving about 1,500 persons (of whom some 500 were known to be minors) with regard to whom fears that they might be subjected to torture and other forms of ill-treatment had been expressed. Thirty-seven Governments provided the Special Rapporteur with replies on some 800 cases submitted during the year under review, whereas 37 did so with respect to cases submitted in previous years.
STATEMENT BY THE SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR TO THE THIRD COMMITTEE
OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY DELIVERED ON 8 NOVEMBER 2000
Regarding my request to visit Israel with respect to the occupied Palestinian territories, I have reiterated my request to visit the country on the basis of the standard terms of reference for fact-finding missions. I have also inquired whether the non-cooperation of the Government on the basis of Commission resolution S-5/1 of 19 October 2000 would preclude my access to the country and to all places of detention and interrogation that would be chosen prior to and during the mission and confidential and unsupervised interviews with detained persons chosen by myself, as well as whether I would be able to count on the cooperation of law enforcement officials at all levels. To date, I have not received any response.